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 or
connective words, 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, 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.
you, snake, will crawl, on your belly
eat the Pascal lamb with Matzoh and bitter herbs
Place the Matzoh in the basket
Channah prayed to God
Abraham stood near his guests
Offer the Peace offering after the daily offering.
Applying this rule to the translation of
And the men came after/with the women; as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and ear rings, and rings, and bracelets, all jewels of gold; and every man who offered offered an offering of gold to the Lord.
As is our practice we have embedded the Rashi translation in the verse.
Advanced Rashi: For further examples of Rashis on the Hebrew word Ayin-Lamed
Better still visit the RashiYomi calendar at
and click on the al series which you can find beginning April 24 2001 and ending April 29, 2001.
Note: Either of the translations with, after would work in this verse. Personally
I think (but have not yet checked) that all translations of Al meaning with should
be replaced with after. If fact after is in time as on is in space;
that is the statement B is on A means that A is placed first and B is placed on top spatially;
similarly the statement B is after A means that A takes place first while B temporally takes place afterwards.