From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

( רשי ) , formed of the initials of Rabbi Solomon Izchaki or ISAAKI = BEN-ISAAC, the great Talmudic scholar and commentator, founder ot the Germano-French school of Biblical exegesis, and erroneously called Jarchi, was born in 1040 at T'roes, in Champagne, and not at Lunel, in Perpignan. He was the son of a thorough Talmudist, and thus from his youth imbibed an insatiable desire to become master of Rabbinic lore. He was a pupil of B. Isaac ben-Jakar, the greatest pupil of Rabbi Gershom (q.v.). As to the extent of his scholarship, it is a matter of dispute. Basnage terms him one of the most learned of the rabbins, while Jost takes but a low estimate of his scientific and literary attainments. However this may be, he was certainly a master in Israel in the ordinary learning of his people, the Holy Scriptures, and the whole cycle of Talmudic lore. He spent much of his life in wandering from place to place, visiting the different seats of learning in Italy, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, Persia, and Germany, giving lectures and maintaining disputations in the Jewish schools. At Worms they may still show, as they could a few years ago, the chamber where he taught a class of students, and the stone seat hewn in the wall from which he dispensed his instructions. His famous lectures secured for him the distinguished and witty title of Parshandatha ( פרשנדתא ) , I.E. Interpreter Of The Law, Nvhich is the name of one of Haman's sons ( Esther 9:7). Under the title פ תלמוד בבלי , He wrote a commentary on thirty treatises of the Talmud, printed in the editions of that work, and the several books separately in many different editions; they are also published wvith supercommentaries and glossaries: פ פרקי אבות , A Commentary On Aboth (Cracow, 1621, a. o.): פ המשניות , A Commentary On The Mishna, condensed from that on the Talmud (Berlin, 1716): A Commentary on the 100 Chapters of the Bereshith Rabba, סברשית ס מדרש רבה (Venice, 1568): a collection of Halachoth, entitled ס הפרדם (Constant. 1802): penitential hymns, or Selichoth. Besides these, and other works too many to be enumerated, he also wrote on the Old Test., under the general title of Perush Al Esrimz Vacarba , פרוש על עשרים וארבע , which, for the most part, is found in the Rabbinic Bibles. They have also been published in different portions in numerous editions, with and without the text, especially that on the Pentateuch, a good and critical edition of which has been edited by Dr. A. Berliner (Berlin, 1866). Various parts have also been translated into Latin by different authors, but more extensively by B. J. F. Breithaupt, 1710-14 (viz. Pentateuch, 1710; historical books, 1714; Prophets, Job, and Psalms, 1713), who also accompanied the translation with very learned and extensive annotations, besides giving the supercommentaries entitled גור אריה by Lowe (Prague, 1578), and שפתי חכמים by Sabbatai Bass. Rashi, having been long engaged in writing annotations on the Talmud, formed the habit of composing after the manner of that work, in an extremely concise and obscure style, and with the frequent use of its terms and idioms. He condensed as much as possible, and endeavored to give the precise original thought by a natural method of interpretation, by explaining the grammar of the passage, by paraphrasing its meaning, by supplying the wanting members of elliptical forms, and by sometimes rendering a word or expression into the French of that day. At the same time, he did not fail to bring forward the received interpretations of the Talmud and Midrashim, and to point out the support which the Rabbinical Halachoth receive from such passages as he thought available. The rigid brevity of his style, which often leaves the reader in perplexity as to his meaning, has served to call forth a number of supercommentaries on his works by several Jewish authors, which are enumerated in Furst. In his commentaries on the Bible he combines the traditional exposition contained in the Talmud and Midrashim with a simple and liberal explanation of the text, and does not see any inconsistency in putting side by side with the Halachic and Hagadic interpretation his own verbal interpretations, which are sometimes at variance with tradition. Though unacquainted with the labors of the Spanish grammarians and expositors, he incorporates in his commentaries all the lore contained in the cyclopedias of Jewish tradition, as well as the learning of the French expositors, and all are made tributary to the elucidation andl illustration of the Scriptures. Rashi's piety and learning were so great, and his influence upon the Jewish nation by- means of his expositions was so extraordinary, that his comments are almost looked upon as part of the Bible, and his interpretations in the present day are regardedl by the most orthodox Jews as the authoritative import of Holy Writ. Rashi died July 13, 1105. See Fiirst. Bibl. Jud. ii, 78-90; De Rossi, Dizionario Storico ldeli Autori Ebrei (Germ. transi.), p. 125 sq.; Kitto, Cyclop. s.v.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Theolog. Universal-Lexikon, s.v.; Steinschneider, Catalogus Librorum Hebr. in Bibl. Bodleian. col. 2340-2357; Turner, Jewish. Rabbis, p. 17 sq., 69 sq., 110 sq.; Basnage, ltist. des J,/fs (Taylor's transl.), p. 630; Geiger, Jid. Zeitschrif, 1867, p. 150 sq.; id. Parshandatha (Leips. 1855), p. 12, etc.; Zmlnz, in Zeitschriftfuir die Wissenschaft des Jucdenthuzms (Berl. 1822), p. 277, etc.; id. Heisst Rashi Jar-chi? in Jost's Annalen, i, 328 and 385, etc.; Zunz, Zue Geschichte u. Literatur (ibid. 1845), p. 62, etc.; id Literatusrgesch. zur syynagogalen Poesie (ibid. 1865), in 252 sq.; Synagogale Poesie (ibid. 1855), p. 181-183, Kimnchi, Liber Radicum, p. 43 sq. (Berol. 1847, ed. Biesentbal and Lebrecht); Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden (Leips. 1871), 6:70 sq.; Braunschweiger, Gesch. d. Judeln it den Roman. Staaten (Wiirzb. 1865), p. 53 sq.; Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. u. s. Secten, ii, 230 sq.; Dessauer, Gesch. d. Israeliten (Bresl. 1870), p. 311; Adams, Hist. of the Jews (Bost. 1812), i, 256; Etheridge, Introd. to Heb. Literature, p. 282 sq., 406 sq. Ginsburg, Levita's Masoreth ha-Masoreth (Lond. 1867), p. 105; id. Ecclesiastes (ibid. 1861), p. 38 sq.; and Song of Songs (ibid. 1857), p. 40 sq.; Keil, Introd. to the Old Testament (Edinb. 1870), ii, 383 sq.; Bleek, Einleitung in das de Testament (Berl. 1865), p. 100, 103, 105; Diestel, Gesch. d. Alten Testaments (Jena, 1869), p. 196, 199, 339, 522; Levy, Die Exegese bei dentfi'acnzCsischen Israeliten avom 10ten bis 14 ten J'ahrhundt. (Leips. 1873), p. 10 sq.; and the interesting essay in Merx's Archiv fur wissenschiftliche Erfinirschutg des AIten Testamnents, i, 428 sq.; Siegfried, Rashi's Einfluss auf Nicolaus von Lya und Luther in der Auslegung der Genesis (Halle, 1870). (B. P.)

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [2]

A Jewish scholar and exegete, born at Troyes; was an expert in all departments of Jewish lore as contained in both the Scriptures and the Talmud, and indulged much in the favourite Rabbinical allegorical style of interpretation (1040-1105).