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The Era of the Rishonim

The Rishonim led the Torah world from 1000-1500 CE, during which time Jewish life underwent enormous changes.
Growth of Jewish communities in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Spanish Jewry produced dazzling Torah scholars, poets who wrote some of the most inspiring sacred pieces of the liturgy, philosophers whose writings remain as classic as when they were written, and grammarians who laid down the basic rules of Hebrew.
Life in Ashkenazic communities was peaceful up until the times of the Crusades, thereby enabling the Jews to develop both in Torah and material wellbeing.