The closing years of the fifteenth century marked the beginning of a new era. The epoch of the Rishonim, the “Early Commentators” was over. Just as the era of the Mishnah had given way to that of the Talmud, and that of the Talmud had given way to that of the Geonim and Rishonim, so too a new era was now beginning.
In addition, the map of Torah began to shift eastward. Spain, Portugal, and France had disappeared; and Italy and Germany were dimming, but Torah greatness was finding new homes. Poland, Bohemia, and Moravia were coming to the fore in Europe, as were Eretz Yisrael and Turkey in the Middle East. Other countries, too, were proving the eternal validity of the Divine promise that the words of the Torah would never depart from the mouths of Israel. New golden eras were in the making in new lands.
This book tells the story through the lives and accomplishments of those who made it happen. It presents the sages and leaders who taught and shaped the continuing destiny of Israel. The famous names are all here, and so are the lesser known ones. Their ideas, accomplishments, and books are here. And by coming to know them, we come to appreciate better the indestructibility of the nation of Torah.
Following the tradition of its predecessor, The Rishonim, this book has been exhaustively researched and has been years in the making. It includes maps, charts, and indices, among them in index matching authors with their most important works. In addition, it contains an introduction providing a historical perspective on the spread of Jewish settlement and the development of new communities.
For anyone who seeks an understanding of the panorama of Torah’s eternity, this is a book that must be read and consulted as a constant reference.