Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in an example form.
In other words an example of a law is stated rather than the full
general rule. The reader's task is to generalize the example.
The idea that all Biblical laws should be perceived as examples (unless
otherwise indicated) is explicitly stated by Rashi (Pesachim 6.).
This is a rule of style since the rule requires that a text be perceived
as an example rather than interpreted literally. The Rabbi Ishmael style
rules govern the interpretation of style.
Verse Nu21-05:07a discussing Moses reaction to the Jewish
people after they had insulted him, and apologized, states
And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, nor is there any water; and our soul loathes this light bread.
And the Lord sent venomous serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against you; pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people
Rashi commenting on the underlined phrases states:
We see that Moses prayed for the Jewish people after they had
insulted him and asked his forgiveness.
This generalizes as follows: It is proper ethical
behavior to pray for someone who has insulted you and apologized.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi simply says From here we learn
that if someone who has insulted you apologizes you should not be cruel
in forgiveness. But a proper generalization of the cited Biblical
passage says more, as indicated above: If a person who insulted you asks
forgiveness, besides not being cruel, you should also pray for his welfare.
Although the further underlined generalization is not in the Rashi text we
are justified in inserting it since it is consistent with the Biblical text
and the underlying Rashi method of generalization.
Such adding of detail - based on the actual Biblical text and the underlying
Rashi rule - shows the proper approach to understanding Rashi.