Altneuschul is considered the most active, oldest and most famous synagogue in Europe. Around it the flourishing Jewish community of the city of Prague flourished. Here, the Mahal prayed and worked hundreds of years ago, and the legend tells us that the remains of the Golem of Prague, created by the Maharal, remains in the attic of the synagogue.
By the way, if you in Prague on a Friday night, you could enjoy a special Jewish experience in prayer. The prayer in this ancient synagogue is full of holiness and connection to the past. It is far from luxurious but is authentic and Jewish.
In the past they nicknamed the synagogue "on conditional terms." The story says that the synagogue was built, among other things, from stones brought from the ruins of the Temple in Jerusalem. Construction according to tradition was made "conditional." When the Messiah will come, they made a promise that the stones would be returned to their place in the temple to be built again in Jerusalem.
"The Golem of Prague" was written by Rabbi Yehuda ben Bezalel Loew, the Maharal of Prague, and the Maharal's most famous legend tells of a human created by the Maharal during the period when he fought the anti-Semitic Christian priest Thaddeus.
He wanted to save the Jews of Prague from the blood libels, "from all evil and all the troubles that their enemies immediately suffer." He created a mysterious Golem, made of clay and Earth. He was helped by mysterious combinations of letters and was assisted by his son-in-law and his close disciple.
The Golem who was created received the name Yosef and the people called him Yossele Golem. He functioned like everyone else - see, hear and understand - but he could not speak. The Maharal alone activated the Golem, using a piece of parchment he placed under the tongue of Yossele Golem with the name of God.
Every night the golem would go out to the streets of Prague to uncover plots against the Jews of the city. He did so diligently, in the Rabbi's orders, and saved many Jews.
However, every Sabbath eve, the rabbi used to take the spirit of life out of the Golem, for fear that he would spoil the Sabbath. Thus the Golem lay like a lump of clay until the end of the Sabbath. One Friday the Rabbi forgot to take the spirit of life out of him and the Golem came out and desecrated the Sabbath, endangering the gentiles of the city. The rabbi who was chasing him managed to reach him at the entrance to the ancient Altneuschul Synagogue in Prague. The Golem was shattered to pieces after the Maharal took out the spirit of life from his body.
According to another version, when the blood libels ended, the Maharal removed the piece of holy parchment from the mouth of the Golem, turning it back into a mound of earth and whose remains were buried, according to legend, in the attic of the Altneuschul Synagogue in Prague. And instead of the remains of the Golem, some old furniture was found there ...
The Golem who saved the Jews of the community from conspiracies and blood libels, often acted on behalf of the Maharal to help establish order and peace within the Jewish community itself.