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    6. RASHI METHOD: STYLE
    Rashi examines how rules of style influences inferences between general and detail statements in paragraphs.
    • Example: Every solo example stated by the Bible must be broadly generalized;
    • Theme-Detail: A general principle followed by an example is interpreted restrictively---the general theme statement only applies in the case of the example;
    • Theme-Detail-Theme: A Theme-Detail-Theme unit is interpreted as a paragraph. Consequently the details of the paragraph are generalized so that they are seen as illustrative of the theme.
    This examples applies to Rashis Nu18-29a
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/w33n24.htm
    Brief Summary: GIVE TITHE OF TITHE; like Israelite grain tithe; GIVE TITHE OF TITHE. Rashi: Similarity in requirements of eating (in ritual purity) and fine for violation.09

Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in a Theme-Development-Theme form. In other words a broad general idea is stated first followed by the development of this broad general theme in specific details. The paragraph-like unit is then closed with a repetition of the broad theme. The Theme-Detail-Theme form creates a unified paragraph. The detailed section of this paragraph is therefore seen as an extension of the general theme sentences. Today's example illustrates this as shown immediately below.

    Verses Nu18-26:28 are stated in a Theme-Development-Theme form as shown below:
  • General: Thus speak to the Levites, and say to them, When you take of the people of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall ,offer up an offering of it for the Lord, a tenth part of the tithe
  • Detail: And this your offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.
  • General: Thus you also shall offer an offering to the Lord of all your tithes, which you receive from the people of Israel; and you shall give from it the Lordís gift to Aaron the priest.

Rashi treats the entire set of three verses as one paragraph with a central theme developed by details. The paragraph in essence states The Levites must give priestly gifts from their tithe similar to the Israelite gifts to the priests. Rashi interprets this to mean that the Levite and Israelite gifts are examples of the general category of gifts to the priest. The point here is that the paragraph structure indicates an underlying commonality to all gifts to priests, whether from Israelites or Levites. Since these gifts are all the same they all have the same requirements. They are all treated the same.

These requirements are spelled out in two verses. Verse Nu18-13 states that only people who are ritually pure may eat it; however it can be eaten by anybody - male or female. Verse Lv22-14 states that those non-Priests who accidentally eat holy gifts must pay a 25% fine.


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