3

I know how integral Rashi’s Torah Commentary is in the Askenaz community (in their Yeshivot they begin teaching it pretty much as soon as kids can read). I was wondering if this was also true in the Sephardi & Mizrachi world?

5
  • 2
    Ive always heard Rashi being taken very seriously in the Sepharadi world. But I would describe it kind of like the reverence toward the Rambam. Most Sepharadim don't follow the Rambam directly but he is given the respect as if he is correct in all matters. So in that vein no one disregards Rashi, the respect is given, but when push comes to shove another commentators opinion can override Rashi without much of a fuss
    – Aaron
    Feb 18 at 17:07
  • Whereas I feel like Ashkenazim are much more hesitant to deviate from Rashi's or accept an opinion that runs counter to Rashi.
    – Aaron
    Feb 18 at 22:46
  • @Aaron "Whereas I feel like Ashkenazim are much more hesitant to deviate from Rashi's or accept an opinion that runs counter to Rashi." That just isn't true. There are many mefarshim on the Torah, and Rashi is perhaps the best and easiest to use. But the other mefarshim constantly disagree with him and no one has any problem with it, Ashkenazi or Sefard or whatever.
    – MichoelR
    Feb 20 at 1:12
  • @Aaron That isn't true at all. There are even other Ashkenazi meforshim who disagree with Rashi.
    – ezra
    Feb 20 at 1:25
  • I am not trying to say that Ashkenazi commentators do not disagree with Rashi. Even Rashis grandson disagrees with Rashi. But in a very orthodox setting most lay Ashkenazim that I've seen do not feel so comfortable straying away from Rashi.
    – Aaron
    Feb 21 at 5:44

3 Answers 3

6

It is true in the Sephardi world too. So for example, the Ramban writes in the introduction to his commentary on Chumash

I will place as an illumination before me The lights of the pure candelabrum, The commentaries of our Rabbi Shlomo [Rashi], A crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, Adorned in his ways, In Scripture, Mishnah and Gemara. The right of the first-born is his.

The primary commentary on Rashi was written by Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi, who was of Sephardic heritage.

In addition, the Shulchan Aruch rules that one can use Rashi instead of Targum Onkelos to review the weekly parsha. No other commentary has that status.

4
  • No other commentary has the status of being mentioned for that purpose in Shulchan Aruch, but surely most straight semi-pshat running commentaries are equally valid halachically. That's just the example commentary of the Tur (who was born in Ashkenaz) which the Spanish born Shulchan Aruch hedges against actually following, so not such a great proof.
    – Double AA
    Feb 20 at 0:15
  • This list many "classical" Spanish names, but the question seemed more interested in the contemporary practice.
    – Double AA
    Feb 20 at 0:15
  • I will look for the source but the Rambam says that he wanted to write a commentary on the Gemara but "the Frenchie beat me" Mar 14 at 14:22
  • I've seen the supposed quote. He said הצרפתי, which has no negative connotations. I doubt he actually said that though.
    – N.T.
    Mar 15 at 8:36
3

I'm pretty sure Rashi is respected equally by both Sephardim and Ashkenazim. I can't imagine anyone Orthodox learning Torah without Rashi.

3
  • 1
    Were there no Orthodox Jews prior to the eleventh century?
    – Alex
    Feb 18 at 21:46
  • Note also that most of what Rashi said is from the Talmud and the midrashim. Feb 18 at 22:04
  • 1
    Rashi’s commentary is certainly the most popular/widespread. But it seems like quite a leap to being unable to imagine anyone Orthodox learning Torah without Rashi.
    – Alex
    Feb 19 at 23:31
3

Rashi's commentary on the Torah and also on the Talmud is pretty much universally studied by all Jewish communities; even Yemenite communities printed Rashi in their Chumashim as you can see in this example here. Most of what Rashi says isn't his own idea anyway but rather quotations from various Midrashim familiar by all Jewish people regardless of location. By the way, before the age of enlightenment and the rise of the Reform Movement in Germany there was no such thing as the label "Orthodox". If you were a Jew, you were a Jew, and you either observed more or observed less.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .