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Obj. ID: 35341
Jewish printed books
  Perush Rashi al ha-Torah by Shlomo Yitzhak (Rashi), Augsburg, 1534

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Unknown,

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

This book is among the first Hebrew books printed in Augsburg, and perhaps the first book issued from the Augsburg press of Hayyim ben David Shachor (Heller mentions that he began printing in Augsburg with a siddur). It is also the first printed Hebrew book to include illustrations of the zodiac. These signs appear within medallions, on either side of the titles of individual books.
Complete copies of this volume are exceedingly rare. This copy has considerable worming, lacks some leaves, and includes some handwritten replacement pages.
Rashi's commentary on the Tanakh—and especially his commentary on the Chumash—is the essential companion for any study of the Bible at any level. Drawing on the breadth of Midrashic, Talmudic and Aggadic literature (including literature that is no longer extant), as well as his knowledge of grammar, halakhah, and how things work, Rashi clarifies the "simple" meaning of the text so that a bright child of five could understand it. At the same time, his commentary forms the foundation for some of the most profound legal analysis and mystical discourses that came after it. Scholars debate why Rashi chose a particular Midrash to illustrate a point, or why he used certain words and phrases and not others. Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi wrote that "Rashi's commentary on Torah is the 'wine of Torah'. It opens the heart and uncovers one's essential love and fear of G-d." Rashi only completed this commentary in the last years of his life. It was immediately accepted as authoritative by all Jewish communities, Ashkenazi and Sephardi alike.
The first dated Hebrew printed book was Rashi's commentary on the Chumash, printed by Abraham ben Garton in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, 18 February 1475. (This version included only Rashi's commentary, not the text of the Chumash itself.)
The printer, Hayyim b. David Shachor (Schwartz), had printed previously in Prague and Oels, Silesia. He came to Augsburg in 1532/34 and began printing, perhaps with the non-Jewish printer August Wind. Although their names are not mentioned in the Augsburg imprints, it is likely that his son, Isaac, and his son-in-law, Joseph b. Yakar, assisted him at the press.

Summary and Remarks

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Name/Title
Perush Rashi al ha-Torah by Shlomo Yitzhak (Rashi) | Unknown
Object Detail
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Date
1534
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Paper, Ink, Letterpress, Woodcut
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19 cm
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15.5 cm
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3.5 cm
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The following information on this monument will be completed:
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