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Avraham Grossman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113898

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113898.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

The Social and Cultural Background of Rashi’s Work

The Social and Cultural Background of Rashi’s Work

(p.3) Chapter One The Social and Cultural Background of Rashi’s Work
(p.iii) Rashi

Avraham Grossman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the social and cultural background of Rashi's work. According to evidence preserved in the literary accounts and archaeological findings, Jews began to settle in what is now France during Roman times, in the first century CE. That settlement continued uninterrupted until Rashi's time. In general, Jews continued to do well in France. Nevertheless, the weakness of the central government and the ascendancy of local fiefdoms meant that their social and political status differed in each of the feudal states that made up eleventh-century France, depending upon the good will of the local rulers. Two developments during the eleventh and twelfth centuries influenced Jewish economic and intellectual life and the internal organization of the Jewish community: the growth of cities and the European intellectual renaissance. The chapter then looks at the Jewish community in Troyes and the Jewish centre in Champagne; the twelfth-century renaissance; and the Jewish–Christian religious polemics.

Keywords:   Rashi, Jews, France, feudal states, Jewish economy, Jewish intellectual life, Jewish community, European intellectual renaissance, Jewish centre, Jewish–Christian religious polemics

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