The 10 RashiYomi Rules
Their presence in Rashis on Parshat Mattos Massay
Volume 13, Number 1
Rashi is Simple - Volume 36 Number 1

Used in the weekly Rashi-is-Simple and the Daily Rashi.
Visit the RashiYomi website: http://www.Rashiyomi.com/
(c) RashiYomi Incorporated, Dr. Hendel, President,
July 23 rd, 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.

FULL HOUSE THIS WEEK, ALL RASHI RULES ILLUSTRATED

    1. RASHI METHOD: REFERENCES
    BRIEF EXPLANATION: Commentary on a verse is provided thru a cross-reference to another verse. The cross references can either provide
    • (1a) further details,
    • (1b) confirm citations, or
    • (1c) clarify word meaning.
    This examples applies to Rashis Dt01-01a Dt03-01a
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
    Brief Summary: We traversed Mount Seir [Rashi: Given to Esauv=Edom] many days...God said go NORTHWARD [Rashi: Along the East Border of Edom into Moab]

Verse Ju11-16:18 discussing the travels of the Jews in the wilderness towards the land of Moab states But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I beseech you, pass through your land; but the king of Edom would not listen to it. And in like manner they sent to the king of Moab; but he would not consent; and Israel stayed in Kadesh. Then they went along through the wilderness, and around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and camped on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab; for Arnon was the border of Moab. Rashi notes that the underlined words, around the land of Edom and the land of Moab references verses Dt02-01:08 discussing the travels of the Jews in the wilderness towards the land of Moab Hence the Rashi comment The southern border of Israel from West to East consists of Egypt, Edom, and Moab. The Jews did not go through Moab but traveled eastward on the Southern border of Edom and then at the Eastern side of Edom turned northward. As they journeyed northward along the eastern side of Edom they came to the southern border of Moab as shown in the accompanying diagram.

Text of Target Verse Ju11-16:18 Text of Reference Verse Dt02-01:08
But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I beseech you, pass through your land; but the king of Edom would not listen to it. And in like manner they sent to the king of Moab; but he would not consent; and Israel stayed in Kadesh. Then they went along through the wilderness, and around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and camped on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab; for Arnon was the border of Moab. ....we travelled around Mount Seir=Edom many days. God said to Moses....enough... face northward [Rashi: From the south to the north along the Eastern border of Edom] and command the nation.....Don't incite the Esauvites.....and we passed [Rashi: Northward...] towards the Moab desert [Rashi: Travelling on the northern route on the easter side of Edom we passed into Moab]
Rashi comments: The southern border of Israel from West to East consists of Egypt, Edom, and Moab. The Jews did not go through Moab but traveled eastward on the Southern border of Edom and then at the Eastern side of Edom turned northward. As they journeyed northward along the eastern side of Edom they came to the southern border of Moab as shown in the accompanying diagram.

This Rashi is repeated in rule #9, Spreadsheets. The following diagram and further comments are also presented there.

===========================================================
MAP OF SOUTHERN BORDER OF ISRAEL AND SURROUNDING COUNTRIES
===========================================================

'                |                 |  
'                |  NORTH          |-----     
'                |  ISRAEL         |    |
'                |                 |    | Sichon, Og
'                |W              E |    --------------   
'  Pelishtim     |E              A |    |           |
'                |S              S | J  |           | 
'                |T              T | O  |           |
'                |                 | R  |           |
'                |                 | D  | MOAB      |
'                |   ISRAEL        | A  |           |
'                |   SOUTH         | N  |           |
'                |                 |    |           |
----------------------|-----------------|           |
'                     |                 |           | 
'  Egypt              |  Edom = Seir    |-------------
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |

    Rashi comments on the above map.
  • The southern border of Israel is from East to West, part of Moab, all of Edom and part of Egypt.
  • Dt02-05 explicitly states that Esauv inherited Mount Seir; and Gn25-30 explicitly identifies Edom with Esauv; Furthermore Gn25-25 identifies Seir which means hair with Esauv who was hairy.

      2. RASHI METHOD: WORD MEANING
      BRIEF EXPLANATION: The meaning of words can be explained either by
      • (2a) translating an idiom, a group of words whose collective meaning transcends the meaning of its individual component words,
      • (2b) explaining the nuances and commonality of synonyms-homographs,
      • (2c) describing the usages of connective words like also,because,if-then, when,
      • (2d) indicating how grammatical conjugation can change word meaning
      • (2e) changing word meaning using the figures of speech common to all languages such as irony and oxymorons.
      This examples applies to Rashis Dt01-12d
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm Brief Summary: TORACH=troubles; MASAH=business disputes; RIV=fights;

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.

    The following Hebrew words all refer to hostile interactions between two people.
  • Tet-Resh-Cheth, Torach, harassments;
  • Nun-Sin-Aleph; Masah business disputes, [ in Talmudic Hebrew, Masah-OMatan means business; ]
  • Resh-Yud-Beth, Riv fights

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 Dt01-13d embeds the Rashi translation Riv means fights. How can I bear by myself your harassments, (business) disputes and fights. [Rashi: The use of the words fights shows that, besides (legitimate) business disputes, the Jews were paranoic and (physically) fought.]

Advanced Rashi: We could have also justified this Rashi by using the database method and reviewing all verses where the root Riv occurs. A sample verse might be Gn13-07 ....there was a fight between the shepards of Abrahams flock and the shepards of Lots flock. Such verses show that Riv does not just mean dispute but more precisely means fights.

Another alternative for explaining this Rashi would be to use the Format-Climax method since the progression, Torach-Masah-Riv suggests that the last item, Riv is the most serious.

      3. RASHI METHOD: GRAMMAR
      BRIEF EXPLANATION: Rashi explains verses using grammar principles, that is, rules which relate reproducable word form to word meaning. Grammatical rules neatly fall into 3 categories
      • (a) the rules governing conjugation of individual words,Biblical roots,
      • (b) the rules governing collections of words,clauses, sentences
      • (c) miscellaneous grammatical, or form-meaning, rules.
      This examples applies to Rashis Dt01-23b
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
      Brief Summary: a) Kuph-Cheth and Kuph-Cheth Eth means TAKE. b) Kuph-Cheth M means SELECT. Hence Rashi translates I SELECTED 12 MEN...

Today's example presented in rules #3,4,8 is a peach of an example studying the derivation of new grammar principle of Biblical meaning. I always laught at those who contend that Hebrew grammar is well understood and that Rashi, although advanced for his time, is no longer needed as he has been replaced by modern grammatical methods.

This is rediculous. Biblical grammar is not well understood. The Bible is more like a forest through which we trek, joyous when by coincidence we hit a clear path. In fact the Masorites were aware of advanced database theory and most Masoretic comments are nothing more than the outputs of SQL theories. Had Masoretic approaches been studied when they were first developed we could have advanced our civilization over 1000 years!

Today only basic Hebrew grammar is well understood and there are many books on it. Rashi, however, lived before the age of grammar books. A major Rashi method is therefore the teaching of basic grammar.

Many students belittle this aspect of Rashi. They erroneously think that because of modern methods we know more. However Rashi will frequently focus on rare grammatical points not covered in conventional textbooks.

    There are many classical aspects to grammar whether in Hebrew or other languages. They include
  • The rules for conjugating verbs. These rules govern how you differentiate person, plurality, tense, mode, gender, mood, and designation of the objects and indirect objects of the verb. For example how do you conjugate, in any language, I sang, we will sing, we wish to sing, she sang it.
  • Rules of agreement. For example agreement of subject and verb, of noun and adjective; whether agreement in gender or plurality.
  • Rules of Pronoun reference.
  • Rules of word sequence. This is a beautiful topic which is not always covered in classical grammatical textbooks.

Today we study a new grammatical rule first introduced explicitly by the Malbim but used by Rashi: A Hebrew root can change meaning both by the voice (binyan) in which it is conjugated as well as by the connective prepositions it uses.

    Applying this grammatical principle Rashi would translate
  • Lamed-Kuph-Cheth Aleph-Tauv, LaQaX Eth as take but
  • Lamed-Kuph-Cheth Mem..., LaQaX M as select.

Hence Rashi translates Dt01-23b as follows: And the response pleased me well; and I selected twelve men of you, one from each tribe; Rashi: Moses didn't take but selected. That is he selected from the choicest and finest amongst you.

We continue this beautiful example in rule #4, alignment and rule #8, databases below. There we show the justification for this new principle. We also show how new grammatical rules are discovered.

    4. RASHI METHOD: ALIGNMENT
    BRIEF EXPLANATION: Aligning two almost identically worded verselets can suggest
    • (4a) 2 cases of the same incident or law
    • (4b) emphasis on the nuances of a case
    • (4c) use of broad vs literal usage of words
    This examples applies to Rashis Dt01-23b
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
    Brief Summary: a) Kuph-Cheth and Kuph-Cheth Eth means TAKE. b) Kuph-Cheth M means SELECT. Hence Rashi translates I SELECTED 12 MEN...

The table below presents an aligned extract of verses or verselets in Dt01-23b, Dt01-15 Both verses/verselets discuss the taking of 12 representatives for the Jewish people. The alignment justifies the Rashi comment that: In creating a hierarchical judicial system Moses took the 12 tribal leaders that had already arisen in the tribes. But in creating a representative group to spy on Israel Moses selected 12 men. The nuances of selected connote a new selection from the choicest and finest.

Verse Text of Verse Rashi comment
Dt01-23b And the response pleased me well; and I selected twelve men of you, one from each tribe; In creating a hierarchical judicial system Moses took the 12 tribal leaders that had already arisen in the tribes. But in creating a representative group to spy on Israel Moses selected 12 men. The nuances of selected connote a new selection from the choicest and finest.
Dt01-15 So I took the chiefs of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them chiefs over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.

Advanced Rashi: The distinction between the Hebrew LaQaX Eth meaning take and LaQaX M meaning select was presented above in Rule #3, Grammar and is fully defended in rule #8, databases.

      5. RASHI METHOD: CONTRADICTION
      BRIEF EXPLANATION:Rashi resolves contradictory verses using 3 methods.
      • (5a) Resolution using two aspects of the same event
      • (5b) Resolution using two stages of the same process
      • (5c) Resolution using broad-literal interpretation.
      This examples applies to Rashis Dt01-22d
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
      Brief Summary: The Jews (in the wilderness) wanted to a) first conquer the easy cities and then b) conquer the rest of Israel.

The table below presents two contradictory verses. Both verses talk about the conquest of Israel. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse says let us find which cities we should conquer, while the other verse says drive out the inhabitants of the land and destroy their idols. Which is it? Were the Jews contemplating a total conquest of the land or a partial conqeust of cities? Rashi simply resolves this using the 2-Stages method: The people wanted to first conquer the easy cities and then conquer the rest of the land. That is, the request which cities to conquer was really a request of which cities to conquer first.

Summary Verse / Source Text of verse / Source
Which Israeli cities should we conquer? Dt01-22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said: 'Let us send men before us, that they may search the land for us, and bring us back word of the way by which we must go up, and the cities unto which we shall come tow agbe war.'
Conquer the land Nu33-52:53 then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and .... And ye shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for unto you have I given the land to possess it.
Resolution: 2-Stages The people wanted to first conquer the easy cities and then conquer the rest of the land. That is, the request which cities to conquer was really a request of which cities to conquer first.

    6. RASHI METHOD: STYLE
    Rashi examines how rules of style influences inferences between general and detail statements in paragraphs.
    • Example: Every solo example stated by the Bible must be broadly generalized;
    • Theme-Detail: A general principle followed by an example is interpreted restrictively---the general theme statement only applies in the case of the example;
    • Theme-Detail-Theme: A Theme-Detail-Theme unit is interpreted as a paragraph. Consequently the details of the paragraph are generalized so that they are seen as illustrative of the theme.
    This examples applies to Rashis Dt02-26a
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
    Brief Summary: Although the Egyptians severely tortured the Jews God did not immediately destroy them but rather offered them peace and the right to repent. From this Moses inferred that all war should be preceded by an offer of peaceful coexistence.

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.

Verses Dt02-26:33 discussing an initial offer of peace, prior to declaring war on Sichon, states And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, Let me pass through your land; ..... I will purchase food that I eat... But Sihon ... would not let us pass by him; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit, .... And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before you; .... Then Sihon came out against us,... And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we struck him, and his sons, and all his people Rashi commenting on the underlined phrases states: Moses generalized from God's dealing with Pharoh. Although Moses knew that Pharoh's heart would be hardened and God would defeat him nevertheless God initially offered Pharoh peace and the right to repent. Based on this incident Moses inferred that even though he knew that God would harden Sichon's heart and he would be defeated, Moses sent an initial offer of peace and good will.

Advanced Rashi: We read the rest of Rashi as follows From God's dealing with Egypt we also infer that when God gave the Torah, even though he knew that the world would reject it, He initially offered the rest of the world the Torah in peace. In this reading of Rashi we have taken Rashi's second explanation and made it primary. Since the 2nd explanation states that the basic driving force for Moses' inference was Egypt we therefore feel justified in inferring that the Midrashic statement that God offered the Torah to all nations was in fact inferred from a generalization of God's dealing with Egypt.

I might hasten to add that there is some faint scriptural support. A famous controversy on the Rashi at Ex18-01 Jethro heard ...all God did to Moses and to Israel... is whether Jethro heard only about the incidents prior to Ex18, the manna and the defeat of Amalayk, or whether Jethro also heard about events mentioned later in the Bible, such as the receipt of the Torah.

Everyone knows that Scriptural order does not imply temporal order. But why should anyone suspect that the Revelation happened before Jethro came! A possible answer is that Jethro brought back to Moses his wife and children. But at the Revelation all Jews separated from their wives! It would not make logical sense that Moses reunited with his wife prior to the Revelation where all people separated! So it would be reasonable that Ex18 the reunision of Moses and his family happened after Ex19 the Revelation.

Why then did the Bible deliberately place Ex18 Jethro's visit to Moses, prior to Ex19 the Revelation! It would appear to me that the Bible did that to juxtapose Ex17 the attack of Amalayk and Ex18 the coming of Jethro. The Bible is making a contrast: Amalayk rejected the Exodus and the Jewish God and attacked the Jews while Jethro accepted the Exodus and converted to Monotheism, founding the society of Kainites who were monotheistic.

This contrast supports the Midrashic statement that God offered everyone the Torah. Most people ignored the offer. Amalayk did not like the invasion of their personal space and attacked the Jews, while Jethro embraced monotheism.

      7. RASHI METHOD: FORMATTING
      BRIEF EXPLANATION:Inferences from Biblical formatting: --bold,italics, and paragraph structure.
      • Use of repetition to indicate formatting effects: bold,italics,...;
      • use of repeated keywords to indicate a bullet effect;
      • rules governing use and interpretation of climactic sequence;
      • rules governing paragraph development and discourse
      This example applies to Rashis Dt02-16a
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
      Brief Summary: WHEN the men of war died out from the camp [THEN] God [prophetically] spoke to me.

The multi-verse rule simply states that some Biblical sentences span multiple verses. Knowledge of the multi-verse rule enables one to see distinct Biblical sentences as contributing meaning to each other. Today's example illustrates this.

The multi-verse rule states that sometimes a single Biblical sentence consists of several verses. By viewing these separate verses as part of one sentence we gain insight into their meaning. The multi-verse rule is subsumed under the paragraph-formatting rule since like the paragraph rule Biblical meaning is inferred from the context of formatting, that is since the two verses are seen as one sentence further meaning may be read into them by virtue of this structure.Today's example illustrates this.

Verses Dt02-16:17 forms one Biblical sentence and should be read as indicated below. In the translation below the bracketed words indicate connective words binding the multiple verses into one sentence. These bracketed words indicate further meaning to the sentence corresponding to the Rashi comment.

[When] all the men of war had perished and died from among the camp, [then] the Lord spoke to me [Moses], for purposes of saying over. Rashi further clarifies the new meaning inferred from the multi-verse: The emphasis that God spoke to Moses after the sinners had died out teaches us that the true purpose of prophetic communication is for the community (and therefore as long as the community was being punished there was no need for prophetic communication).

      8. RASHI METHOD: DATABASES
      BRIEF EXPLANATION:Rashi makes inferences from Database queries. The precise definition of database query has been identified in modern times with the 8 operations of Sequential Query Language (SQL).

      This example applies to Rashis Dt01-23b
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
      Brief Summary: 1) LAQAX and LAQAX ETH means TAKE. 2) LAQAX M means SELECT. RASHI: SELECTION vs TAKING connotes selection of the choicest and finest.

Today we ask the database query: What prepositional connectives are used with the verb to take.. The reader is encouraged to perform the query using a standard Biblical Konnkordance or search engine. The database query yields the list below. The list justifies the following Rashi inference: (1) In Biblical Hebrew the verb to take followed by no connective or by the connective eth means to take. (2) However the verb to take followed by the connective Mem means to select. The list below presents the results of the database query and shows examples

Verse Text of verse Connective word used with verb to take Meaning of the verb-connective phrase.
Dt01-23b I selected 12 men.... Mem Selected
Dt08-18 I took the Levites to replace the Jewish firstborn None Took
Dt01-15 I took the heads of your tribes, established and wise people.... Eth Took
Gn40-11 I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharoh's cup.... Eth Took
Jo24-03 I took your father, Abraham from ... Eth Took

To recap there are only 14 verses in the entire Bible using the construction EQax... 13 of these verses use the form EQax eth or EQax.... Only one verse Dt01-23b uses the form EQax M. And on that one verse Rashi translates selected rather than take.

Advanced Rashi:This is a peach of a Rashi amply showing the interaction between the database method the grammar method, rule #3 and the alignment method, rule #4. It also shows the extreme sensitivity of the Talmudic mind to Biblical nuances. Rashi simple commented on the phrase and I selected from you by stating Selected from the choicest and finest. It is not immediately clear what Rashi is focusing on (or if you like, what is bothering Rashi). Some people might intuit that Rashi is commenting on the two words take from-you. But I have gone a step further. Rashi is commenting on the intrinsic meaning of the phrase take from which he translates as a dynamic new concept, select. Rashi then is really commenting that select vs take connotes taking from the finest and choicest. Thus we see that the whole Rashi is based on the very find point that take typically uses the word eth as a connective but Dt01-23 is the only verse where the Hebrew EQax uses the connective word mem. Thus this deceptively simple-appearing Rashi shows broad erudition and verse-comparison capabilities similar to our modern computer capacity.

In the very first article I ever wrote I stated The only way we can insure respect for chazal is by portraying them as they wereŚmen of vast encyclopedic knowledge, keen analytic insight, subtle ethical awareness, and moving moral motivation. The superiority of talmudic interpretation must be shown over the flimsy and whimsical caprices of modern interpretation. Otherwise, even if modern interpreters do not lead the layman astray, his respect for midrashic rabbinics will be minimal. I still stand by this statement and hope the elaborate study of Dt01-23b in rules #3,#4,#8 gives a glimpse of this basic attitude on faith in the Talmudic sages.

Praise be Him who chose them and their learning!

    9. RASHI METHOD: SPREADSHEETS
    BRIEF EXPLANATION: The common denominator of the 3 submethods of the Spreadsheet method is that inferences are made from non textual material. The 3 submethods are as follows:
    • Spreadsheet: Rashi makes inferences of a numerical nature that can be summarized in a traditional spreadsheet
    • Geometric: Rashi clarifies a Biblical text using descriptions of geometric diagrams
    • Fill-ins: Rashi supplies either real-world background material or indicates real-world inferences from a verse. The emphasis here is on the real-world, non-textual nature of the material.
    This example applies to Rashis Dt02-01a Dt02-03a
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule1301.htm
    Brief Summary: We traversed Mount Seir [Rashi: Given to Esauv=Edom] many days...God said go NORTHWARD [Rashi: Along the East Border of Edom into Moab]

Todays Rashi presents a map, a geographical description, of Israeli geography and the surrounding Biblical countries. The map is presented below and appropriate footnotes outline Rashi's comment. Because Rashi clarifies diagrammatic material we classify this Rashi as non-Verse.

===========================================================
MAP OF SOUTHERN BORDER OF ISRAEL AND SURROUNDING COUNTRIES
===========================================================

'                |                 |  
'                |  NORTH          |-----     
'                |  ISRAEL         |    |
'                |                 |    | Sichon, Og
'                |W              E |    --------------   
'  Pelishtim     |E              A |    |           |
'                |S              S | J  |           | 
'                |T              T | O  |           |
'                |                 | R  |           |
'                |                 | D  | MOAB      |
'                |   ISRAEL        | A  |           |
'                |   SOUTH         | N  |           |
'                |                 |    |           |
----------------------|-----------------|           |
'                     |                 |           | 
'  Egypt              |  Edom = Seir    |-------------
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |
'                     |                 |

    Rashi comments on the above map.
  • The southern border of Israel is from East to West, part of Moab, all of Edom and part of Egypt.
  • Dt02-05 explicitly states that Esauv inherited Mount Seir; and Gn25-30 explicitly identifies Edom with Esauv; Furthermore Gn25-25 identifies Seir which means hair with Esauv who was hairy.
  • Using the above diagram and correspondences we would translate Dt02-01:08 ....we travelled around Mount Seir=Edom many days. God said to Moses....enough... face northward [Rashi: From the south to the north along the Eastern border of Edom] and command the nation.....Don't incite the Esauvites [Rashi: Who dwell in Edom.].....and we passed [Rashi: Northward...] towards the Moab desert [Rashi: Travelling on the northern route on the easter side of Edom we passed into Moab]

For further commentary on this verse see rule #1, references.

      10. RASHI METHOD: SYMBOLISM
      BRIEF EXPLANATION: Rashi provides symbolic interpretations of words, verses, and chapters. Rashi can symbolically interpret either
      • (10a) entire Biblical chapters such as the gifts of the princes, Nu-07
      • (10b) individual items, verses and words
      The rules governing symbolism and symbolic interpretation are presented in detail on my website.

      This examples applies to Rashis Dt01-44
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/dt01-44a.htm
      Brief Summary: The LION kills through POWER; the BEE kills thru VENOM without using power.

    Military activity is often vigorously described using animal metaphors. Here we use the symbolism principle that items can symbolize their function. Examples are plentiful
  • Nu24-09 states He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion. Who shall stir him up? Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.
  • Jr05-06 states Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the deserts shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch over their cities; every one who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their apostasies are great.
  • Jr46-12 states Her sound is like that of a serpent on the move; for they shall march with force, and come against her with axes, like wood cutters.
  • Dt01-44a states And the Amorites, who lived in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.

The interpreter's task is to identify the unique military characteristics of each animal. Rashi commenting on the last verse Dt01-44a states The military characteristic of the bee is the swiftness of conquest without exertion of power. That is a bee kills thru an instantaneous sting with venom, not by the type of power and interactive fight shown by a lion.

Conclusion

This week's parshah contains examples of all Rashi methods. Visit the RashiYomi website at http://www.Rashiyomi.com for further details and examples.