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.
From the Hardcover edition.
ELIE WIESEL was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The author of more than fifty internationally acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, he was Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University for forty years. Wiesel died in 2016.
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.
"Wiesels contribution to the Jewish Encounters series is an informative gem."
Ray Olson, Booklist