CommentariesType: Commentary

Rashi's Commentary on the Talmud

Sample Text in TranslationSample Text in Translation
Rashi's Commentary is always situated towards the middle of the opened book display; i.e. on the side of the page closest to the binding.

Note that the semi-cursive font in which the commentaries are printed is often referred to as "Rashi script." This does not mean that Rashi himself used such a script, only that the printers standardly employ it for commentaries. And Rashi's were the commentaries par excellence to both the Bible and the Talmud!
The Hebrew Alphabet in 'Rashi Script'


Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (or: Shlomo Yitzhaki) is known by the acronym: RaSh"I.




Troyes, France.


Rashi's Commentary which covers almost the whole of the Babylonian Talmud, has been printed in every version of the Talmud since the first Italian printings.

It deals successfully with all the tasks that confront a commentator. Without sacrificing brevity and clarity, it provides a full and adequate explanation of the words, and of the logical structure of each Talmudic passage. Unlike some other commentaries, Rashi does not paraphrase or exclude any part of the text, but carefully elucidates the whole of the text.

Rashi also exerted a decisive influence on establishing the correct text of the Talmud. He compared different manuscripts and determined which readings should be prefered.

We do not possess Rashi's commentary for every tractate of the Babylonian Talmud, and a few of the printed commentaries attributed to him were composed by others.

In some instances, the text indicates that Rashi died before completing the tractate, and that it was completed by a student. This is true of the tractate Makkot, the concluding portions of which wre composed by his son-in-law Rabbi Judah ben Nathan ("Riva"n"; and of Bava Batra finished (in a much wordier and detailed style) by his grandson, Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (RaShBa"M), one of the prominent contributors to the Tosafot.

It is probably a sign of the success of Rashi's achievement that no subsequent scholar tried to compose another explanatory commentary.

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