Legend of the Goleni Reconstructed in Miracle of Prague Alt-Neut-Schul
By JOSEF FRAENKEL
Jewish News Special
One of Prague's most beau-
tiful and impressive edifices
is the Alt-Neu-Schul. Visitors
— Jews and Gentiles — go
there to admire this magnifi-
cent house of worship. Czechs
are proud of the architectural
masterpiece and Jews regard
their "Mother of Prague's
Synagogues" with special
There are many legends at-
tached to the Alt-Neu-Schul,
the most popular being the
story of Hohe Rabbi Judah
Loew ben Bezalel and the
Golem. Rabbi Loew is said
to have created the Golem
by cabalistic ritual and the
Golem became his mystical
servant and robot. Even• now
the seat upon which the Hohe
Rabbi used to sit, still stands
against the eastern wall of
the synagogue, unused, and
no one is •permitted to occu-
py it: thus is his memory
preserved to this day.
There is a lively difference
of opinion among historians
regarding the date of the
foundation of the Alt-Neu-
Schul. Some seek to prove
that the synagogue was built tinguish it from the last one. They felt isolated and for-
into the inner sanctum. Per-
in 592, then frequently re-
In 1897 Theodor Herzl heard saken, and waited for a mir- haps the petrol and straw, and whispered a fervent
prayer of gratitude and ap-
built. Others believe it was the story of how a pious Jew acle. •
by some extraordinary phen- pealed to him to continue to
built later in the 13th or 14th found "a long underground
The drama had begun; mis- omenon, did not catch alight. protect the imperiled "Mo-
century. There is not even passage" in the Alt-Neu-
agreement about the mean- Schul leading straight to Je- fortune; tragedy upon trage- But the gray-bearded old ther of Prague's Syna-
ing of the name "Alt-Neu- rusalem. But when, at last. dy. Jews were arrested and Jew noticed footprints lead- gogues."
sent to concentration camps.
he arrived there—"he died of The new Golem in swastika- ing from the inflammable
In the literature of the Joy". When Herzl began to adorned uniform raged material to the Hohe Rabbi
CARS TO BE DRIVEN
Judah Loew ben Bezalel's
"Mother of Prague's Syna- write his Zionist novel, he throughout
TO any ,siate. Also drivers furnish.
and thence to the rafters, ed to -drive your car anywhere.
gogues", the main trend of chose the title "Alt-Neu-
Legally insured and I.C.C. licensed
opinion is that the name "Alt- Land" (Old New Land), an could stop him. There was no beneath the roof, where, ac-
a Hohe Rabbi to re- cording to legend, the dead
Neu-Schul" has no connection allusion to the Alt-Neu-Schul. longer
DRIVEAWAY SERVI C E
Golem lies. Footprints, dis-
whatsoever with the two de- "It will become a famous &train him.
9970 Grand River
The Golem with the swas- tinct footprints . And once
scriptive words "alt" and word", Herzl noted in his
Detroit, Mich. 48204
"neu" ("old" and "new") "Diaries".
ters in order to destroy them the Hohe Rabbi Loew's seat
but is a corruption of the Under Nazi Occupation .
completely. Jewish cemeter- 111111111.111 ■ 11•1111/
Hebrew words "Al Tenai",
A few days after the "Ans-
meaning "on condition", the chluss", in March 1938, I left ies were desecrated, syna-
WHY BUY A FORD FROM ANYONE
condition being that with the Vienna for Prague. The Nazis gogues were in flames and
re-erection of the Holy Tem- came a year later, in March Torah scrolls were burned.
ELSE BUT PHIL SCHOSTAK
ple in Jerusalem, the "Al- 1939. We usually called the And to crown these "heroic"
DEAL—SERVICE 8 LOCATION
Tenai-Schul" would be closed. Nazis "Golem", and we deeds the Alt-Neu-Schul was
NICE JEWISH BOY ...
Other historians maintain trusted in the Great Rabbi to be set alight. Fear and ter-
that hundreds of years ago Judah Loew to protect the
SEE OR CALL "PHIL" FOR YOUR
Daily the Golem stood in
there was an old synagogue Alt-Neu-Schul.
% (OVER COST) DEAL
in Prague; then another was
Rabbi Judah Loew rests in front of the Alt-Neu-Schul
built. The first was called the old Jewish cemetery; the planning its destruction. One
OPEN MONDAY & THURSDAY TIL 9 P.I
"olds' and the second the Golem, on the other hand, day bombs exploded near the
"new". When, eventually, a had risen again in 1939 and House of Worship. The Golem
29200 TELEGRAPH (AT 12 MILE)
third was constructed, the stalked through the streets was unlucky, because Czech
second was no longer called and alleys of Prague. The police stood on guard by the
"new" but "old-new" to dis- Czechs were mute and silent. A•t-Neu-Schul. Everyone in
Prague was convinced that
soon the devilish attack
would again be made and the
"Mother of Prague's Syna-
gogue's" would disappear.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
12—Friday, March 23, 1973
Jews as well as Czechs
RAMAT GAN — Bar-Ilan work lies in the fact that it ,made
pilgrimage to the Alt-
University scientists working opens the way for scientists
with dash, the Repp stays unrumpled and un-
in cooperation with others to fully understand the func-
see it again—perhaps for the
For Custom Drapery have seen and photographed tions
mussed whatever the weather, whatever the action.
of RNA protein com- last
time. Daily they took a
Why? It's 100% textured woven polyester that keeps
the messenger RNA in ani- plexes.
sad farewell of the syna-
its crisp, trim look all season. Single-breasted with a
mal cells. Such a tiny molec-
Meanwhile, Prof. Max gogue. Each morning, with
four-button-through front, wide convertible laydown
ular structure of such bio- Herzberg, head of the Bar-
logical importance has never Ilan University electron mic- beating hearts, they inquired
collar, full belt, patch pockets and inverted bock pleat.
there was a fire in
been seen before.
For swinging all-weathei: wear, come in and see
roscope unit, and Prof. M. whether
yourself in Johnny Carson's Repp coat. In a hand-
The Bar-Ilan Electron Revel of the Weizmann Insti-
German officers and sol-
some range of spring colors. 85.00
Microscope Unit, headed by tute have published an Atlas
diers, the SS and SA too, ap-
Prof. Max Herzberg, with Dr. of Molecular Biology.
J. Dubochet and Dr. E. Kel-
All the photographs of the peared in the Jewish quarter
"All That The 'Name Implies"
lenberger of the Basle Bio- different processes involved to look at the synagogue.
zentrum, Switzerland, have in molecular biology were They had already read so
been working for a year to taken through an electron much about the "Cursed
House of Prayer" and wanted
Wash & Finish
visualize the animal messen- microscope.
Drip Dry Curtains
to see it, at last, before it
form. This is the information French by Hermann, Paris, was swallowed up by fire.
mechanism by which all cells and is being translated into The Attempt
WE DO ALL THE WORK
Again bombs were found in
know what to do at the right Hebrew. It has already been
REMOVE AND INSTALL
adopted as a textbook by the Maisels Street, bombs which
could not only have destroyed
The Bar-Ilan electron mic- Sorbonne.
the Alt-Neu-Schul, but the
* * *
roscope unit and the Basle
Biozentrum devised a dark
A research project to eval- whole of the Jewish quarter.
Suburban Call Coiled
From June 1939 I was in
the efficiency of a voca-
nique by which it was possi- tional workshop in improving the Al•-Neu-Schul every day
ble to see the structure of the personal, social and voca- to say Kaddish—quickly: the
the RNA protein complex, tional status of severely head- service had to be over in 20
which is 10,000 times smaller injured war veterans is be- minutes.
than the cell itself..
Before prayers, a grey-
ing undertaken by Bar-Ilan
The Bar-Ilan electron mic- University in conjunction bearded old Jew made a
roscope is capable of magni- with the ministry of defense. thorough "search". He care-
fying up to 500,000 times. The This is the first research of fully examined the hall,
importance of the present its kind in Israel.
opened the Aron 'ha-Kodesh,
touched the Sifre Torah, then
quickly went over to the
Omed and the Almemor. Per-
haps, hidden somewhere,
17520 W. 12 Mile
were cans of petrol. He ex-
amined everything except the
seat of the Hohe Rabbi Loew,
Southfield, Mich. 48076
so certain was he that the
"unknown culprits" had left
Are You Aware That:
The Golem with the swas-
tika, hovered close to the syn-
There are many job
agogue, waiting for a favor-
able opportunity to pounce.
On a dark night some sha-
dowy figures carried straw
and cans of petrol. They
technicians in the
climbed on to the little porch
of the Alt-Neu-Schul. Already
State of Israel and
they were on the roof. A dor-
many tax and other
mer window was broken and
cans of petrol dropped in.
Straw and rags, soaked in
petrol, were pushed through,
paper was lit and thrown
down on top of it all.
We will gladly
Next morning, in the early
assist you if you're
7 Mile and Evergreen
hours, Jews hurried, as usual,
KE 3-4310 — Detroit
Thurs., Fri. til 9
found paraffin, petrol, straw
Saturday tii 7:30
One of the newest pieces of equipment in use in the and rags and the burned-out
Call for interview
department of biochemistry in Bar-Ilan University in Israel remains of paper. Nothing
is an electronic microscope. Bar-llan's Prof. Max Herzberg was damaged and nothing
Old Orchard Shopping Plaza
Maple at Orchard Luke Rds.
is shown examining a specimen under the microscope, was burned. Perhaps the
851-3660 —West Bloomfield
which can magnify subjects 500,000 times. Bar-Ilan, located burning paper was extin-
Mon., Thurs., Fri. 9-9
in Ramat Gan, is chartered by the New York State Board of guished by the draught as it
Tues., Wed., Sat. td 6
fell from the dormer window
AVIS FORD 354.3000
Bar-Ilan Electron Microscope .
Photographs Cell Info Unit