Their presence in Rashis on Parshat TeRuMaH Volume 14, Number 3
Rashi is Simple - Volume 37 Number 3
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,
Feb. 18, 2010
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 Ex27-03a discussing the various Temple Table utensils states And thou shalt make its pots to take away its ashes, and its shovels, and its basins, and its forks, and its fire-pans; all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. Rashi notes that the underlined words, forks references verses 1Sa02-13 discussing the use of 3 toothed-forks to take meat. Hence the Rashi comment Forks are utensils with teeth like prongs that can be used to grab meat and turn it over while roasting, thus accelarating cooking.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi does not cite the verse 1Sa02-13:14, but I believe the explicit description in that verse of forks as being three toothed can account for Rashi's explanation. Such additions to the Rashi commentary enrich our understanding of Rashi.
The most famous example of the special word method is the Hebrew word Kaph Yud which can mean because, that, when, lest,perhaps, rather, if. Sometimes Rashi explicitly gives all meanings of a connective word as happens with Kaph Yud while at other times Rashi does not give all meanings at once. In such a case the Rashi student must gather all the meanings together from various places.
One can classify the special word method as either a meaning sub-method or grammar sub-method.
As is our practice we have embedded the Rashi translation in the verse.
Advanced Rashi: For further examples of Rashis on the Hebrew word Caph-Lamed visit http://www.Rashiyomi.com/all-18.htm. Better still visit the RashiYomi calendar at http://www.Rashiyomi.com/calendar1.htm and click on the All series which you can find beginning July 10 2000 and ending July 30 2000.
Today 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.
Today we deal with the Biblical rules governing indication of apposition. Since starting this series on apposition I have found out that the concept of resumptive modifier may be a more correct term.
Let us look at examples. A simple example of apposition or resumptive modifier occurs in Is63-07 which states, The graces of God I will remember, the praises of God. This sentence is equivalent to I will remember the graces of God, the praises of God If we interpret this last sentence using the principle of apposition then the underlined phrase praises of God modifies the phrase graces of God. Apposition simply refers to placing to phrases one next to the other with the second phrase modifying the first.
However Isiah did not directly say I will remember the graces of God, the praises of God. Rather Isiah said The graces of God I will remember and then Isiah resumes what he remembers - he also remembers the praises of God. This approach uses the technique of resumptive modifiers. A resumptive modifier is often used when you have a complicated message and you want to first summarize it and then elaborate on it. Let us know apply these principles to Ex25-34b.
Verse Ex25-34b states In the Candellabrah there were four stems. Her buds and flowers were almond-like. This is the first approach we will use. We have not used any principles like apposition or resumptive modifiers.
But this verse can also be read using the principles of apposition and resumptive modifiers. Using these techniques the verse would say In the Candellabrah there were four almond-like stems,' - Her buds and flowers. Here buds and flowers resume the items that almond-like modifies.
Both readings of the verse are equally valid. Use of resumptive modifiers, although it sounds awkward, is very common in all languages including Biblical Hebrew. The issue between the two interpretations is whether the stems alone were almond-like or whether the buds and flowers were also almond like.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi mentioens that there are 4 other verses where two interpretations are possible. Actually there are quite a few more than 4. We will therefore discuss this aspect of Rashi on another occasion.
The table below presents two contradictory verses/verselets. Both verses speak about Mosaic prophecy. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse/verselet says God spoke to Moses from the Keruvim, while the other verse/verselet says God spoke to Moses from the Test of Meeting (that is the Temple entrance). We see the contradiction Which is it? Did God speak from the Keruvim or the Temple entrance? Rashi simply resolves this using the 2 Aspects method: a) God spoke from the Keruvim while b) Moses however heard God from the Temple entrance.
Advanced Rashi: Many contradictions are resolved through logic. Rashi points out that this contradiction (like many others) is resolved through an explicit verse, Nu07-89, which states, And when Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, then he heard the voice of One speaking to him from the covering that was upon the ark of Testimony, from between the two kerubim; and he spoke to Him. This verse contains the 2 aspects that we mentioned above: 1) Tent of meeting vs. 2) Kerubim.
Certain Biblical paragraphs are stated in a Theme-Development-Theme form. In other words a broad general idea is stated first followed by the development of this broad general theme in specific details. The paragraph-like unit is then closed with a repetition of the broad theme. The Theme-Detail-Theme form creates a unified paragraph. The detailed section of this paragraph is therefore seen as an extension of the general theme sentences. Today's example illustrates this as shown immediately below.
Rashi generalizes the detail clause make a 1 Tepach border for the Table, as illustrative of the general clause, make a gold crownlet, and states: The Table's gold crownlet is made on top of the 1-tepach border. In other words there are not two gold crownlets, one for the table and one for the 1-tepach border but rather the gold crownlet for the table is in fact the gold crownlet that is place on the 1-tepach border.
Today we ask the database query: How many ways was money obtained for the Temple? How was the obtained money used? The reader is encouraged to perform the query using a standard Biblical Konnkordance or search engine. This database query yields the list below. The query yields the list below. The list justifies the following Rashi-Midrashic inference. Money for the Temple was obtained in two ways: a) Voluntary gifts, b) Obligatory taxes. The obtained money was used for I)Temple construction II) silver utensils III) daily offerings and upkeep The list below presents the results of the database query and shows examples.
Advanced Rashi: Notice that the Torah does not explicitly state where the daily offerings come from. Rather, Rashi infers this from as a reasonable supposition: There was a requirment for the community to offer 730 lambs throughout the year. It is reasonable that these daily offerings were funded from the yearly half-dollar tax.
A diagram is presented below:
' WEST ' ------------------------------- Cubit 30 ' | | ' | | <= The Holy of Holies N ' S | | O ' O ------------------------------- Cubit 20, Paroceth R ' U | Gold Altar | T ' T | | H ' H | Candellabrah Table | ' | | ' - - Cubit 10 ' | | ' | | ' | | ' ------------------------------- Cubit 0, Entrance
Advanced Rashi: Rashi adds The Table and Candellabrah were 2.5 cubits from their respective walls. Rashi derived this from considerations of aesthetics: The width of the Temple is 10 cubits. So if we place three objects in the Temple it makes sense to place one of them, the Golden Altar, at the center, and place the other two of them at the quarter and three quarter mark, which is in fact 2.5 cubits from their respective walls.Such an even spacing creates an aesthetic appearance.
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 issue contains no examples of the format Rashi method. Visit the RashiYomi website at http://www.Rashiyomi.com for further details and examples.