Today Hebrew grammar is well understood and
there are many books on it. Rashi, however, lived
before the age of grammar books. A major Rashi method
is therefore the teaching of basic grammar.
Many students belittle this aspect of Rashi. They erroneously
think that because of modern methods we know more. However Rashi
will frequently focus on rare grammatical points not covered
in conventional textbooks.
There are many classical aspects to grammar whether
in Hebrew or other languages. They include
- The rules for conjugating verbs. These rules govern how you
differentiate person, plurality, tense, mode, gender, mood, and
designation of the objects and indirect objects of the verb. For
example how do you conjugate, in any language, I sang, we will
sing, we wish to sing, she sang it.
- Rules of agreement. For example agreement of subject
and verb, of noun and adjective; whether agreement in gender or plurality.
- Rules of Pronoun reference.
- Rules of word sequence. This is a beautiful topic which is
not always covered in classical grammatical textbooks.
Today we deal with the Biblical rules governing use of an indirect object introduced
by the word for for example for you, for myself.
The basic rule enunciated by Rashi in several places is that For indicates a personal aspect.
We apply the preceding analysis to Ex20-19d.
Don't make with me gold gods and silver gods; [also] don't make for your personal use.
[Rashi: Do not make personal replicas of the Temple angels;
for example, don't make in your synagogues replicas of the golden Keruvim-angels
in God's Temple.]
Advanced Rashi: Rashi's point is that the two verse halves form
an alignment with two
- Don't make idols to worship (even if you still believe in Me and you only use them as intermediaries);
- Also, don't make personal replicas of the Temple angels (such as the Temple Keruvim).