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In the book "Rashi and Maimonides" (pg 302), I found the following (paraphrasing):

Another story has it that Rashi sat fasting for 613 days to purify himself for the task of commenting on the Torah. When he completed his work, Moses appeared to him and said "אשריך בני שרק אתה זכית להבין את דברי התורה כי בבאורך כך קבלתי מפי הגבורה" ("you are praiseworthy, my son, that only you merited to understand the Torah, that in your commentary thus I received from the Almighty").

Despite being a relatively academic book, no source is provided for this legend. Where did it come from (or at least, where has it been published previously)?

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    A contrary source might be Mishna B'rura 285:6 (based on the Beit Yosef ad loc., citing the Siddur of Rav Amram Gaon 2:31; cf. M'gilla 3a): כי התרגום יש לו מעלה שניתן בסיני וגם הוא מפרש כל מלה ומלה ופירש"י יש לו מעלה שהוא מפרש את הענין ע"פ מדרשי חז"ל יותר מהתרגום. The Sha'ar HaTziyun adds: דאם לאו הכי ודאי פירוש רש"י עדיף כמו שבארתי בביאור הלכה. – Fred Jan 15 '15 at 5:59
  • @Fred, thanks, though some of the poskim there do discuss Rashi's "ruach hakodesh" – הנער הזה Jan 15 '15 at 6:01
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The source for this is the Chida in Shem HaGedolim letter Shin:7

  • What are the Chida's sources? Did he have traditions or were they based on manuscripts? – Emet v'Shalom Jan 22 '15 at 17:58

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