Most people are aware that Hebrew verbs
come from three-letter roots. Each root is
conjugated in the 7 dimensions of
person, gender,plurality, tense, activity,
modality, and direct-object. For example
the root Shin Mem Resh means to watch.
The conjugations Shin-Mem-Resh-Tauv-Yud
and Nun-Shin-Mem-Resh-Nun-Vav mean
I watched and we were watched respectively.
The rules for Hebrew grammar are carefully described
in many modern books and are well known. Rashi will sometimes comment when a verse is using a rare conjugation
of an odd grammatical form.
When presenting grammatical Rashis my favorite
reference is the appendix in volume 5 of the Ibn Shoshan
dictionary. This very short appendix lists most
A simple recurring gramatical problem is a description
of the distinct meanings of a
Biblical root in the different grammatical modes. Today we study
the Hebrew root Mem-Tzade-Aleph. In the active mode (Qal) this
root means to find. However, in the causative mode (Hifil) this
root means to present. The explanation of the connection between
find-present is simple: To present something is to cause
that person to find it.
A punchy way of learning some Rashis is to embed the Rashi comment in
the translation of the verse. Verse Lv09-12a states
And he slew the burnt offering; and the sons of Aaron presented to him the blood, which he sprinkled around upon the altar.
The underlined word presented neatly
embeds the Rashi comment in the translation of the verse.