Rashi on Israel

Rashi's very first comment on the Torah focuses on the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel.

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The Christian world, on the other hand, saw the Jewish Diaspora as verification that Israel of the spirit had taken the inheritance of Israel of the flesh. So in their exegetical writings of the Middle Ages, Jews sought out refutations of these claims. The failure of Christians to capture the Land of Israel from the Muslims and the failure of Christianity to convert the Muslims were validations of Jewish claims. Their biblical commentaries promised that even in exile, Jews could be comforted knowing that by holding fast to the religion of their ancestors they would some day return to their Land.

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Michael A. Signer

Rabbi Michael A. Signer is a professor in the University of Notre Dame Department of Theology and a senior fellow of the Medieval Institute.