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An Eternal Commentator

Who remembers someone who passed away 914 years ago? Well, we do. Rashi, the greatest of Torah commentators, passed away 914 years ago today. Multitude of Jews around the world are guided by Rashis' clear and profound commentaries, to comprehend what they are studying. Here is a small example:
In the beginning of this week's Portion, Mas'ei, all 42 journeys of the Israelites in the desert are detailed. A moment before their entrance into the Land, the Torah asks that we should not look forward, but rather backwards, and it recreates the entire journey which lasted 40 years. Rashi explains why this long, detailed listing of the journeys is necessary: "It is like a king whose son was sick, and he took him to a far away place to heal him. When they were on their way back, the father started detailing all their journeys, saying: 'Here we slept, here we were cold, here you had a headache', etc."
That is, according to Rashi, all the stops that the Nation made along the way were in fact part of a journey of healing. Even if we receive bitter medicine along the way, even when we experience difficulties, it is part of a journey that has a purpose and a direction. This is why just before the entrance into Israel, the Nation is asked to look back, in order to be reminded of everything they went through, and also in order to appreciate things and express gratitude. This is true, of course, also for the journeys in our personal lives. When we look at life this way, we get a better perspective.
Today, for example, if we look back, we will discover a wondrous fact about our heritage and about what a person can leave behind: a Torah commentator who passed away 914 years ago, keeps on affecting, moving, challenging and educating millions.


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