Their presence in Rashis on Parshat VaYiGaSh Volume 13, Number 20
Rashi is Simple - Volume 36 Number 20
Used in the weekly Rashi-is-Simple and the Daily Rashi.
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Dec 24th 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 Gn45-15b discussing Joseph's brothers speaking with him states And he kissed all his brothers, and wept on them; and after that his brothers talked with him. Rashi notes that the underlined words, after that his brothers talked with him. references verse Gn45-03 discussing the initial fright of Joseph's brothers. Hence the Rashi comment After that (the kissing)Gn45-15b the brother's spoke with Joseph, but not before, as initially they were embarassed Gn45-03
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 Gn47-06a embeds the Rashi translation Chayil means skilled the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell. And if thou knowest any skilled men among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.'
Advanced Rashi: This Rashi sheds light on the famous Ayshet Chayil chapter said every Friday night. The proper translation is not Who will find a wife of valor but rather Who will find a skilled wife. This translation is also consistent with the rest of the chapter.
Most people know that the Biblical meaning of a word is determined by its underlying three-letter root. The Biblical root can be conjugated in different a) persons, b) tenses, c) pluralities, d) genders, e) constructions and f) modalities. For example I watched Shamarti has a different conjugation then I will be watched EShaMer even though both phrases will use the same 3 letter Hebrew root.
Rashi will generally give rules of grammatical conjugation when the conjugation involves a rare form. Verse Gn47-19b has the word Tauv-Shin-Mem, TaySham which Rashi translates as become desolate; when a land lies fallow without being worked on it becomes desolate. Here Rashi views Taysham as the passive future form of the root Shin-Mem-Mem, Shamam which means to desolate. Shin-Mem-Mem is a double verb of the form, X-Y-Y and its conjugations are covered in table 10 of the appendices of the Ibn Shoshan dictionary. This table gives the form Tisham while the verse uses the actual form TaySham. Moshe Silverman's grammatical konkordance lists this verse in form #3444#13 and points out that Is51-06 gives the form Taychath for a future passive because the Cheth is a guttural letter. Moshe points out that The application of this form to the root Shin Mem Mem - Taysham/ Taychath - is peculiar since the shin is not a guttural letter.
The table below presents two contradictory verses/verselets. Both verses speak about the smallness of Jacob's life The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse/verselet says my years (currently 130) did not reach the years of my parents, while Gn48-28 states Jacob died at 147. We see the contradiction --- If Jacob was still alive he couldn't be sure at 130 he wouldn't outlive his parents - so how could he say his life was shorter. Rashi simply resolves this using the 2 Meanings method: The number of good quality years of Jacob's life was less than the good quality years of Abraham and Isaac. Here smallness of years refers to smallness of good years. Jacob could be sure of this even before his death.
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.
Advanced Rashi: There are several interesting points to be made on this Rashi. First: The Bible explicitly connects depression with lack of prophecy as we find with Elishah (2Ki03-15) who, while in a state of anger, needed music therapy before he could prophecy. So indeed Jacob's spirit lived could more generally refer to removal of depression but depression has many symptoms and the Bible both here and at Gn37-34:35 solely connects the depression with hell and prophecy. In other words of all symptoms of depression (e.g. lack of appetite, lack of interest in standard things) it was prophecy that Jacob loss upon hearing about Joseph's probable death and prophecy which Jacob regained when he heard he was alive. (Notice that Gn37-34:35 identifies lack of prophecy with hell.
Last year Volume 11 Number 25 I classified this Rashi as reference. But as I think it over the reference takes place within a paragraph and is more consistent with the general - detail style rule. It is however interesting how style and reference have enough commonality to get confused. They both refer to clarification of meaning. For example the famous Passover Hagaddah reference example explains the phrase Jews were few to mean There were 70 Jews when then came to Egypt. This is done through a reference of distant verses (Dt10-22 clarifies and references verse Dt26-05.). But the General-Detail or Theme-development Rabbi Ishmael Style rule also clarifies the meaning of the general clause through the detail verses that immediately follow it. Hence there is a commonality.
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.
Bullets whether indicated through modern notation or through the Biblical method of repeating keywords always indicate contrastive emphasis - that is, each bullet is presumed to be a distinct item contrasted to the other items on the list. Very often the bullets are also used to indicate that the entire list of exhaustive of some spectrum.
Joseph purchased the land of the Egyptian people in exchange for food and then, to emphasize their lack of ownership, rotated the residence of the inhabitants from city to city. This is stated in Gn47-20:21 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them; so the land became Pharaoh’s. And [Rashi: Therefore to emphasize their lack of ownership] he moved them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other end of it. Rashi in this comment uses real world values to explain why Joseph rotated the residences of the people. Since Rashi uses real-world values to explain the causal relationship between the acquisition of the cities and the rotating of residences we classify this Rashi as NonVerse.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi makes additional real-world comments. The rotation of the residences was not an important detail. The Biblical text hilights this detail [right after the chapter relating how Joseph's family, the Jews, come to Egypt and find they are sojourners] to show how Joseph made his family comfortable, by treating the Egyptians like sojourners since they also no longer owned their own land.
This week's special issue contains no examples of the grammar, alignment, style, format Rashi methods. Visit the RashiYomi website at http://www.Rashiyomi.com for further details and examples.