Students of Rashi must bear in mind
that Rashi could sometimes use universal
principles applicable in all languages.
This particularly applies to the meaning
The synechdoche principle basically
says that any language can use a good example
to name an entire category. For example, in
- the word honey can mean anything sweet.
- Similarly bread can refer to any food.
- Man can refer to any person (male of female)
- day can refer to the entire 24 hour period
- heart can refer to the entire person
as in e.g., (Ps 43)My heart
yearns for you, God which
really means My entire person
yearns for you God
- The loss of a person can refer to the destruction
of that person (Dt28-22i)
Applying this principle to Dt28-22
which describes the curses that will befall people
if they violate God's laws we would translate
HaShem will smite thee with consumption, and with fever, and with inflammation, and with fiery heat, and with drought, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
The above, is the actual translation used by the Soncino Davka
translation. Although the Hebrew uses the word lost the translation
uses the word perish. Here we see Rashi in action, actively influencing
translation of verses.