The special word method deals with the
few dozen special connective words that exist in all languages.
Familiar examples are also, when, that, if, then, all, because, only,
this,.... These words are typically
Rashi's job, when he comments on a special connective
words, is to enumeratively list the nuances and usages of the word.
- adverbs such as all,also
- connective words, such as either
- conjunctions such as if, then, because
- articles or demonstrative or abstract pronouns such as the, this, that
- propositional connectives such as in,on,to,from.
The most famous example of the special word method is the Hebrew word Kaph Yud
which can mean because, that, when, lest,perhaps, rather, if.
Sometimes Rashi explicitly gives all meanings of a connective
word as happens with Kaph Yud while at other times
Rashi does not give all meanings at once. In such a case the
Rashi student must gather all the meanings together from various
One can classify the special word method as either a meaning
sub-method or grammar sub-method.
Today we deal with the Hebrew special word
which can have any of the following meanings.
- No exception,
Moses said 'Who is to God [should come] to me;
and all Levites [without exception] came;
- Even borderline cases,
I, God, will smite all
firstborn, [even non-Egyption first born who were in Egypt]
salt the whole of offerings [that is, all organs]
- All subgroups,
all [categories of] Temple Vessels
shall be made of copper. [So Temple vessels
refer to e.g. the Candellabrah, the Altars and the Temple
Table while All Temple Vessels refer to e.g.
hammars and other utensils used in construction of the Temple
but not part of the Temple.]
As is our practice we have embedded the Rashi translation in the verse.
Advanced Rashi: For further examples of Rashis on the Hebrew word Caph-Lamed
Better still visit the RashiYomi calendar at
and click on the All series which you can find beginning July 10 2000 and ending July 30 2000.