See, there was this Rabbi dude, and his name was Rashi – Rav Shlomo Bar Yitzchak. He passed away 900 years ago on today’s Hebrew date. He was a great, great scholar who was born in France in 1040. His commentary on the Bible and the Talmud are so important that it is almost inconceivable in traditional circles to study either without the Rashi commentary. The thing about his commentaries is that they were noted for their terseness, clarity, and erudition. Certainly when it comes to Talmudic study, Rashi’s commentary makes things significantly more accessible.
Tip of the hat to Bloghead who led me to Yeranen Yaakov who led me to Shofar News. You can read more about Rashi here and here. Oh and wine guy, did you know that Rashi’s regular gig was as a vintner? Where did these people find the time!