#######################################################
#       12 YEAR Ayelet DAILY-RASHI-YOMI CYCLE         #
#                    Jan 21, 2009                     #
#                    YEAR 10 of 12                     #
#                                                     #
#           VISIT THE RASHI YOMI ARCHIVES             #
#           -----------------------------             #
#         HOME   http://www.RashiYomi.Com             #
# WEEKLY RASHI   http://www.RashiYomi.Com/rule.htm    #
#  DAILY RASHI   http://www.RashiYomi.Com/calendar.htm#
#                                                     #
#  Reprinted with permission from WEEKLY RASHI,       #
#  (c) 1999-2009, RashiYomi Inc., Dr Hendel President #
#   Permission to reprint with this header PROVIDED   #
#          it is not printed for profit               #
#                                                     #
#######################################################
#*#*# (C) RashiYomi Inc. 2009, Dr. Hendel, President #*#*#
    6. RASHI METHOD: STYLE
    Rashi examines how rules of style influences inferences between general and detail statements in paragraphs.
    • Example: Every solo example stated by the Bible must be broadly generalized;
    • Theme-Detail: A general principle followed by an example is interpreted restrictively---the general theme statement only applies in the case of the example;
    • Theme-Detail-Theme: A Theme-Detail-Theme unit is interpreted as a paragraph. Consequently the details of the paragraph are generalized so that they are seen as illustrative of the theme.
    This examples applies to Rashis Nu30-04b
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/w34n3.htm
    Brief Summary: If a GIRL in her FATHER'S HOUSE while a TEENAGER vows...RASHI: FATHER'S HOUSE + TEENAGER = Beginning Puberty.

Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in a Theme-Development form. In other words a broad general idea is stated first followed by the development of this broad general theme in specific details. The Theme-Detail form creates a unified paragraph and consequently the law only applies to the enumerated details but not to other cases. Today's example illustrates this as shown below.

    Verse Nu30-04 states If a woman also vows a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by a bond,
  • while being in her fatherís house
  • while a teenager;

This verse has a General-Detail style as shown by the bulleted structure. The Rabbi Ishmael Style Guidelines interpret a General-Detail verse as speaking literally / restrictively only about the details.

    Hence the Rashi comment The laws at Nu30-04:
  • apply specifically to a Beginning teenager--age 12-12.5: Such a person is both in her father's house and a teenager
  • Minors--children under 12 are not governed by these laws as they are not teenagers
  • Mature teenagers--children over 12.5 are also not governed by these laws since they are no longer in their father's house

Rashi's treatment here of the general-detail style is illuminating. The classical explanation, as expounded by Rabbi Ishmael, of the general-detail style is that it indicates a literal/restrictive interpretation of the details. But if we followed this approach then the laws of the verse cited above would only apply if the person is really and only a teenager with no other attributes, such as mature, applicable. Rashi in this verse goes a step further and indicates that the restrictive interpretation is due to the fact that both the general and detail attributes must simultaneously apply. This teenager must be both in her father's house and a teenager. Hence we exclude the minor who is not yet a teenager and the mature teenager who is technically no longer in her father's house.

Thus Rashi here makes a contribution here to the understanding of the Rabbi Ishmael Theme-Detail laws by pointing out that although there is an emphasis on the details the theme itself must simultaneously be present.

    Advanced Rashi: We make some additional comments on several items:
  • Rashi indicates that the laws of Nu30-04 do not apply to minors or mature teenagers. Needless to say other oath laws (different from those at Nu30-04) do apply.
  • The ages 12 and 12.5 are legal definitions of beginning teenager and mature teenager. They are not derived from the verse but rather Sinaitically defined. To facilitate understanding the Rashi comment we have used looser terms like mature teenager, beginning teenager, beginning puberty.
  • We have translated the Biblical phrases to mean teenager. Several other translations are possible such as young person or apprentice The above analysis would be the same with any such translation. We feel the nuances of the English word teenager best fits the verse here.
  • Rashi additionally brings down some Rabbinic enactments related to the verse: The Rabbis ordained that when an 11 year old makes a vow she is reviewed: If she understands that she made an oath to God we encourage her to keep her oath or seek annulment while if she doesn't yet have this understanding we ignore the oath (no annulment is necessary.)


#*#*#*# (C) RashiYomi Inc., 2009, Dr. Hendel, President #*#*#*#*#