The climax principle asserts that a sequence of similar phrases
should be interpreted climactically even if the words
and grammatical constructs used do not directly suggest this. That is
the fact of the sequence justifies
reading into the Biblical text
a climactic interpretation
even if no other textual source justifies it. For this reason we consider
the climax method a distinct and separate method.
the punishment of women for eating from the forbidden fruit
is written in a climactic manner as shown. For convenience
we have inserted the Rashi comments clarifying the nature of the climax
I will increase your pain
the pain of raising children (Which already existed in Paradise)
and your pregnancy ordeal
the pain of going through pregnancy
in pain will you give birth
the pain of labor.
As can be seen Rashi takes the 3 phrases to correspond to three pains/ordeals
unique to women. Rashi lists the pain of raising children first since that is the
weakest of the pains and already existed in paradise. Rashi next mentions the pain
of pregnancy since that is more intense. Finally Rashi concludes with the pain of
labor since that is the most intense. As can be seen the list of pains is climactic.
Today we ask the database query:
Which created items did God bless and which did he not bless?
The query uncovers
half a dozen
An examination of these
examples justifies the Rashi assertion that
God blessed those items which were vulnerable to extinction
for example, animals and humans. However items which were
not vulnerable were not blessed: Stars, which are indestructible, received no blessing,
plants received no blessing (since they reproduce anyway)
and beasts which are not hunted were also not blessed.
The table below presents results of the query
along with illustrations of Rashi's comment.
||Was it blessed?
||Is it vulnerable?
|| No - Stars are indestructible
|| Plants germinate in all environments
|| Animals are hunted; beasts are not hunted
|| Animals are hunted - hence they need blessing
|| Humans are vulnerable to nature and animals