Their presence in Rashis on Parshat Terumah Volume 12, Number 8
Rashi is Simple - Volume 35 Number 8
Used in the weekly Rashi-is-Simple and the Daily Rashi.
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The goal of this Weekly Rashi Digest is to use the weekly Torah portion to expose students at all levels to the ten major methods of commentary used by Rashi. It is hoped that continual weekly exposure to these ten major methods will enable students of all levels to acquire a familiarity and facility with the major exegetical methods.
the construction of the west side of the Temple
And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
the underlined words,
the construction of the west side of the Temple.
Hence the Rashi comment
There were 6 boards each 1.5 cubits in width.
So they spanned 6 x 1.5 = 9 cubits. The two corner boards
had .5 cubits exposed on each side and 1 cubit corresponding
to the north and south walls as show in the diagram The total
interior was 10 cubits spanned by 8 boards.
When Rashi uses, what we may losely call, the hononym method, Rashi does not explain new meaning but rather shows an underlying unity in disparate meanings. Rashi will frequently do this by showing an underlying unity in the varied meanings of a Biblical root.
In my article Peshat and Derash found on the world wide web at http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rashi.pdf. I advocate enriching the Rashi explanation using a technique of parallel nifty translations in modern English. Today's examples show this.
Applying the above translation to Ex25-07 discussing items used in building the temple we obtain Onyx stones, and stones to be set on the breast garment and the breastplate to fill in the garments In providing this English translation notice that we have used the English idiom set a stone which mirrors the Hebrew filling stones since we fill the setting with the stone.
Most people are aware that Hebrew verbs come from three-letter roots. Each root is conjugated in the 8 dimensions of person, gender,plurality, tense, activity, modality, direct-object, and prepositional connective. For example the root Shin Mem Resh means to watch. The conjugations Shin-Mem-Resh-Tauv-Yud and Nun-Shin-Mem-Resh-Nun-Vav mean I watched and we were watched respectively.
The rules for Hebrew grammar are carefully described in many modern books and are well known. Rashi will sometimes comment when a verse is using a rare conjugation of an odd grammatical form.
When presenting grammatical Rashis my favorite reference is the appendix in volume 5 of the Ibn Shoshan dictionary. This very short appendix lists most conjugations.
Verse Ex26-36c discussing the construction of the temple curtain states And you shall make a curtain for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the craftmanship of an embroiderer. Rashi translates the Biblical word Resh-Vav-Kuph-Mem as coming from the Biblical root Resh-Kuph-Mem which means to embroider. We have conveniently embedded the Rashi translation in the translation of the verse. The closet conjugation rule governing this Biblical word may be found by using table(s) 1 in the Ibn Shoshan dictionary for the Kal mode
Advanced Rashi: The translation is obvious. Rashi explains his point. The verse should not be translated as embroidered craftmanship but rather as the craftmanship of an embroiderer. That is the present tense conjugation of a verb should not be translated as a verb but rather as a noun - it refers to the person who does the act, the embroiderer.
Rashi does not further explain this point. We leave in a mechanistic age: Embroidery is seen as an attribute of a cloth rather than as a creation by an embroiderer. We tend to think of the Temple as being simply ordered by God. But this is not so! In several places we find an emphasis that people properly interpreted and implemented the orders of God. In this Rashi also - the important point (after stating the materials of embroidery) is to emphasize that an expert embroiderer was needed to create the curtain. It was important, no matter how many prophetic orders were given, to also obtain the experience of expertise.
I think this emphasis on the person vs. the created object is especially important in our modern mechanistic age.
The table below presents an aligned extract of verses or verselets in Ex26-03a Both verses/verselets discuss uniting the five curtains. The alignment justifies the Rashi comment that: Each set of five curtains is united by sewing. The two five-curtain sets are united by clasps. We infer the stronger form of unity - by sewing vs. by clasps - because of the alignment which emphasizes the word will be which in Biblical Hebrew always indicates permanance.
The table below presents two contradictory verses / verselets. Both verses speak about national Temple taxes. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse says taxes are voluntary while the other verse states taxes are obligatory. We see the contradiction---which is it? Are taxes voluntary or obligatory? Rashi simply resolves this contradiction using the 2 aspects method: Two Temple taxes are levied: One was half a dollar and obligatory; the other was completely voluntary.
Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in a Theme-Development form. In other words a broad general idea is stated first followed by the development of this broad general theme in specific details. The Theme-Detail form creates a unified paragraph and consequently the law or narrative statement only applies to the enumerated details but not to other cases. Today's example illustrates this as shown below.
Verse Ex27-08a discussing the construction of the altar states Hollow-boarded shall you make it; as it was shown to you in the mount, so shall they make it Rashi explains The wooden boards forming the altar are used to make a skeleton with a hollow inside, not with a filled-in inside. Since this Rashi explains geometric diagrams we classify it a NonVerse Diagrammatic Rashi.
Advanced Rashi: Although Rashi does not go into it we feel that this hollow requirement has symbolic meaning. It means that the altar is only a container and not something filled in and complete. This corresponds to the idea that sacrifices are not an end but are symbolic of proper behavior. Using the construction symbolism we would say Each person's personal altar must be filled in with actions.
The Bible does not give us much information on the symbolism of copper, silver, and gold. It is possible to give various symbolic associations: For example, copper vessels are used with fire while silver,gold vessels are more precious and not used with fire. We may therefore say that copper atones for fiery emotions. Rashi states that Copper atones for brazenness. Perhaps Rashi focuses on the Hebrew root of copper, Nun-Cheth-Shin which is also the root of the word snake, which possibly symbolizes brazenness or similar emotions.
I think it important to emphasize that the symbolic interpretation should be objective. Therefore we are not focusing on lingual coincidences. We are instead focusing on something common to all interpretations: Copper, silver, Gold form a hierarchy of metals. Using this basic idea we symbolically interpret: There are three stages of people: Ordinary, medium and spiritually advanced corresponding to copper, silver, and gold. Thus the copper altar atones for the ordinary people. Such an approach which doesn't emphasize particular traits of ordinary people - such as brazenness - seems the most acceptable; something that can be agreed to by all people. That is all people can agree that at least the Bible is talking about atonment for ordinary people. Then each person can add more detail such as acts of brazenness. The idea of ordinary could be accepted by everybody while the focus and specficitiy on particular emotions, like brazenness, would only be accepted by those people who believe them.
This week's parshah contains no examples of the Database and Formatting Rashi methods. Visit the RashiYomi website at http://www.Rashiyomi.com and http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule.htm for further details and examples.