This example continues rule
Both the Biblical and modern author use the
paragraph as a vehicle for indicating
commonality of theme. Hence if two ideas are in
a paragraph they may be assumed to have a similar
context, (unless explicitly stated otherwise,
for example, if the two ideas are indicated as contrastive.)
The reader will no doubt recognize this formatting rule
as none other than the most intuitive of the Rabbi Ishmael style
rules which orthodox Jews recite every day as part of their daily
prayer: the rule of inference from context. Today's
example illustrates this.
The ten commandments are presented in Ex20
and are repeated in Moses' farewell speach in
Dt05-06:18. The repetition has an unusual
feature: At two commandments we have added a phrase
- Observe the Sabbath ....as God your Lord commanded you
- Honor your Father and Mother...as God your Lord commanded you.
It is natural to inquire what the underlined phrase
as God your Lord commanded you refers to.
We have seen above in rule #1, reference
that the Sabbath laws were given in the Seen Desert
prior to the revelation at Mount Sinai (Ex16-28:30)
However we find no place where God commanded
people to honor one's parents. But we do find a place,
pre-Sinai Marah, where God commanded a statute and ordinance
Rashi therefore assumes that this statue and
ordinance refers to the commandment to honor
one's parents which is qualified with the phrase
as God your Lord commanded you.
The driving force behind Rashi's logic is that
Just as the phrase as God commanded by
the Sabbath commandment refers back to the pre-Sinai
Seen desert, so too, the phrase as God commanded
by the Parent commandment, refers back to the pre-Sinai
Marah. The reason we treat these two phrases the same
is because they occur in the same context / paragraph.
We can also understand this type of paragraph
derivation as an example related to the Talmudic methods
of hekesh or semuchin.