The Formatting rule includes the methods of writing consecutive paragraph or
sentences. Just as a paragraph is a collection of sentences unified by a topic sentence
and developed by supporting sentences, so too, a chapter very often has a theme that is
developed by a skillfully sequenced set of paragraphs. Rashi new of 3 methods of writing
The above three principles indicate methods for paragraph development into chapters as
well as method for sentence development into paragraphs.
- Cause-effect: The second paragraph is the effect of the first paragraph.
The first paragraph is the cause of the second paragraph.
- Contrast: The two paragraphs illustrate contrasting sides of a theem.
- Unified theme: The two or more paragraphs illustrate a common theme.
For example a common theme may be illustrated by a sequence of paragraphs each of which
exemplifies and illustrates the theme idea.
We formerly classified paragraph and chapter development under the grammar rule.
However we think it more proper to devote the grammar rule to the relation between
meaning and form, for example how verb conjugational forms indicates meaning. As indicated
above the formatting rule governs use of sequence to indicate climax and
explains the sequence in two paragraphs/sentences
indicating a cause-effect relationship. For purposes of expositional clarity
we have reversed the sequence of sentence halves.
- Cause: You are not going into the land
I am giving the Jews
[as indicated in previous verses you are
dieing as a punishment for your sins by May Merivah]
- Effect: [Therefore]
You may only see the land from afar.
Rashi adds two supplemental explanatory comments:
- For if you don't see it [Israel] now you will never
see it since you are about to die
- I am showing you Israel because I know it is precious
for you and you want to see it
Here Rashi fills in missing causality: Why show
Moses anything if he is about to die? The answer is
because he wanted to see Israel and the Jews settling
We ask the following database query:
How does God command required Torah study?
The reader is encouraged to perform the query using a standard Biblical Konnkordance or search engine.
This database query yields the list below.
The list justifies the following Rashi inference:
Proper Torah study requires a) study (seeing),
b) discussion (hearing), and c) analysis (Place on one's heart.)
The list below presents the results of the database query.
||Text of Verse
||Example of this method
|| Basic Knowledge/Acceptance
|| And it shall come to pass, if you will hear my commandments which I command you this day, ....
|| Comprehensive overview
|| See I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if you hear the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day;
|| Bulleting a comprehensive summary
|| Place on one's heart
|| And he said to them, Place your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to take care to do, all the words of this Torah.
|| Experiencial / Emotional; integrating with one's overall experience
Just to be clear we have identified the three
words see, hear, place heart with a three-prong
approach to learning:
- Hearing seems to indicate basic knowledge and
- Seeing seems to indicate intensive knowledge,
a comprehensive overview
- Place on one's heart seems to indicate
not just knowing a subject, but seeing it intuitively,
being able to justify it, relating to it emotionally
as something necessary, or relating to it experientially
in terms of implementation.
Note that Traditional Yeshivish
learning is frequently hearing, seeing without
an emphasis of in practice or intuitive
justification. The idea is that when someone gets
a rabbinical position post yeshiva they will learn
the ropes and experience. Also,there is no current
emphasis in traditional yeshivas on intuitive justification.
Similar remarks can be made on teaching ethics/moosar/exhortation
which some, but not all, Yeshivoth engage in. According to this
Rashi all these practices - ethics, moosar, exhortation, intuitive
justification, practical experience - should be an intrinsic part of the