Their presence in Rashis on Parshat Shemini Volume 14, Number 9
Rashi is Simple - Volume 36 Number 9
Used in the weekly Rashi-is-Simple and the Daily Rashi.
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Apr 8 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 Lv09-01a discussing the eighth day of the Priestly consecration offering states And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; ...take ...for offerings for to-day HaShem appeareth unto you.' Rashi notes that the underlined words, for to-day HaShem appeareth unto you.' references verses Ex40-34:35 discussing the revelation of God when the Temple was erected. Hence the Rashi comment The eighth day of the Priestly consecration ceremony was also the day the Temple was erected (Ex40). The merit of building the Temple and consecrating the Priests facilitated the receipt of a prophetic vision by the nation.
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 Lv10-16d embeds the Rashi translation AMR means discuss. And Moses diligently inquired for the goat of the sin-offering, and, behold, it was burnt; and he was angry with Eleazar and with Ithamar, the sons of Aaron that were left, for purposes of discussion.: Hence the Rashi on this verse: The Biblical phrase He was angry...for purposes of discussion means that when he reprimanded them it was simultaneously a potential reprimand but also a request for clarification and discussion on the matter.
Advanced Rashi: Using our proposed translations the enigmatic Talmudic adage AMR has a soft tone while DBR has a harsher tone would be pithily translated as Discussion has a soft tone [since it allows response] while cite / say have a harsher tone [since the communication is more one sided without allowing a response]. This interpretation illustrates the maxim in my article Peshat and Derash alluded to above that a punchy crisp translation is a powerful vehicle to naturally explain many midrashim.
Most people are aware that Hebrew verbs come from three-letter roots. Each root is conjugated in the 8 dimensions of person, gender,plurality, tense, activity, modality, direct-object, and prepositional connective. For example the root Shin Mem Resh means to watch. The conjugations Shin-Mem-Resh-Tauv-Yud and Nun-Shin-Mem-Resh-Nun-Vav mean I watched and we were watched respectively.
The rules for Hebrew grammar are carefully described in many modern books and are well known. Rashi will sometimes comment when a verse is using a rare conjugation of an odd grammatical form.
When presenting grammatical Rashis my favorite reference is the appendix in volume 5 of the Ibn Shoshan dictionary. This very short appendix lists most conjugations.
Applying the above rule to the translation of Lv09-12 we obtain And he [Aaron] slew the burnt-offering; and Aaron's sons presented to him the blood, and he dashed it against the altar round about. Such a translation is consistent with the method advocated in my article Peshat and Derash, to explain Rashi by providing a nifty crisp translation.
The table below presents presents two contradictory sets of verses. Both verse sets talk about the death of Aaron's two sons who offered an improper sacrifice. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse set says a fire devoured them while the other verse says They were carried away in their clothing. Which is it? Were they consumed by fire - if so their clothing should have been burned. Or did they die some other way which would explain why their clothing was not burned. Rashi simply resolves this using the 2 aspects method: The two sons of Aaron died by a prophetic fire vision. The fire vision overwhelmed them with guilt and this caused their death. Consequently their clothing was not consumed.
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 - sin, elevation, peace offering - as illustrative of the general clause, - blessing, - and as connected causally to the following paragraph dealing with prophetic visions. Rashi states: The blessing was that the offerings should facilitate a prophetic vision. We believe this comment evident and consistent with the Rabbi Ishmael style guidelines.
Advanced Rashi: Recall that the Patriarch Jacob blessed his children with animal symbols. Combining the above Rashi with the Patriarch Jacob's blessing we see that the Jews present at the consecration of the Desert-Temple achieved the Patriarchal blessing of a prophetic fire-animal vision. This is a very high and lofty blessing. This is also the opinion of the Talmudic sages who state that Even the bondmaids received prophetic visions similar to those of Ezekiel, that is the Jews of the Desert-Temple received prophetic fire animal visions like those of Ezekiel.
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.
With this principle in mind let us review verse Lv10-18b which states Behold, the blood of it was not brought into the sanctuary within; ye should certainly have eaten eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded. Rashi comments on the repeated underlined words: The repeated underlined words create emphasis: It should always be eaten in all circumstances, for example, even between death and burial (a time when many positive commandments are suspended).
We ask the following database query: What remedies does the Torah list for ritual impurity. 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: Most ritual impurities have remedies. However an earthen-clay vessel that becomes impure has no remedy and must be destroyed. The list below presents the results of the database query.
Here is another way of looking at this. Prophecy was a frequent theme in the Bible. We frequently find that people who yearned for prophetic communication would first offer sacrifices. For example when the wicked Bilam was asked to prophesy on Israel he prepared himself for the prophetic fire visions by offering sacrifices on the fire (Nu23-01:04). What Rashi is explaining to us is why people brought sacrifices - people brought sacrifices in the hope of achieving prophetic inspiration. The main reason we want the restoration of sacrifices in the Messianic era is to renew prophecy.
This idea is further elaborated in my article http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gen-1.htm. Popular knowledge on sacrifices shows that people corrupted the idea of sacrifices; they brought sacrifices but committed crimes like adultery and murder. My opinion is that prophesy was still alive during this period but that the prophetic visions dealt with the national sins and urged people to be ethical. That is I contend that the ethical prophets arose not because civilization advanced but rather because people ethically sinned and therefore the prophecies of their time addressed ethical questions.
By studying the sacrifices we learn everything we need to know about personality, spiritual growth, and personal development. Those who excel advance to become prophets while those who don't reach the prophetic level at least reach the level of spiritual growth.
This week's parshah contains no examples of the spreadsheet Rashi method. Visit the RashiYomi website at http://www.Rashiyomi.com and http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule.htm for further details and examples.