Their presence in Rashis on Parshat Ki TiSSaH Volume 12, Number 10
Rashi is Simple - Volume 35 Number 10
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.
Verse Ex30-35:36 discussing the Ketoreth offered in the Temple states And you shall make it a Ketoreth, a confection according to the art of the apothecary, mixed together, pure and holy; And you shall beat some of it very small, and put of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you; it shall be to you most holy. Rashi notes that the underlined words, Ketoreth....put of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you references verses Ex29-07 discussing the offering of Ketoreth on the Golden Altar. Hence the Rashi comment The statement in Ex30-35:36 that Ketoreth should be offered in the Temple where God meets with the people references Ex29-07 requiring offering the Ketoreth on the Golden Altar.
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 Ex31-14c discussing the death penalty for descecration of the Sabbath we obtain Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; every one that profaneth it [treats it like sand/dirt] shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. In providing this English translation notice that we have used the English idiom treats it like dirt which mirrors the Hebrew treats it like sand since sand and dirt resemble each other - in fact sand is inferior to dirt in that plant growth cannot take place in it.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi literally translates descecrates as Treating it like a weekday. The Hebrew word weekday literally means a profaned day and is the opposite of the Sabbath which is a holy day. We in fact could have added weekday to the above list. In Hebrew weekday = sand day = profaned day.
Today, students of the Bible learn grammar from Biblical Hebrew grammar textbooks. These textbooks organize material by topics. Grammatical topics include a) verb mood and conjugation, b) plurality agreement, c) pronoun reference, d) subject-verb-object sequencing, e) sentence structure and type and many other topics.
However in Rashi's time gramamr was just beginning. There were no official grammatical textbooks and tables. One of Rashi's functions was to teach grammar. Rashi did not write a grammar textbook but instead left grammatical explanations appended to each verse.
In the above illustrations we have mirrored the Biblical metaplasmus with a similar underlined English word which is misspelled. This technique was first presented in my article Biblical Puns.
The table below presents an aligned extract of verses or verselets in Ex32-18a Both verses/verselets discuss God losing his temper on the Jews because of the golden calf sin. The alignment justifies the Rashi comment that: Moses asked God: For what end will you lose your temper if the Jews are worshipping idols; the idols can't do anything and sooner or later the Jews will find out (without your losing your temper) that they made a mistake.
The table below presents two contradictory verses / verselets. Both verses speak about God's reward of those who serve him. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse says God rewards to thousands of generations, while the other verse states God rewards to only one thousand generations. We see the contradiction---which is it? Does God reward to thousands or only one thousdand generations. Rashi simply resolves this contradiction using the 2 aspects method: As can be seen from the above verses God rewards and shows mercy (a) To those who love him for thousands of generations (b) To those who only serve Him (from fear) to only 1 thousand generations.
Advanced Rashi: It might seem slightly arbitrary and picky that we emphasize proximity of words in these verses: to thousands of generations to those who love Him and watch his commandments vs. watches the convenant and treaty ....to those who watch his commandments to one thousand generations. Actually it is not the word order that is driving the interpretation of this Rashi. Rather this Rashi comment is driven by the contradiction. Resolution of a contradiction frequently does not even require a verse! Rather the force of the contradiction in and of itself encourages breaking up the applicability of the verses to two cases based on logic. The proximity of thousands vs. thousand to those who love him vs. those who watch his commandments is an afterthought that supports this distinction. It is not the driving force of the Rashi comment. Such a perspective on Rashi makes it more palatable.
Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in a 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 Ex34-25c discussing the time limits for consumption of the Pascal lamb states ...neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning. The Rabbi Ishmael example rule requires generalization of this passage. In this case we simply generalize from of the feast of Passover to any sacrifice: ...neither shall [any] sacrifice [such as] the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
Advanced Rashi: The Rashi Generalization rule is frequently applied to typical situations. For example the punishment of rape victims is presented as a punishment of field-rapes since rapes frequently happen in un-manned areas (Rashi, Dt22-25.) Siimilarly responsibility for animal torts is presented in terms of ox torts since oxen were a frequently owned animal (Rashi, Ex21-35). So too here: Most sacrifices are consumed by morning. However the Passover sacrifice is a typical example of a sacrifice that might not be finished till morning since the Passover sacrifice is consumed by people, not the altar, during a meal with prolonged discussion and much wine which encourages early sleep. So the correct way to look at this Rashi is that Even the Passover sacrifice which might typically be left over till morning should not be left over till morning and certainly other sacrifices where there is no reason to delay altar consumption should not be left over till morning.
We have explained in our article Biblical Formatting located on the world wide web at http://www.Rashiyomi.com/biblicalformatting.pdf, that the Biblical Author indicated bullets by using repeating keywords.
That is, if a modern author wanted to get a point across using bullets - a list of similar but contrastive items - then the Biblical Author would use repeating keywords. Today's verse illustrates this principle.
Advanced Rashi: Just to recap - Moses prayed to God that memories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their sacrifices should be sufficient to prevent God from punishing the Jews with burning, sword and exile.
Those who are use to the traditional way to learn Rashi would explain this Rashi by emphasizing the unnecessary repetition of the word of (the extra Hebrew lameds). The verse could have simply said Have memories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.... Such a formulation would have used only one of. Our contribution to this traditional understanding of Rashi, an understanding based on redundant words and letters, is to interpret the extra words/letters as indicating and creating a bullet like effect. It is the bullet effect, not the redundant words, that requires a distinct emphasis on all enumerated items. The conceptual literature refers to this as a method of intermediate concepts since the redundancy is seen not as the final solution but rather as an intermediate variable which in turn indicates a bullet effect.
Verse Ex30-20b discussing the requirement of the Priests to wash their hands and legs when entering the Temple states when they go into the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to cause an offering made by fire to smoke unto HaShem; Rashi clarifies: The verse says Let them wash when they enter to serve so that they don't die. From this we infer that If they didn't wash when they entered to serve they would be punished with death, since throughout the Torah we infer punishments from preventive verses.
Since this Rashi clarifies a logical inference we classify it as a NonVerse, Logic method.
The symbolism method seeks to extract meaningful inferences from the symbolism of the biblical text. The concept of symbolic interpretation is very involved. A good, compact, clear reference explaining when symbolism can be used and how to apply it may be found in my article Genesis 1 speaks about the creation of prophecy not the world which you can find at http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gen-1.htm. Today we explore the symbolism in Ex30-34 which reads as follows:
Rashi makes symbolic inferences from the use of a bad smelling fatty spice in the sweet incense: This inclusion--of a bad smelling fatty spice in the sweet incense--teaches you that there is a requirement to include the bad smelling spices in the incense. Symbolically this means that every community who wishes to approach God in prayer which is compared to incense, is required to include bad and foul-smelling people.