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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: 04 August 2021

A Biographical Sketch

A Biographical Sketch

(p.12) Chapter Two A Biographical Sketch
(p.iii) Rashi

Avraham Grossman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter offers a biographical sketch of Rashi. There are numerous folk legends about Rashi's birth, especially the miracles wrought for his mother during her pregnancy, and about his father and his father's journeys outside France and meetings with various sages, including Maimonides. None of these legends is reliably documented, however, and nothing can be gleaned from them about the events of Rashi's life. Ultimately, they reflect the cultural world of Jewish society in the late Middle Ages—a time that saw the composition, in Jewish circles as in Christian, of numerous hagiographical works recounting the miracles performed for holy men. Rashi is renowned throughout the Jewish world not only for his wide-ranging literary productivity but also for his unique character. Five qualities stand out in his warm and radiant personality: humility and natural simplicity, pursuit of truth, concern for human dignity, great confidence in his own abilities, and a sense of mission as a community leader. These qualities are evident in his actions, his relations with other people, his ties to his students, his world-view, his scorn for arrogance, his love of peace, his literary output, and even in his writing style. The chapter then considers Rashi's status and fame.

Keywords:   Rashi, France, Jewish society, holy men, Jewish world, literary productivity, community leader, writing style

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