Today we ask the database query:
What prepositional connectives are used with the verb to take..
The reader is encouraged to perform the query using a standard Biblical Konnkordance or search engine.
The database query yields the list below.
The list justifies the following Rashi inference:
(1) In Biblical Hebrew the verb to take followed by no connective or by the
connective eth means to take. (2) However the verb to take
followed by the connective Mem means to select.
The list below presents the results of the database query and shows examples
||Text of verse
||Connective word used with verb to take
||Meaning of the verb-connective phrase.
|| I selected 12 men....
|| I took the Levites to replace the Jewish firstborn
|| I took the heads of your tribes, established and wise people....
|| I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharoh's cup....
|| I took your father, Abraham from ...
To recap there are only 14 verses in the entire Bible using the construction EQax...
13 of these verses use the form EQax eth or EQax.... Only one verse
Dt01-23b uses the form EQax M. And on that one verse Rashi translates selected rather than take.
Advanced Rashi:This is a peach of a Rashi amply showing the interaction
between the database method the grammar method, rule #3 and the
alignment method, rule #4.
It also shows the extreme sensitivity of the Talmudic mind to Biblical nuances.
Rashi simple commented on the phrase and I selected from you by stating
Selected from the choicest and finest. It is not immediately clear what
Rashi is focusing on (or if you like, what is bothering Rashi). Some people might
intuit that Rashi is commenting on the two words take from-you. But I have gone
a step further. Rashi is commenting on the intrinsic meaning of the phrase take from
which he translates as a dynamic new concept, select. Rashi then is really commenting
that select vs take connotes taking from the finest and choicest. Thus we see
that the whole Rashi is based on the very find point that take typically uses the
word eth as a connective but Dt01-23 is the only verse where the Hebrew EQax
uses the connective word mem. Thus this deceptively simple-appearing Rashi shows broad
erudition and verse-comparison capabilities similar to our modern computer capacity.
In the very first article I ever wrote I stated
The only way we can insure respect for chazal is by portraying them as they were¨men of vast encyclopedic knowledge, keen analytic insight, subtle ethical awareness, and moving moral motivation. The superiority of talmudic interpretation mu
the flimsy and whimsical caprices of modern interpretation.
Otherwise, even if modern interpreters do not lead the layman astray, his respect for midrashic rabbinics will be minimal.
I still stand by this statement and hope the elaborate study of Dt01-23b in rules #3,#4,#8 gives a glimpse of this basic
attitude on faith in the Talmudic sages.
Praise be Him who chose them and their learning!