Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki is usually considered the greatest commentator on Scripture and oral law of all time. Wiesel evokes the world of medieval European Jewry, towering scholars, and closed communities ravaged by outbursts of anti-Semitism, to portray a Rashi who is a heartbroken witness to the suffering of his people. 128 pages, hardcover. Schocken.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
From Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, comes a magical book that introduces us to the towering figure of RashiRabbi Shlomo Yitzchakithe great biblical and Talmudic commentator of the Middle Ages.
Wiesel brilliantly evokes the world of medieval European Jewry, a world of profound scholars and closed communities ravaged by outbursts of anti-Semitism and decimated by the Crusades. The incomparable scholar Rashi, whose phrase-by-phrase explication of the oral law has been included in every printing of the Talmud since the fifteenth century, was also a spiritual and religious leader: His perspective, encompassing both the mundane and the profound, is timeless.
Wiesels Rashi is a heartbroken witness to the suffering of his people, and through his responses to major religious questions of the day we see still another side of this greatest of all interpreters of the sacred writings.
Both beginners and advanced students of the Bible rely on Rashis groundbreaking commentary for simple text explanations and Midrashic interpretations. Wiesel, a descendant of Rashi, proves an incomparable guide who enables us to appreciate both the lucidity of Rashis writings and the milieu in which they were formed.
Elie Wiesel is the author of more than fifty books, including his unforgettable international best-sellers Night and A Beggar in Jerusalem, winner of the Prix Médicis. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, and the French Legion of Honor with the rank of Grand Cross. In 1986, he received the Novel Peace Prize. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University.
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wiesel escorts readers to the 11th century world the Talmudic sage Rashi inhabited, rich in Jewish scholarship and rife with anti-Semitic violence, in this new installment in the Jewish Encounters series. With little concrete information about Rashis life, Wiesel paints an imagined portrait of the scholar, based on legend as well as what is known of Jewish communities in France during medieval timesand, of course, drawing from Rashis tremendous body of work. In a playful but poetic style, Wiesel tosses out many questions, answering them in a manner reminiscent of a grandfather recounting an important tale to progeny. Readers may be most struck, however, by Wiesels tender tone. It is as if Rashi lived in the last century, not the last millennium. For Wiesel, Rashi is not only a direct ancestor but also a first destination, a friend. I love him, he writes. Wiesel also attempts to introduce readers to Rashis commentary. Although these chapters may confuse those unfamiliar with Jewish texts, the book demonstrates the value of seeking a better understanding of this distinguished figure. (Aug.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"Ever since childhood, Rashi has accompanied my with his insights and charm. Ever since my first Bible lessons in the Heder, I have turned to him in order to grasp the meaning of a verse or word that seemed obscure.
"He is my first destination. My first aid. The first friend whose assistance is invaluable to us, not to say indispensable, if weve set our heart on pursuing a thought through unfamiliar subterranean passageways, to its distant origins. A veiled reference from him, like a smile, and everything lights up and becomes clearer.
"Of course, it is the Jewish child in me who thanks him. But Rashis appeal is addressed to everyone. What I mean is this: his passion for delving in a text into order to find a hidden meaning passed on by generations can move, interest, and enrich all those whose life is governed by study."
FROM THE PREFACE
"Wiesels contribution to the Jewish Encounters series is an informative gem."
Ray Olson, Booklist
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