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      8. RASHI METHOD: DATABASES
      BRIEF EXPLANATION:Rashi makes inferences from Database queries. The precise definition of database query has been identified in modern times with the 8 operations of Sequential Query Language (SQL).

      This example applies to Rashis Dt01-23b
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
      Brief Summary: 1) LAQAX and LAQAX ETH means TAKE. 2) LAQAX M means SELECT. RASHI: SELECTION vs TAKING connotes selection of the choicest and finest.

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

Verse Text of verse Connective word used with verb to take Meaning of the verb-connective phrase.
Dt01-23b I selected 12 men.... Mem Selected
Dt08-18 I took the Levites to replace the Jewish firstborn None Took
Dt01-15 I took the heads of your tribes, established and wise people.... Eth Took
Gn40-11 I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharoh's cup.... Eth Took
Jo24-03 I took your father, Abraham from ... Eth Took

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!


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