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Rashi$
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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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Rashi’s Beit Midrash

Rashi’s Beit Midrash

Chapter:
(p.52) Chapter Three Rashi’s Beit Midrash
Source:
Rashi
Author(s):

Avraham Grossman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113898.003.0003

This chapter examines Rashi's beit midrash. Soon after returning to Troyes, Rashi established a yeshiva there. It began with only a few students, but gradually grew as his fame spread. As word of Rashi's reputation reached distant lands, students came to his yeshiva not only from France, but also from Byzantium, Germany, and the Slavic lands. Several factors contributed to the fame of Rashi's yeshiva and its attractiveness even to scholars from distant parts. These include the growth, albeit gradual, in the Jewish population of Germany and northern France; the ‘twelfth-century renaissance’; France's ascent to pre-eminence in the intellectual life of Christian Europe; the strengthening of the ideal of Torah study within the Judaism of Germany and northern France; and the decline in the political standing of the Jews of Germany. Of all the soubriquets applied to Rashi, ‘the great rabbi (teacher)’ is the one most appropriate to his activity in his beit midrash. He was not content simply to write commentaries whose excellent pedagogical technique would be instructive throughout the ages; he also took pains to prepare students who would follow his path, developing and expanding his methods.

Keywords:   Rashi, beit midrash, yeshiva, Jewish population, twelfth-century renaissance, intellectual life, Torah study, Judaism, Jews, rabbi

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