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.
©2009 Elie Wiesel (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp
“Wiesel’s contribution to the Jewish Encounters series is an informative gem.” (Ray Olson, Booklist)
This piece was well written and an important part of the discovery of our sages and their writings. The readers pronunciation of the rabbis names was so abominable that it was difficult for the listener to keep track of what the author had to say. One need not be Jewish or even be familiar with the Hebrew language to pronounce names correctly. Had someone with Hebrew knowledge discussed each name with the narrator, it would be a much more authoritative text. Many singers provide beautiful music with a little help in pronunciation of a foreign language. There is no excuse for this abomination.
I had high expectations for the book, being that Arlie Wiesel wrote it. My expectations met with disappointment.
The book gives such a high level overview of Rashi that it almost teaches nothing. I get from the book that Wiesel--as do many others--find Rashi brilliant. But nothing from the book confirmed this. In fact, I'd only recommend this book to a Rashi scholar who might possibly find a worthwhile nugget of information in it.
I liked the narrator's voice. He spoke in a soothing tone, but his tone made me sleepy. I wish that he would have used his voice to add to the narration if possible--rather than just simply read the book.
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