Shlomo Yitzhaki (Hebrew: רבי שלמה יצחקי), or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi (Hebrew: רש"י, RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki; February 22, 1040 – July 13, 1105), was a medieval French rabbi and long highly esteemed as a major contribution Ashkenazi Jewry gave to Torah study. He is famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). He is considered the "father" of all commentaries that followed on the Talmud (i.e., the Baalei Tosafot) and the Tanakh (i.e., Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Ohr HaChaim, et al.).
Acclaimed for his ability to present the basic meaning of the text in a concise, lucid fashion, Rashi appeals to both learned scholars and beginning students, and his works remain a centerpiece of contemporary Jewish study. His commentary on the Talmud, which covers nearly all of the Babylonian Talmud (a total of 30 tractates), has been included in every edition of the Talmud since its first printing by Daniel Bomberg in the 1520s. His commentary on Tanakh — especially his commentary on the Chumash ("Five Books of Moses") — is an indispensable aid to students of all levels. The latter commentary alone serves as the basis for more than 300 "supercommentaries" which analyze Rashi's choice of language and citations, penned by some of the greatest names in rabbinic literature.
Rashi's surname Yitzhaki derives from his father's name, Yitzhak. The acronym is sometimes also fancifully expanded as Rabban Shel YIsrael (Teacher of Israel), or as Rabbenu SheYichyeh (Our Rabbi, may he live). He may be cited in Hebrew and Aramaic texts as (1) "Shlomo son of Rabbi Yitzhak," (2) "Shlomo son of Yitzhak," (3) "Shlomo Yitzhaki," etc.
Rashi and his family survived the major anti-semitic outbreak when he was 45 years old; many of his teachers who were some of Judaism's greatest Ashkenazi sages and his mentors did not survive. Following the burning of the Yeshovoth in Mainz and Worms by the Crusaders, Rashi started a successful school in Troyes, which lasted for generations (until the second crusade). The Yeshivoth and community Rashi's teachers argued with in Speyer were also burned down during his lifetime.