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    6. RASHI METHOD: STYLE
    Rashi examines how rules of style influences inferences between general and detail statements in paragraphs.
    • Example: Every solo example stated by the Bible must be broadly generalized;
    • Theme-Detail: A general principle followed by an example is interpreted restrictively---the general theme statement only applies in the case of the example;
    • Theme-Detail-Theme: A Theme-Detail-Theme unit is interpreted as a paragraph. Consequently the details of the paragraph are generalized so that they are seen as illustrative of the theme.
    This examples applies to Rashis Ex12-27a
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/w35n4.htm
    Brief Summary: DETAIL: Passover WATCH IT. DETAIL: WHEN you come to Israel..,WATCH IT. DETAIL: WHEN your children ask ...RELATE IT. GENERAL: PRAISE BE GOD.

Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in a detail-Theme form. In other words a detailed specific law is stated first followed by a thematic restatement of a broad general nature. Today's example illustrates this as shown below.

    Verse Ex12-21:27 discussing the command by Moses to the Jews to observe the Passover states
  • Detail: Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, Draw out and take a lamb ... And you shall watch this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever.
  • Detail: And it shall come to pass, when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, ... that you shall watch this service
  • Detail: And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say to you, What do you mean by this service? That you shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lordís Passover, ...
  • General: And the people bowed (in appreciation) .

    Rashi sees the detail clause 1) observe this Passover, 2) observe Passover in Israel, 3) answer children's questions as describing attributes of the general clause, the people bowed in appreciation. Rashi states: The people expressed gratitude on three things:
  • (1) The observance of this Passover (That they would be freed from Egyptian tyranny)
  • (2) The entry to Israel and the observance of Passover there
  • (3) The continuation of the nation through children educated on Passover.

Advanced Rashi: Much ink has been spilled on this Rashi. Using the format technique we have made this Rashi extremely simple. The Biblical paragraph has 3 clauses and therefore the concluding statement The people bowed in appreciation refers back to the 3 clauses. Note especially the use of keywords to indicate the various detail subthemes. For example the phrase and it shall come to pass introduces the 2nd and 3rd details. Similarly the first and second paragraph terminate with you shall watch. Consequently I think the proper approach to this Rashi is not conceptual but formatting. Rashi is simply pointing out that there are three details- exodus, Israel and children.


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