These Rashi comments involve 5 Rashi rules. The reader
can read each rule separately, or, read in the following sequence: Rule #3,
Rule #4, Rule #5, Rule #7, Rule #8. By viewing the Rashi's from many perspectives
we obtain a more wholistic view.
Two familiar functions of grammar in all
languages are pronoun reference and
To appreciate the Rashi comment note the shifting plural and singular
in verses Nu14-22:25
And if you have erred, and not observed
- all these [plural] commandments [plural], which the Lord ...
- Then it shall be, if it [singular] is committed by ignorance ...
- that all the congregation shall offer ... and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord,
for their inadvertent sin [singular];
We see contradictory indications - the sin is simultaneously plural and singular.
We have laid the grammatical foundation for this contradiction here in the grammar
rule. We will resolve the contradiction below in rule #5. In rule #4 we
will further support the contradiction by comparing to other sin offerings.
Rashi's basic approach is that we are talking about a sin offering for one
commandment that is akin to all commandments: that is, the sin of idolatry.