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.