We have typically explained the style rules as dealing with paragraph formation.
Today we explain a non-standard style rule, the exception style, which is also one
of the Rabbi Ishmael style rules. The exception rule deals with exceptions to rules.
Here is a simple example:
A manufacturer produces electric cars which runs on electriciy instead of gas.
The electric car is an exception to the general case of gas cars. The consumer has to deal with
the following issue.
exception additive or replacive? In other words, has the exception, electrically run
cars, replaced all rules of cars, or, is the exception, electrically run cars, an addition
to all other rules about cars except for gas?
The Rabbi Ishmael style rules explain that
replacive: all former rules of cars have been replaced and do not apply
unless the Biblical text explicitly re-enumerates it.
So for exammple
Electric cars do not require oil checkups and their owners do not require insurance and registration
unless the regulations come and explicitly re-require them.
The following Biblical paragraph, Nu06-14:17: illustrates the exception rule.
- And this is the rule of the Nazirite, ...And he shall offer his offering to the Lord,
- one male lamb of the first year without blemish for an up offering, and
- one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering,
- one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
- a basket of unleavened bread,
- cakes of fine flour mixed with oil,
- wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil,
- and their meal offering,
- and their drink offerings.
- And he shall offer the
- ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord,
- on the basket of unleavened bread; and
- he shall offer its meal offering,
- and its drink offering
In the above passage, the Nazaarite offerings are an exception to general offerings. The reason
they are an exception is because, as the underlined phrase shows, the Nazaarite offering has, in addition
to traditional offerings - such as the up, sin, peace, wafer and cake offerings - also has a matzoh basket
offering. This matzoh basket is an exception to the general offering.
According to the Rabbi Ishmael exception rule this difference between the Nazaarite and other offerings makes the Nazaarite offerings an exception.
Therefore any other rule of offerings does not apply unless the Bible explicitly re-requires it. In particular as indicated by
the underlined passages the meal offerings and libations
associated with all offerings must also be offered at the Nazarite offering.
As can be seen from the underlined passages the emphasis that meal offerings and drink offerings are also
brought is mentioned twice.
Advanced Rashi: We have explained elsewhere that all Rabbi Ishmael rules deal with the interaction
between examples and generalizations. Thus the law prohibiting mu13ling an ox while threshing is, according to
Rabbi Ishmael, not the totality of the rule, but a mere example of a more general rule that any animal should not have their
eating inteferred with while working. Similarly the requirement, for example, to redeem second tithe on steaks, lambchops,
wine and beer is seen, not as the list of things which can be redeeemed, but rather as examples of a more
general rule that second tithe can be redeemed on any products that are derived from land based grown items.
The exception rule also deals with the interaction between examples and generalizations. For example when the Bible
speaks about the Nazaarite offering and the exceptional matzoh basket we have to ask if this is the only exception
or whether other aspects of the traditional sacrifices are also excepted. Thus the example-geenralization issue
is a useful lens by which to study all Rabbi Ishmael rules.