Rashi Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
From Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, comes a magical audio book that introduces us to the towering figure of Rashi—Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki—the great biblical and Talmudic commentator of the Middle Ages. 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. The incomparable scholar Rashi, whose phrase-by-phrase explication of the oral law has been included in every printing of the Talmud since the 15th century, was also a spiritual and religious leader: His perspective, encompassing both the mundane and the profound, is timeless.
Wiesel’s Rashi is a heartbroken witness to the suffering of his people, and through his responses to major religious questions of the day we see still another side of this greatest of all interpreters of the sacred writings. Both beginners and advanced students of the Bible rely on Rashi’s groundbreaking commentary for simple text explanations and Midrashic interpretations. 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.
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|Listening Length||2 hours and 21 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 10, 2011|
|Publisher||Gildan Media, LLC|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #234,527 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#913 in Judaism (Audible Books & Originals)
#999 in Jewish Social Studies
#1,105 in Biographies of Religious Figures
Top reviews from the United States
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I read the "Maimonides" book by Sherwin Nuland and "Betraying Spinoza" by Rebecca Goldstein, and thrilled with the quality of material, had high expectations for the "Rashi" book. So much so, that I practically hovered on the doorstep, waiting for the Amazon delivery.
And this is what I got! This!? I tiny book, which is neither a good introduction to the whole topic, nor a treatise on one aspect of it. The book does not have any structure, but consists of free-form musings on the subject of Jewish predicament during the time of Rashi and seemingly random points about his work.
To get this tiny booklet from an accomplished writer, like Mr. Wiesel, was a shock. I kept looking at the back of the book, hoping to find something more.
But, outraged as I am with the flimsiness of Mr. Wiesel's oeuvre, I am also charmed with its emotional impact. The book is a love letter to Rashi and a condolence letter to the Jews that suffered so much and so often. Letters are most effective when brief.
I can hear the wide-eyed boy in
"Sometimes, in my small towm, it seemed to me that Rashi had been sent to earth primarily to help Jewish children overcome loneliness.
And my heart catches in pain for all those Jewish children in pre-war European towns. Which does not have much to do with Rashi but makes me want to know more about him.
So the book is also a tease, in the best sense of the word. Just like Wiesel says,
"...the student should withhold questions that the Teacher might not be able to answer, and then seek a new Teacher."
Since my chief complaint about the book is its brevity, I am giving it 3 stars and closing with a Woody Allen joke,"uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such small portions." "
In this book we get a brief biography of Rashi, a number of examples of his commentary on Genesis and other parts of the bible, and some very interesting examples of Responsa, Rashi's responses to questions sent to him from Jewish communities throughout Europe. These reveal a lot about the gentle character of this famous rabbi.
The book ends with a really interesting description of how the first Crusade impacted Rashi and the Jewish communities in medieval France and Germany. The Crusades, first urged by Pope Urban II in 1095, resulted in the deaths of many Jews caught in the path of these armies. The parallels to the Holocaust in Europe in the 1940's are obvious and painful to consider.
A superbly written book about a very interesting man - highly recommended!