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Eternal Glow Room:

Rashi’s Wish



The last moments of Rashi (an 11th century French sage), on Earth are upon us. He is gathering his strength as he writes his last words.

The princes battling for the inheritance of Duke Godfrey the Hunchback are impatiently awaiting Rashi's verdict. He is ailing, and only you, his faithful students can help!

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A Fateful Verdict

Godfrey the Hunchback, died childless and named his nephew, Godfrey of Bouillon, as his heir and next in line to his Duchy (it included almost all of the modern Netherlands, central and eastern Belgium, Luxemburg, north Germany and east France). This duchy served as a buffer between the kingdom of France and the German lands. This land was so important to the Roman Empire that in 1076 Henry IV, then King of the Romans and future emperor, decided to place it in the hands of his own son.

Where there is a will, there is a fight, and relatives try to take away portions of Godfrey's land: his own aunt Matilda of Tuscany, cousin Count Albert III of Namur, and Count Theoderic of Veluwe. They were joined by Bishop Theoderic of Verdun. Matilda even enlisted support from her close ally Pope Gregory VII! It was Albert however, that claimed the castle of Bouillon itself! Albert even secretly repaired the Mirwart castle to wage war on Bouillon.

With no legal options, Godfrey half-heartedly turns to a non-Christian legal scholar- Rashi, to help resolve the case justly and fearlessly. 20 years Godfrey's senior and living in Troyes, Rashi almost completed his commentary on the most important legal text of the Jews, the Talmud.  

While occupying the Castle of Bouillon Count Albert took advantage of the area's fields and flocks. If Duke Godfrey protested within a year, can he recover his castle as well as the produce taken from his ancestral land? As the swords of the rivaling armies are raised against one another, and Godfrey's needing the money from the sale of Bouillon produce to finance his Crusades to Jerusalem, Rashi's ruling can change everything. Even as the Duchy changes hands, who can keep the money: Godfrey or Albert?!

Yet Rashi is dying. He is desperately trying to finish his commentary on the Talmudic tractate of Bava Basra. The Babylonian scholars Abaye and Rava argue: If the land is occupied yet is owned by another and it is returned to its rightful owner who protested, can the occupier at least keep the produce he consumed before the owner protested? As Rashi is commenting on these lines, his soul is taken from him. His commentary is dramatically interrupted with words, "Here died Rashi."


Perhaps this can help find the true owner of Godfrey's castle and its produce?

Now it's up to you, Rashi's students to make the fateful decision! Search out and use everything he taught you to deliver the truthful verdict as your teacher would have...       

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