Looking for Traces of Rashi in Troyes

As the home of Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (better known as Rashi), the great 11th-century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, the French city of Troyes attracts a steady trickle of Jewish tourists. But aside from a monument to Rashi placed there in 1990, and a cemetery, no physical sign of medieval Jewish life remains. Liam Hoare writes:

It is possible to walk in Troyes today in the footsteps of Rashi, as I did when I was shown around the town on a sunny Saturday afternoon. . . . But any physical heritage, any traces of the Troyes of the time of Rashi, were erased by the great fire that ravaged the town in May 1524, when a quarter of the city was reduced to ash and 7,500 people were displaced. . . .

At the time of Rashi, Jews lived in Troyes under the auspices and protection of the counts of Champagne. Their role in the economy of Troyes over time became that of the money lending, although Jews were also involved in trade and commerce, the town being a center for the manufacture of cloth, leather, and wine. But the history of the medieval Jewish community of Troyes comes to an abrupt end with the final expulsion of Jews from France in 1394. Troyes, therefore, has a historical role as a cradle of Jewish thought, but its physical religious heritage today is decidedly Christian.

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Read more at eJewish Philanthropy

More about: History & Ideas, Jewish history, Middle Ages, Rashi, Tourism

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy