Maalot Educational Network | Evaluated Learning Experience
Studies in the Writings of the Maharal of Prague (PHI378)
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: evaluate and explain the fundamental substance of the Maharal’s writings, interpret the terminology characteristic of the Maharal’s literary style with its philosophic/mystical connotations, and distinguish the Maharal’s distinctive methodology in exegesis of biblical and rabbinic sources. Maharal’s own expositions will be compared to those in the course’s enriched source book, which includes excerpts from his writings and those of other exegetes. Students will be able to scrutinize and extrapolate from the original, classical sources which formed the basis on which Maharal developed his philosophy.
Major topics taught in this course include: the supremacy of the Torah, the eternal relationship of the Jewish people with the Torah; wisdom, “yeridas hadoros”, the relationship of the oral and written Torah, “d’oraisa” and “d’rabbanan”, “daas Torah”, “fences” around the Torah, correlation of mitzvos with the human body, love of G-d, “kedoshim”, Sanhedrin, role of government, “eilu v’eilu divrei Elokim chayim”, the halachah follows Beis Hillel, capital punishment, lost objects, the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, hope in exile, G-d’s prayers, “My children have triumphed over Me”, power of unity, jealousy, mann, revenge and grudges, magic, Shabbos. Topics may vary. Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion, and textual preparation.