Very often Rashi will make an inference from the paragraph structure.
A typical paragraph structures can be parallel or contrastive
with or without bullets. The parallel and contrastive structure
naturally generate Rashi comments. This type of inference also follows from the
Rabbi Ishmael Style rule of inferring from context since the paragraph structure
endows the disparate paragraph sentences with a unified context.
Verses Nu25-01 thru Nu30-17 have the following
- Nu25-01 God commanded Moses to say over as follows:
- Nu25-02 thru Nu29-39 Detailed laws on festival sacrifices
- Nu30-01 Moses told the Jews as commanded him
[that is, concerning festival offerings]
Laws of vows:
- Nu30-02 Moses taught the Tribal Governors to say over as follows:
- Nu30-16 Detailed laws on vows and oaths
- Nu30-17 These are the statutes that God taught Moses (about vows).
The Rashi comment consists of the observation that we have
two paragraphs here: One on sacrifices and one on vows. Rashi
points out that without the terminal Nu30-01 the paragraphs
would be run on and non-parallel creating an impression that Moses was
waiting for a later date to execute God's commands
to teach the Jews about the festival sacrifices.
Advanced Rashi: Rabbi Ishmael is the source of
the Rashi comment. This is the same Rabbi Ishmael who authored
the thirteen Rabbi Ishmael style principles. We see here an
early Taanatic source for approaching serious Biblical exegesis
through both a technical grammatical and broad stylistic approach.
Such a combined approach is one of the hallmarks of this
weekly Rashi digest.