The origins of Ashkenazi Jewry are bound up with the rise of Christian Europe. As the kingdoms of the Middle Ages began to take shape, teachers like Rashi gave form to a kingdom of the Torah which the Jews could inhabit while living among their neighbors. But the tranquility of the early years was shattered by the horrors of the First Crudsade, and Ashkenazi Jewry would never be the same again.

Written by Mike Feuer