RABBI SHLOMO BEN ITZCHAK (RaSHI) of Troyes, France ranks among the most influential of medieval Jewish philosophers, frequently quoted today for his concise and erudite Biblical and Talmudic commentaries. No serious study of the Torah or Talmud is considered complete without Rashi's perspective.

Born in 1040, his life and work made northern France a significant center of rabbinical scholarship during the 10th and 11th centuries. Rashi received his early education from his father, Rabbi Itzchak (Issac), and later, it is thought, he attended the yeshiva in Worms under the disciples of the renowned Rabbi Gershom Ben-Judah. From Worms he went to the yeshiva in Mainz, and at about the age of twenty-five he returned to Troyes where he founded his own yeshiva. Rashi died in 1105.

The town of Speyer (south of Worms) provides the derivation of the family surname Shalita. The original surname was De Spera meaning "from Speyer".

Based on present evidence, it appears that most living members of the Braverman, Charny, Geselowitz, Gordon, Kriss and Shalita families in our database are direct descendants of Rashi. See Rabbi Benjamin Shalita (born circa 1828) in the genealogy database for the link to present generations. Our calculation is that those born after 1980 are approximately the 34th generation from Rashi spanning over 950 years of world history.

See the extended tree link for a speculative unbroken family line back to King David. This lineage becomes significant if the blood line theory of the Holy Grail, now popularized by The Da Vinci Code, might provide the motive for the Rashi - Godfroi de Bouillon partnership discussed later.