CHAPTER IX
WORKS COMPOSED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF RASHI

After having passed in review the works which are the result of Rashi's own labor and which have come down to us in the shape in which they emerged from his hands, or nearly so, several works remain to be described that present a double character; they did not spring directly from Rashi's pen, but were written by his pupils under his guidance, or, at least, as the result of his inspiration and influence. They have reached us in altered form, amplified, and sometimes improved, sometimes spoiled by various authors. The confusion reigning in these works has contributed toward an inexact appreciation of their function. From the first they were meant to be compilations, collections of rules, rather than works having a specified object.

To point out the fact once again, Rashi's pupils became his collaborators; and, it must be added, they established a veritable cult of their master. They neglected nothing concerning him; they carefully noted and piously recorded his slightest deed and gesture, on what day they had seen him, under what circumstances, how he felt that day, and how he conducted himself at the table. When a case similar to some previous one arose, they contented themselves with referring to the former and reproducing the discussion to which it had given rise.

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