chapter  4
11 Pages

Maharal of Prague on time

WithDOV SCHWARTZ

The background, the character and the sources of R. Judah Loew’s ideas (Maharal of Prague) have concerned many scholars. Their discussions have focused mainly on the balance between Kabala and rationalist trends in Maharal’s philosophy, particularly in light of his special style of discourse. In this chapter, I aim to explore the physical conception of time in Maharal’s thought, examine its theological implications for the theory of divine attributes, and evaluate its innovativeness. Scholars have generally addressed Maharal’s historic and messianic approach – that is, the transition from time to eternity and from exile to redemption, which is a classic theological question.1 My concern here, however, will be the scientific conception of time in Maharal’s thought. At times, this conception developed in the course of his controversy with anonymous or identified rationalists and with rationalist approaches, and at times in his aggadic exegesis and homiletics.