Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: The Oldest Jewish Cemetery in Europe

The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague is considered the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe. Its oldest preserved tombstone is that of the poet-Rabbi, Avigdor Kara, from 1439.

A better known resident of the cemetery, though, is the non-mythical Rabbi Judah Loew. (Whether or not he created a golem is open to faith; However, Rabbi Judah Loew lived.) In 2000, after visiting several ancestral towns in Transylvania, my mother made a stop in Prague and took the below photograph.

Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel's tombstone
Photograph by Barbara Newmark, 2000.

Here's an older photograph for comparison. It appeared in the Jewish Encyclopedia (c. 1903). Clearly the building that is now behind and to the left of his tombstone was built in the last 100 years.

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