One key facet of Nicholas's work that made it exceptional was his thorough knowledge and admiring use of Jewish exposition of the Scriptures, and in particular his reliance on the work of Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac
(Rashi), the celebrated eleventh-century Jewish teacher from Troves.
I am indebted to the learned NRA director David Caplan for translating the view of Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac
, the great 11th century "Father of Commentators" on Jewish law: "The sword does not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword does not bear sin." Likewise, Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger wrote, "A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand." Boccaccio said that knowledge is neither good nor evil but takes its character from how it is used: "In like manner, weapons defend the lives of those who wish to live peacefully, and they also, on many occasions, kill men, not because of any wickedness inherent in them but because those who wield them do so in an evil way."