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Four hundred years after his death, the Maharal of Prague remains a larger than life figure, just like his statue that stands in front of the Prague city hall. He was a bridge figure between worlds. He helped to close the gaps between the medieval period and the stirrings of modernity in the Enlightenment; between Torah and science; between philosophy and mysticism. Above all, he is appreciated for explicating the most difficult passages in the Aggada, making the intent of Chazal clear to the student intent on mining their deep wisdom from their sometimes obscure words.

His running commentary on Rashi enjoys wide distribution, because it appeared in the most-often used collection of tools in understanding Rashi, Otzar Peirushim Al Ha-Torah. Maharal's Gur Aryeh commentary, however, is too often given a wide berth by students. Rabbi Yehoshua Hartman, whose magisterial treatment of Maharal has no peer (and to whom these essays will be in heavy debt) explains the ironic reason for this. Gur Aryeh is sometimes extremely straightforward, analyzing Rashi's words and the options that Rashi rejected. At other times, Gur Aryeh is deeply philosophical or mystical. Students looking for simple pshat in Rashi and nothing more are sometimes stymied by the deep and difficult pieces, while others who are interested primarily in the creative and probing analysis tire of the pieces that hew closely to simple pshat. As a result, both give up on Gur Aryeh, denying themselves its gems and treasures.

This series will present selections from both kinds of pieces in Gur Aryeh. Each week, we will offer our readers one or two passages from the weekly parshah. They will not be verbatim translations, but paraphrases and adaptations. It is our hope that they will stimulate readers to spend more time not only with Gur Aryeh, but with all of Maharal's priceless and timeless thought.

Subscribe to Gur Aryeh and receive this class via e-mail.

If you'd like, you can see the list of all archived Gur Aryeh articles on the Parsha, or the index to all archived Torah Portion articles.




 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

A Month of Happiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Golden Calf: Alillus and Kavshei díRachmanah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5775

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: A Spiritual Celebration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> The Importance of Being, the Importance of Having...a Rav
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

A Matter of Choice
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Sacrifice by Learning Torah
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Higher than Sinai
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Light and Joy
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Right On The Money
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Celebrate With Your Whole Self
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Washing Hands
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Forged With Love
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

ArtScroll

Shabbat Precedes the Building of the Mishkan
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Wealth as a Redemption
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Purim Prudence
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Moshe's Finest Moment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761



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