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A Jewish learning institute named for an influential 16th century rabbi and scholar opened in Prague.

Judah Loew ben Bezalel, also known as the Maharal, was a chief rabbi of Prague whose writings have influenced countless Jewish scholars. To many Jews and non-Jews, Loew is known as the creator of the Golem, a clay giant made to protect the Jews of Prague.

The center is intended to introduce the public to Loew’s writings that contributed to the development of Jewish philosophy.

The institute, inaugurated Sept. 18 by the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, aims to provide an insight into the Maharal’s teachings and will feature a full-time yeshiva study program for rabbinical students.

The center, located in the heart of the former Jewish quarter, was established by Prague’s Chabad center and was opened on the 399th anniversary of the Maharal’s death on the Jewish calendar.

In 2009, Czech cultural authorities and the Prague Jewish Museum have scheduled a series of events dedicated to Loew.

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