Their presence in Rashis on Parshat Tzav Volume 12, Number 13
Rashi is Simple - Volume 35 Number 13
Used in the weekly Rashi-is-Simple and the Daily Rashi.
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Apr 3rd, 2009
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 Lv08-02c discussing the consecration of the priests states Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bull for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; Rashi notes that the underlined words, a bull ... two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; references verses Ex29-01:03 discussing the actual consecration of the priests. Hence the Rashi comment The procedures for consecrating the priests described in Lv08-02 references and complements the procedures for consecrating the priests described in Ex29-01:03. The Ex passage was the order on how to consecrate the priests while the Lv passage describes the actual consecration of the priests.
When Rashi uses the synonym method he does not explain the meaning of a word but rather the distinction between two similar words both of whose meanings we already know.
In our article Peshat and Derash: A New Intuitive and Logical Approach, which can be found on the world-wide-web at http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rashi.pdf we have advocated punchy translations of Biblical verses as a means of presenting Rashi comments. The following translation of verse Gn47-25c:26 embeds the Rashi translation Chabbash means bandaging or a bandage type motion. And Moses brought the sons of Aaron, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and bandaged the turbans upon them; as the Lord commanded Moses.
Note that many translators simply say that Chabash is a form of tieing. By using the synonym method we obtain a greater acuity of translation: Technically, it is a tieing motion but it really is simply a strengthening of an already cohesive whole (such as wounded skin). Such improvements of clarity of translation are frequent when using the synonym method.
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, f) the possessive and g) connective words, 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 today's example Rashi explains rules about word order. Many languages such as English have rules about word order and word proximity. For example the dangling modifier rule encourages words to be near the words they modify as such a word order confuses the reader the least.
Verse Lv06-15a discussing the successor high-priest states And the priest, who is annointed, in his place, of his sons, shall offer it; it is a statute forever to the Lord; it shall be wholly burned. Rashi simply changes the word order removing the dangling phrase modifier. The adjectival phrase of his sons modifies the word priest and hence the verses is clearer if the adjective is near the noun it modifies. This makes the verse clearer. And the priest, of his sons, anointed in his place, shall offer it; it is a statute forever to the Lord; it shall be wholly burned.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi does not indicate why the Biblical text deviates from the dangling modifier rule. It would appear to me that the Biblical construction priest annointed in his place,of his sons deemphasizes a lineage choice of replacement. It is important in the Bible to emphasize that replacement is done first by merit and if there are equally qualified candidates then we use lineage. By deviating from the dangling modifier rule and deemphasizing lineage the Bible reemphasizes that any priest - not just the immediate descendants - can become High Priest.
The table below presents an aligned extract of verses or verselets in Lv02-11:12,Lv06-07:10. Both verses/verselets discuss the prohibition of leaven in the sacrificial procedures. The alignment justifies the Rashi comment that: Leaven is prohibited both in altar consumption and in priestly consumption.
The table below presents presents two contradictory verses. Both verses talk about the consumption of sin offerings. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse says all priests will eat it while the other verse says the priest who offers it will eat it Which is it? Did all priests eat the sin offering, or did only the priest offering the sin offering it. Rashi simply resolves this using the broad-literal method: All priests ate the sin offering provided the priests consuming the sacrifice were qualified to offer the sin offering (That is, they were potential offerers.) In other words, invalid priests could not consume the sin offering.
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. Today's example illustrates this as shown below.
This is a classic general-detail or theme-development form. According to the Rabbi Ishmael style guidelines we interpret the verse as follows: The applicability of the general clause is restricted to the detail clause. In other words the prohibition of eating blood mentioned in the general clause only applies to the blood of birds and beasts. Consequently there is no Biblical prohibition of consuming fish blood.
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 indicates bold, italics, underline by using repetition. In other words if a modern author wanted to emphasize a word they would either underline, bold or italicize it. However when the Biblical author wishes to emphasize a word He repeats it. The effect - whether thru repetition or using underline - is the same. It is only the means of conveying this emphasis that is different.
Advanced Rashi: The repeated verses contain alot of other information which Rashi comments on. My main point here is that Rashi is not simply looking at a single verse - the priest burns the fat on the altar and the breast shall be given to the priests.. - and deriving a requirement of sequence: (1) sacrifices, (2) breast gift. Rather Rashi is commenting on the repeated emphasis in three verses all of which sequence gifts after the performing of the sacrifice. When indicating the comment Rashi simply suffices with mentioning it on one verse and expecting the student / reader to follow up on finding further support.
We ask the following database query: When does the Biblical author use the phrase they did as commanded. The reader is encouraged to perform the query using a standard Biblical Konnkordance or search engine. This database query yields the list below. The list justifies the following Rashi-Midrashic inference: If a person or nation is typically rebellious then the Bible will go out of its way to emphasize when they are compliant. The Bible indicates this by using the phrase they did as commanded. On the other hand if a person or nation is always compliant there is no news in stating that they are compliant! The list below presents the results of the database query.
This week's parshah contains no examples of the spreadsheet and symbolism Rashi method. Visit the RashiYomi website at http://www.Rashiyomi.com and http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule.htm for further details and examples.