Medieval route of Rashi in Champagne – Lhuître

Lhuître – Fresco “Rashi, daughters and disciples”

Lhuître is a small village located in the north of Aube (40km from Troyes, 8km from Ramerupt and 10km from Dampierre).

To this day, Lhuître is listed as one of the towns that was home to a medieval Jewish community in Champagne. After Rashi, the famous commentator on the sacred texts of Judaism, his school spread throughout the county of Champagne from the 12th century onwards. In the thirteenth century, the region was home to as many as 70 scholars who gave their credentials to the Talmud by drawing inspiration from Rashi’s method. No names of Tossafists or members of the Jewish community of Lhuître have survived to this day.

Instead, the artist, Jean-Jacques Jolinon, wanted to depict Rashi, his wife and daughters and his disciples. His wife, whose first name is not known, and his three daughters, Myriam, Yochebed and Rachel, appear in the foreground, a manuscript and musical instruments in hand, in order to show the importance that Rashi gave to the study of women in his time. On the same level, the patron saint of Lhuître, Sainte Tanche, represents another strong female figure in the area. The artist also imagined a hoopoe whispering sacred words in Radhi’s ear. The hoopoe became the symbol of the State of Israel in 2008. This bird, endemic to the Champagne region, was described by Rashi in the biblical verses of Deuteronomy 14, 18 and Leviticus 11, 19.

Filled with symbols, this fresco makes this intangible heritage more alive to the public, who have been associated with its revaluation. Indeed, beyond the tourist and artistic aspect, this achievement includes a strong social component based on the notion of transmission: the locals were included in the artistic creation of the fresco through various workshops and meetings. An original participation to make the general public and school children aware of this history that belongs to them.

Frescoes in Dampierre and Ramerupt are also accessible to the visit for free. More frescoes will soon highlight the history of these towns that hosted Jewish communities during the time of the Counts of Champagne in Aube territory.

The red thread connecting each fresco relates to the symbolism of the book and the writing with the proposal of a commentary by Rashi or his disciples in Hebrew and French. Here the commentary chosen was proposed by Professor and Rabbi Marc-Alain Ouaknin and focuses on the biblical verse of Deuteronomy 14, 12-18.

Each fresco is made on exterior walls accessible from the municipal road. The model of each fresco was entrusted to an artist selected during a Call for Artistic Project in 2021 under the supervision of the Rashi Route Scientific Committee. The frescoes are created by volunteers from the Association des Passeurs de Fresques.

Later on, twenty villages in Aube county will host a set of unique frescoes which will offer visitors and locals a real slowtourism artistic tour. For any turistic information please contact

© Text by CulturistiQ

© Pictures on top: 1 CulturistiQ, 2 Passeurs de Fresques 

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