Verse Lv06-02b states
Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the Torah of the elevation-offering:
it is the elevation offering which goes up on its firewood upon the altar all night
unto the morning; and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning thereby.
The word Torah in this verse has 2 specific meanings
- It can mean the Bible, the book of the Torah
- It can mean motifs
We shall explore the consequences of this in a moment. But first we give the
etymology of Torah. Torah comes from the Hebrew Biblical root,
Hey Resh Hey which means to become pregnant. The translation of Torah
as meaning motifs is similar to the English idiom,
embryonic idea which also uses pregnancy as a metaphor for motifs.
That is, we see the analogy, embryo:pregnant::embryonic idea:motifs.
Rashi interprets motifs to refer to universal rules/motifs
that apply universally to all areas of the sacrifices being spoken about.
Hence the Rashi comment:
As can be seen by the underlined words in the above cited verse, all elevation
offerings may have their organs on the firewood upon the altar all night
unto the morning.
To summarize the above, Rashi infers that
the specific remarks in Lv06-02 about elevation offerings apply to all
elevation offerings; we infer this from the opening phrase These are the motifs of the
this opening phrases implies that the cited laws apply universally.
We can also understand why the Bible is called the Torah since its contents
are not full blown guidances but rather axiomatic motifs that guide us throughout life.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi makes further comments on this verse: This teaches
that an invalid offering whose invalidity was not noticed till the organs were placed on
the altar should remain there. It appears that this Rashi comment comes from the
word Torah which means motifs. But this is not the case.
We shall present an alternate derivation of this further Rashi comment in rule 7, Formmating
For the moment we note an important concept about learning Rashi: Rashi may frequently
combine two separate Rashi comments in one Rashi with each Rashi comment
having a separate derivation. Unless the reader is familiar with this
it can be very confusing.
This verse is examined in rules #2,#3,#7 in this issue.
It is best to read them simultaneously before the rest of the digest.