Rashi by Elie Wiesel , Hardcover. This deeply personal book looks at the life and work of RashiRabbi Shlomo Yitzchakiwhose phrase-by-phrase explication of the oral law has been included in every printing of the Talmud since the fifteenth century. Both beginners and advanced students of the Bible rely on Rashi's groundbreaking commentary for simple text explanations and midrashic interpretations.
Jewish Encounters: Rashi by Elie Wiesel (2009, Hardcover)
His perspective, encompassing both the mundane and the profound, is timeless, and Wiesel, a descendant of Rashi, proves an incomparable guide who enables us to appreciate both the lucidity of Rashi's writings and the milieu in which they were formed. Wiesel brilliantly evokes the world of medieval European Jewrya world of towering scholars and closed communities ravaged by outbursts of anti-Semitism and decimated by the Crusades.
The incomparable scholar who set the standard for all subsequent biblical and Talmudic commentary was also a spiritual and religious leader: Wiesel's Rashi is a heartbroken witness to the suffering of his people, and through his responses to great religious questions of the day we see still another side of this greatest of all interpreters of the sacred writings.
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.
Rashi by Elie Wiesel
Yet not all his questions get answered. Like Rashi, Wiesel admits that there are things he doesn't know. There are only four chapters, less than 80 pages of text. The first chapter, titled "Impressions," recounts Rashi's life and places him in a community, country, and historical setting. Legends abound, and Wiesel is careful to label them as such.
Considering his own history, Wiesel can be forgiven for focusing so heavily on the adversities that Jews of Rashi's time suffered, yet he admits that "in the eleventh century … Jews in Europe and in the Holy Land lived in relative safety. In fact, Rashi lived at the beginning of what is known as the Twelfth-Century Renaissance. Some say that Rashi allows us to swim in the sea of Talmud, but Wiesel eloquently writes, "Without him, I would have gone astray more than once in the gigantic labyrinth that is the Babylonian Talmud. And since Judaism as we know it is based on the Talmud —how we celebrate our holidays, observe our life-cycle events, prepare our food, run our businesses, how we relate to our Creator - if Rashi hasn't given us the ability to understand Talmud, Judaism today would either not exist or be a very different religion.
May 09, [Name Redacted] rated it really liked it Shelves: If you're seeking historiography, you're unlikely to find much of use here -- rather, it is a combination of hagiography and reflection on intimate human connections to the great scholars and teachers and artists who make the world in which we find ourselves born. Aug 17, Hermien rated it really liked it Shelves: I became interested in Rashi after reading the beautiful trilogy about Rashi's daughters written by Maggie Anton.
Well worth checking out. Dec 05, Dennis Fischman rated it liked it Shelves: How do Jews respond to devastating violence against them? How is it possible to keep faith with the ancestors in an age of skepticism? And, how does a student acknowledge his teacher? I found them a little too cryptic and a little disconnected one from the next. Nov 26, Augusto Pinochet rated it it was amazing. I recommend this book both to people who are merely curious, as well as those who are well versed in Rashi and to whom most of the information is not new.
For the latter group, while the information may not be new, it is worth it to read a great author write about his personal connection to another great author. It should be noted that in addition to being an accomplished author, Elie Wiesel has remained throughout his life a student of the Talmud. This in itself makes eminently more qualified to I recommend this book both to people who are merely curious, as well as those who are well versed in Rashi and to whom most of the information is not new.
This in itself makes eminently more qualified to discuss the subject of Rashi, who if nothing else, was simply a commentator on the Talmud and Torah.
For those who are not well-educated in the subject, it is still a pleasure to read Elie Wiesel. He humanizes Rashi in a way that will attract those who don't already venerate him as a scholar. In the Jewish Religion, the commentators are incredibly important, and the study of the commentaries go part and parcel with the study of the original text.
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Unfortunately, it is hard to find any discussion of the commentary or commentators that is not a too simplified or b too academic. This book by Elie Wiesel is perhaps the most readable book related to the subject of Torah commentary. Jun 13, Dana rated it it was ok. In this book, Elie Wiesel tells the story of Rashi, the most renowned Jewish commentator of the Jewish scriptures, and Talmud.
Rashi, Shlomo Yitzhaki, lived in France in the 11th century and to this day, his commentary is used and respected. Wiesel tells a bit about France in the 11th century and how Jewish people were treated then and about the Crusades and their devastation on the Jewish people. Mostly, he speaks about Rashi being a genius, and he tells what is known about Rashi's life, howeve In this book, Elie Wiesel tells the story of Rashi, the most renowned Jewish commentator of the Jewish scriptures, and Talmud.
Mostly, he speaks about Rashi being a genius, and he tells what is known about Rashi's life, however, in many respects, not a lot is known about his life so there is not a whole lot to tell. Wiesel shares some of Rashi's commentary on the Torah and gives his own view of Rashi's statements. I am reading The Stone Edition Chumash, which includes Rashi's commentary so I have already read much of the commentary that Wiesel included in this book. It is an interesting little book, but I think I was expecting a bit more from it.
Jul 16, Mabel rated it it was amazing Shelves: After reading Night, it would be difficult to hold another book by Elie Wiesel and not compare it. Rashi is another beautifully written book by Elie Wiesel that talks about hardships and troubles that many Jewish people faced and Rashi. Rashi is a known scholar who was a known leader, both religiously and spiritually and his interpretations of different ideas have been used over and over by many.
I think after reading a powerful book like Night, it's hard for me to think of another book by Wiesel After reading Night, it would be difficult to hold another book by Elie Wiesel and not compare it. I think after reading a powerful book like Night, it's hard for me to think of another book by Wiesel as highly as I do of Night. Although that's how I feel, I think this book is certainly a different reading and it is very well written. Jul 30, Michelle Jones rated it really liked it. This small little book was a joy to read and deeply frustrating at the same time.
A joy because Rashi the person and his influence on Judaism are so fascinating and rewarding to read about. Frustrating because the book really just barely scratches the service on Rashi and his contributions to Jewish scholarship. Oct 15, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: Beautiful introduction to the writings of Rashi and Rashi as a person. Wiesel speaks of Rashi as a student talks of their most beloved teachers.
The admiration and love is palpable. While many readers who are already familiar with Rashi will be able to skip over some of the middle of the book, where Wiesel reviews some of the rabbi's most famous teachings, the poetic writing with nonetheless make this a pleasant and quick read.
Jewish Encounters Series
Oct 21, Brian rated it did not like it Shelves: This book isn't that long, so I won't be writing one of my usual thousand-word reviews of it. I'll just say that I knew very little about Rashi before reading this book, and not all that much more after reading it. There's an entire chapter devoted to the events that may or may not have happened in Rashi's life. We don't know his birthdate. We don't know how many children he had--probably three, but maybe four, and maybe the third daughter is a later error. How did he earn a living?
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Was he a win This book isn't that long, so I won't be writing one of my usual thousand-word reviews of it. Was he a winemaker, as a tradition has it, or something else? So, having learned very little about Rashi's life, what about his Biblical commentary that's so famous? There's a lot of statements but not much attempt to actually elucidate why Rashi thought that way. For example, as near as I can tell, he thinks the patriarchs are blameless and twists and mistranslates the story of Jacob and Esau in order to present a version where Jacob never has to lie to his father and isn't trying to steal a birthright that isn't his, but is instead claiming his rightful due since Esau is a monster in human skin.
Also, Ishmael spent his free time practicing archery by shooting at Isaac. I have no idea where Rashi came up with this--presumably it's based on some quirk of the Hebrew or some other passage elsewhere in the Tanakh--but Rashi 's vagueness makes it seem like he just wrote these interpretations because he hated Christianity, couldn't overtly say so for obvious reasons, and used Esau as a stand-in for the various difficulties Jews have faced during their history.
But it's not just Esau. Avoid series that cross authors, unless the authors were or became aware of the series identification eg. Also avoid publisher series, unless the publisher has a true monopoly over the "works" in question. So, the Dummies guides are a series of works.
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Sarna Jewish Wisdom: Series description Jewish Encounters is a collaboration between Schocken and Nextbook, a project devoted to the promotion of Jewish literature, culture, and ideas. Related publisher series Jewish Encounters. Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year. Sophie Brody Award Short List.