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Rashi’s Rebellious Grandson – Rashbam

Hosted By: London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS)

For many Jews, Rashi’s Torah commentary is the final world. Curiously, his own grandson and disciple wrote a commentary that challenges Rashi’s readings of the biblical texts on almost every page. Rashbam (Rabbi Samuel ben Meir; c. 1080-c. 1165) was not a religious rebel, but he allowed himself surprising liberty when it came to interpreting the text. In many ways, his approach – taking a fresh look at the peshat, the plain meaning of the text without the traditional Jewish interpretations – is similar to that of modern critical scholars.

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Rashbam read the Torah according to its most literal reading--even in contradiction of Jewish law.


From his day until the present, Rashi has been the most beloved of all medieval teachers.

Who Was Rashi?

The most widely read Jewish Bible commentator, he also wrote a running commentary to the Babylonian Talmud.