Note: I am re-reviewing last weeks Rashi which is similar in flavor
to this weeks Rashi. This Rashi may be a bit technical for some students not
familiar with Hebrew and I advise the such students to skip immediately
to rule #4, Alignment.
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
The following words have the following conjugations and meanings: The first
three examples come from verse Lv13-55 which we translate afterwards:
- HiQCoT is a causative gerund, using a
1-2-Hey form - table 9 in the Ibn Shoshan - and means corner. Hence HiQCoT means
after it was cornered. Radack explains: When you sweep and dust you
typically gather the debris in the corner so it can be easily discarded. Hence
you cause it to be placed in the corner.
- XiLeC is a singular-3rd-person-past conjugation in the intensive (Piel)
mode, following table 1 in the Ibn Shoshan. As explained in rule 2, meaning
above, XiLeC means to yank.
- HiToACH is a passive gerund using a 1-vav-3 form - table
6 in the Ibn Shoshan - and means to cover (in this case to plaster.)
Hence HiToACH means after it was plastered.
- HooCaBayS (Lv13-55a) means it was washed. In other words it has the same
meaning as the passive. It does not have a standard conjugation belonging to any
table. Radack and modern scholars notice similarities with the Hitpael, Hafal
modes but these similarities are not 100%. My opinion is that Rashi did not believe
it was necessary to classify every rare conjugational form. If the form did not
resemble anything then Rashi suffices with discussing its meaning without
classifying its conjugation. In other words, when Rashi compares HooCaBayS,
it was washed,
with HayASotH, it was done, it is only a comparison in passivity in
meaning; it is intended to be a comparison in conjugational form.
Based on the above Rashi translates Lv14-43b as follows (the underlined
words follow the above grammatical points:)
And if the disease comes again, and break out in the house, after he has yanked away the stones, after he has cornered the house, and after it was plastered;
Advanced Rashi: My text of Rashi seems to say that HiQCoT is
passive. But this does not make sense and is not consistent with any known form. It is
not even consistent with the opinion brought down by the Radack that the root of
HiQCoT is Kuph-Tzade-Ayin. Consequently I believe this to be a printing error.
I believe Rashi only commented on HiToACH, XiLeC but that a later scribe inserted
the word HiQCoT. The scribe errored because Rashi brought as an example
HayASoth which resembles HiQCoT in that it begins with a hey. Such
scribal transcription errors occur from time to time in Rashi. Rashi's main point was
contrasting the active form of XiLeTZ - to yank - with the
passive form of HiToACH - to be plastered.