Rashi (Jewish Encounters Series)

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By Elie Wiesel

Part of the Jewish stumble upon series

From Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, comes a mystical booklet that introduces us to the towering determine of Rashi—Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki—the nice biblical and Talmudic commentator of the center a long time.

Wiesel brilliantly conjures up the area of medieval ecu Jewry, a global of profound students and closed groups ravaged via outbursts of anti-Semitism and decimated through the Crusades. The incomparable student Rashi, whose phrase-by-phrase explication of the oral legislation has been integrated in each printing of the Talmud because the 15th century, used to be additionally a non secular and non secular chief: His viewpoint, encompassing either the mundane and the profound, is timeless.

Wiesel’s Rashi is a heartbroken witness to the agony of his humans, and during his responses to significant non secular questions of the day we see nonetheless one other aspect of this maximum of all interpreters of the sacred writings.

Both newbies and complicated scholars of the Bible depend on Rashi’s groundbreaking observation for easy textual content factors and Midrashic interpretations. Wiesel, a descendant of Rashi, proves an incomparable consultant who permits us to understand either the lucidity of Rashi’s writings and the milieu within which they have been shaped.

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A miracle happened: she pressed her abdominal opposed to the wall and the wall curved inward. they are saying the hint of this mysterious incidence can nonetheless be obvious this day: a rounded area of interest within the stones. And nonetheless one other legend: fearing that he will be not able to collect a minyan, a quorum of ten males, for his son’s circumcision, Rabbi Yitzhak, the daddy of the long run Rashi, had the shock and pleasure of welcoming as his final customer, a latecomer, the 1st circumcised Jew in background, the patriarch Abraham, or, in keeping with one other resource, the prophet Elijah. in keeping with different legends, invented through hagiographers, he spoke each current language, mastered the entire sciences, spiritual and secular, and had journeyed to remote lands. He was once stated to have visited the nice poet and philosopher Rabbi Yehuda ha-Levi in Spain and the Duke of Prague in his fort. he's speculated to have hosted Godfrey of Bouillon, who got here to refer to him prior to leaving at the campaign to free up Jerusalem’s holy areas. within the Hasidic literature, he's known as “the holy Rashi” for his titanic oeuvre used to be acknowledged to be encouraged from the Holy Spirit, the Shekhinah: another way, as a trifling human, he might by no means were in a position to accomplish such a lot of issues in such a lot of parts. One Hasidic textual content is going as far as to visualize that Rashi didn't die a ordinary loss of life: that he truly by no means died in any respect yet went as much as heaven alive, immortal just like the prophet Elijah. which might clarify why not anyone is familiar with the place his grave is found. Rabbi Yitzhak Eizik of Ziditchov’s remark: whilst God, blessed be His identify, determined to place an finish to Abraham’s trials on Mount Moriah and to spare the lifetime of his son Isaac, Abraham at first refused to listen to the angel who passed down the celestial command. He gave in just while God promised him that certainly one of Isaac’s descendants will be Shlomo, son of Isaac of Troyes. At that time Abraham had no selection. Rashi was once a precocious scholar, that could be a truth. we all know Rashi studied—for what number years? —with his maternal uncle, Rabbi Shimon bar Yitzhak the traditional, Rabbenu Gershom’s disciple. At eighteen or twenty, he went to Mainz in Germany to check on the yeshiva based by means of the aforementioned Rabbenu Gershom, the place lower than the latter’s authority, numerous nice Sages assisted the scholars. during this means, the younger Rashi had entry to Talmudic manuscripts written by way of the ancients and by means of Rabbenu Gershom himself, an extraordinary privilege. based on one legend, Rashi had the nice fortune and delight of conserving in his palms the Sefer Torah, the holy scrolls, that his instructor used throughout the carrier. a couple of felony judgements are attributed, rightly or wrongly, to Rabbenu Gershom. are well-known: on bigamy and at the repudiation of a spouse opposed to her will. a 3rd forbids commencing one other person’s mail. while Rashi arrived in his yeshiva, Rabbenu Gershom was once now not alive. Rashi studied along with his successors Rabbi Yaakov ben Yakar, whom he favorite and enjoyed greater than somebody on this planet, David ha-Levi, and Yitzhak ben Yehuda. He used to be closest to the 1st, whom he enjoyed for his nice modesty and who first made him conscious of a few infrequent manuscripts of the Talmud and their Midrashic and different commentators with no which it truly is most unlikely to check the Talmud intensive.

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