The 10 RashiYomi Rules
Their presence in Rashis on Parshat NiTzaViM VaYayLech
Volume 15, Number 5
This weeks Weekly Rashi with Hebrew/English source tables
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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. Although I frequently use my own English translations of biblical verses and Rashi comments, the Hebrew and English translations in the source tables are derived from online parshah files at who in turn acknowledges the Judaica Press Complete Tanach, copyright by Judaica Press.

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The next issue of weekly Rashi will take place after Succoth. However, we are updating the to include the weekly Rashis. The new page should be ready in October giving you a one-stop place to look up former weekly Rashis by Parshah.

    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 Dt29-10a
    URL Reference: (c)
    Brief Summary: Dt29-10a discussing 'Your ...elders, judges, ...from the wood cutters to water drawers' REFERENCES Jo09-04: 'The Givonim were made into wood-cutters...

Verse Dt29-10a
Hebrew Verse ַפְּכֶם נְשֵׁיכֶם וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֶיךָ מֵחֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ עַד שֹׁאֵב מֵימֶיךָ:
English Verse your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp both your woodcutters and your water drawers,
Rashi Header Hebrew מחטב עציך
Rashi Text Hebrew מלמד שבאו כנענים להתגייר בימי משה, כדרך שבאו גבעונים בימי יהושע. וזהו האמור בגבעונים (יהושע ט, ד) ויעשו גם המה בערמה, ונתנם משה חוטבי עצים ושואבי מים:
Rashi Header Enlish both your woodcutters [and your water drawers]
Rashi Text English [The mention of these people separate to the main community of Israel] teaches us that in the days of Moses, Canaanites came to convert [to Judaism], just as the Gibeonites came [to convert] in the days of Joshua. This is the meaning of the verse regarding the Gibeonites,“And they also acted cunningly…” (Josh. 9:4), [i. e., pretending that they had come from a far away country. When they were discovered, Joshua made them woodcutters and water drawers for Israel (see Josh. 9:3-27). Likewise here, the Canaanites attempted to deceive Moses,. but they did not succeed, and Moses did not accept them to be Jews. Rather,] Moses made them woodcutters and water drawers [i.e., slaves for Israel]. — [Tanchuma 2; Yev. 79a; see Rashi Gittin 23b]

Verse Dt29-10 discusses all Jews ...from your wood cutters to your water drawers Rashi clarifies that This cross-references verse Jo09-04,21 which discusses how the Givonim tricked the Jews into making a treaty with them. The Jews honored their treaty and made the Givonim wood cutters and water drawers. Apparently such conversions (people from hostile nations) were made in the time of Moses also (and they too were made into wood-cutters and water-drawers).

Text of Target Verse Dt29-09:10 Text of Reference Verse Jo09-04,21
Ye are standing this day all of you before HaShem your G-d: your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in the midst of thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water; And they [The Givonim] also behaved deceptively... And the princes said concerning them: 'Let them live'; so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken concerning them.
Rashi comments: Apparently converts from hostile nations were accepted also in the Days of Joshua and Moses. The treay was honored but because of the hostile nature of their nation they were made into hewers of wood and drawers of water.

      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 Dt29-18e,f
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: Rashi uses the SYNECDOCHE method: SIN by THIRST means SIN by PASSION; SIN by FULL = SIN by HABIT

Verse Dt29-18c
Hebrew Verse וְהָיָה בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת דִּבְרֵי הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת וְהִתְבָּרֵךְ בִּלְבָבוֹ לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה לִּי כִּי בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבִּי אֵלֵךְ לְמַעַן סְפוֹת הָרָוָה אֶת הַצְּמֵאָה:
English Verse And it will be, when he [such a person] hears the words of this oath, that he will bless himself in his heart, saying, I will have peace, even if I follow my heart's desires, in order to add the [punishment for the] unintentional sins [of this man] to that of [his] intentional sins.
Rashi Header Hebrew בשררות לבי אלך
Rashi Text Hebrew במראית לבי, כמו (במדבר כד, יז) אשורנו ולא קרוב, כלומר מה שלבי רואה לעשות:
Rashi Header Enlish in order to add the [punishment for the] unintentional sins [of this man]
Rashi Text English לְמַעַן סְפוֹת הָרָוָה - Because I will add to him the punishment for what he heretofore committed unintentionally, which I would have overlooked, but now, he has caused that I combine them with the intentional sins and punish him for everything. Similarly, Onkelos renders [the verse here as]: בְּדִיל לְאוֹסָפָא לֵיהּ חֶטְאֵי שָׁלוּתָא עַל זְדָנוּתָא, [meaning,] That I shall add for him the [punishment incurred for the] unintentional sins to [that of] the intentional sins. הָרָוָה [lit.,“drunk.” Here, as explained, the word] refers to unintentional [sins], which [a man] commits as if in a drunken state, that is, unknowingly. הַצְּמֵאָה [lit., “thirsty.” Here, as explained, the word refers to intentional sins, that is] when [a man] commits [a sin] knowingly and out of lust.

Rashi had ten methods to explain meaning. One method is the use of the common literary methods available to all languages. The metonymy-synecdoche method names items by good examples of them or by strong characterisics of them. Some common examples in English might be the use of the word honey to refer to any sweet thing or the use of the fruit orange to refer to any object with that color or the word heat to refer to any strong emotion - like the sexual and temper emotions. In each case, a word with a very specific meanning takes on a general reference to anything with those characteristics.

Applying this method to the sphere of emotions we see that the word thirsty would refer to acts done under strong emotions - with passion and premeditation - while the contrastive word full would refer to just eating and eating out of habit. Hence Rashi translates Dt29-18, When he [the person toying with worshipping idols] hears the words of the Torah he talks himself into believing that 'I will be allright' - I can go straight with my hearts desire; [and he does this] in order to add to his habitual sins, sins of passion and premediatation. Here Rashi translates the biblical word thirsty as meaning with passion and premeditation and similarly Rashi translates the biblical word full as meaning habitual sins.

Advanced Rashi: I was first asked the meaning of this Rashi about 3 years ago by someone whose house I frequent on Shabbath and holidays. My explanation at the time, I was told, appeared Midrashic. I was asked the meaning of the verse again today. I realized that the reason the Rashi appears Midrashic is the difference between the Talmudic and Biblical period. The Talmudic period uses the terms sins of passion and sins to anger [God]. A person use to these terms who sees the Biblical terms - thirsty, full - is apt to think of the verse as poetic and devoid of the precision that Talmudic terms have. Not so! The Biblical categories are different than the Talmudic categories!!! The word thirst includes both sins of passion and sins to anger (thirsty people may use violence to meet their needs). The contrast to passion-anger is force-of-habit. True the bible uses metonomy: thirst is a good example of passion-anger and eating to fullness is a good example of force of habit. But this is no more poetic than using the term honey to mean sweet or the fruit orange to refer to the color. In fact the Bible at Dt29-18 is describing the psychological transition from habitual sin to willful sin. It is also interesting that the Bible combines sins of passion and anger while the Talmudic period does not. There is certainly more to research here but we suffice with the above remarks.

      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 Dt30-03a
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: God will return [WITH] you. Rashi: God returns you; God Himself returns.

Verse Dt30-03a
Hebrew Verse וְשָׁב יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת שְׁבוּתְךָ וְרִחֲמֶךָ וְשָׁב וְקִבֶּצְךָ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר הֱפִיצְךָ יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שָׁמָּה:
English Verse then, the Lord, your God, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations, where the Lord, your God, had dispersed you.
Rashi Header Hebrew ושב ה' אלהיך את שבותך
Rashi Text Hebrew היה לו לכתוב והשיב את שבותך, רבותינו למדו מכאן שהשכינה כביכול שרויה עם ישראל בצרת גלותם, וכשנגאלין הכתיב גאולה לעצמו, שהוא ישוב עמהם. ועוד יש לומר, שגדול יום קבוץ גליות ובקושי, כאלו הוא עצמו צריך להיות אוחז בידיו ממש איש איש ממקומו, כענין שנאמר (ישעיה כז, יב) ואתם תלקטו לאחד אחד בני ישראל, ואף בגליות שאר האומות מצינו כן (ירמיהו מח מז) ושבתי שבות מואב:
Rashi Header Enlish The Lord, your God, will bring back your exiles
Rashi Text English Heb. וְשָׁב, lit., The Lord, your God, will (Himself) return (with) your exiles. [That is, the verb שָׁב is in the simple conjugation. Now, since we understand the verse to mean:“ The Lord your God will bring back your exiles,”] Scripture should have written, אֶת שְׁבוּת‏ ְוְהֵשִׁיב ה [with the verb וְהֵשִׁיב being in the causative conjugation, meaning “to bring back”]. But [although the meaning of the verse is indeed, “The Lord, your God, will bring back your exiles,”] our Rabbis learned from [the simple conjugation of the verb] here [which alludes to God Himself returning], that the Shechinah resides among Israel, as it were, in all the misery of their exile, and when the Jews are redeemed [from their exile], God writes [in Scripture an expression of] redemption for Himself [to allude to the fact that He has also been redeemed, as it were,] so that He Himself returns along with Israel’s exiles (Meg. 29a). A further [lesson] may be learned [from the unusual form of the verb which expresses “to bring back the exiles”]: The day on which Israel’s exiles will be gathered is so monumental and [this ingathering] will be such a difficult [procedure, as it were], that it is as though God Himself must literally take each individual Jew with His very hands, [taking him] out of his place [in exile. We see] the same concept [brought up in Scripture,] when the verse says, “And you will be gathered up, one by one, O children of Israel” (Isa. 27:12). [That verse refers to the ingathering of Israel’s exiles from Babylon. However,] we find this [idea] also regarding the [ingathering of] exiles from the other nations, as the verse says,“And I shall bring back the exiles of Egypt (וְשַׁבְתִּי שְׁבוּת מִצְרַיִם)” (Ezek. 29:14).

One component of grammar deals with puns. Puns are a universal literary phenomenon in all languages: Puns indicate a deliberate distortion of the text in order to impart relevant secondary meaning. For more information on puns see my article on the world wide web.

Verse Dt30-03 states Then the LORD thy God will return [with] thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. We have translated this Hebrew verse to reflect a pun: The verse says both God will return thy captivity and also says God will return with thy captivity. In the Hebrew text the conjugation Vav-Shin-Beth is used indicating that God himself will return; the proper conjugation would be the causative mode, Vav-Hey-Shin-Yud-Beth indicating that God will cause your (the Jews) return. Using either the Hebrew or English we see a pun: The Bible should be saying that God will return the Jews and instead says God Himself will return. This distortion of grammar indicates a deliberate intent of the Author to impart a secondary meaning. Hence the Rashi comment: Not only are the Jews returned but also God Himself also returns.

This pun has two purposes. First, this pun poetically depicts God as being with the Jews in exile and suffering with us. Second the pun emphasizes that without the presence of the Jews, God's presence cannot be found in Israel.

    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 Dt29-16c.
    URL Reference: (c)
    Brief Summary: a) Stone / Wood gods AND b) Gold / Silver (gods) [kept] with them [in their house].

Verse Dt29-16c
Hebrew Verse וַתִּרְאוּ אֶת שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם וְאֵת גִּלֻּלֵיהֶם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב אֲשֶׁר עִמָּהֶם:
English Verse And you saw their abominations and their repugnant idols [of] wood and stone, silver and gold which were with them.
Rashi Header Hebrew עץ ואבן
Rashi Text Hebrew אותן של עצים ושל אבנים ראיתם בגלוי, לפי שאין הגוים יראים שמא יגנבו, אבל של כסף וזהב עמהם בחדרי משכיתם הם, לפי שהם יראים שמא יגנבו:
Rashi Header Enlish wood and stone
Rashi Text English You saw those [idols] made of wood and stone out in the open, because the heathen [who owned them, did not mind leaving them outside, since he] did not fear that they would be stolen. [Thus, regarding these idols, the verse says, “And you saw their… idols… (of) wood and stone.”] However, [regarding the idols made] of “silver and gold,” they“were with them,” in the [confines of their private] treasure chambers, because [their heathen owners] were afraid that these [expensive idols] might be stolen. — [Tanchuma 3]

The table below presents an aligned extract of verses or verselets in Dt29-16. Both verses/verselets discuss the detestable idols seen by the Jews. The alignment justifies the Rashi comment that: There are many types of idols Stone and wood gods lie around houses and gardens. But gold and silver gods are kept inside the house, with the people. Although they are gods, people steal them for their monetary value.

Verse Text of Verse Rashi comment
    and ye have seen their detestable things, and their idols,
  • wood and stone,
  • silver and gold, which are with them--
There are many types of idols Stone and wood gods lie around houses and gardens. But gold and silver gods are kept inside the house with the people. Although they are gods people steal them for their monetary value.
    and ye have seen their detestable things, and their idols,
  • wood and stone,
  • silver and gold, which are with them--

      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 example applies to Rashis Dt31-02b
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: Moses was vigorous at the time of his death but God did not ALLOW him to lead.

Verse Dt31-02b
Hebrew Verse וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם בֶּן מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם לֹא אוּכַל עוֹד לָצֵאת וְלָבוֹא וַי־הֹוָ־ה אָמַר אֵלַי לֹא תַעֲבֹר אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּה:
English Verse He said to them, Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and the Lord said to me, You shall not cross this Jordan.
Rashi Header Hebrew וילך משה וגו', לא אוכל עוד לצאת ולבא
Rashi Text Hebrew יכול שתשש כחו, תלמוד לומר (דברים לד, ז) לא כהתה עינו ולא נס לחה. אלא מ
Rashi Header Enlish and the Lord said to me
Rashi Text English This is the meaning of “I can no longer go or come,” because “the Lord said to me….”

The table below presents presents two contradictory verses. Both verses speak about Moses in his capacity as a leader. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse says Moses was strong at his death and hadn't loss any vigor while the other verse states Moses could not come and go. Which is it? Was Moses capable of leading or not. Rashi simply resolves this using the broad-literal method: Moses was strong enough to lead but God did not allow him to lead.

Summary Verse / Source Text of verse / Source
Moses was strong and full of vigor at his death. Dt34-07 And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
Moses could not come and go Dt31-02 And he said unto them: 'I am a hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in; and HaShem hath said unto me: Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
Resolution: Broad Literal We should translate the word can not as May not: I may no more go out and come in; and HaShem hath said unto me: Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

    Advanced Rashi: We have made the above derivation using the contradiction method. An alternate or supplemental derivation uses the Rabbi Ishmael Style method which sees the verse in a Theme-Detail style as follows: And he said unto them: 'I am a hundred and twenty years old this day;
    • General: I can no more go out and come in;
    • Detail: and HaShem hath said unto me: Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
    In other words Moses statement of not being able to come in and out is general and could mean lots of things but the 2nd verselet is specific and details and narrows the meaning of the 1st verselet: God said no and hence, that is the reason I may not come in and out.

      BRIEF EXPLANATION:Inferences from Biblical formatting: #NAME?
      • 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 Dt29-28a
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: REVEALED sins should be STRICKEN fom Dt29-29a. Why? God did not punish REVEALED sins until after the conquest of Joshua (And hence we should strike out the phrase the REVEALED SINS BELONG TO GOD)

Verse Dt29-28a
Hebrew Verse הַנִּסְתָּרֹת לַי־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ עַד עוֹלָם לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת:
English Verse The hidden things belong to the Lord, our God, but the revealed things apply to us and to our children forever: that we must fulfill all the words of this Torah.
Rashi Header Hebrew הנסתרת לה' אלהינו
Rashi Text Hebrew ואם תאמרו מה בידינו לעשות, אתה מעניש את הרבים על הרהורי היחיד, שנאמר (פסוק יז) פן יש בכם איש וגו', ואחר כך (פסוק כא) וראו את מכות הארץ ההיא, והלא אין אדם יודע טמונותיו של חבירו, אין אני מעניש אתכם על הנסתרות, שהן לה' אלהינו והוא יפרע מאותו יחיד, אבל הנגלות, לנו ולבנינו לבער הרע מקרבנו, ואם לא נעשה דין בהם יענשו את הרבים. נקוד על לנו ולבנינו, לדרוש, שאף על הנגלות לא ענש את הרבים עד שעברו את הירדן משקבלו עליהם את השבועה בהר גרזים ובהר עיבל ונעשו ערבים זה לזה:
Rashi Header Enlish The hidden things belong to the Lord, our God
Rashi Text English Now, you might object [to God, saying]: “But what can we do? You punish the entire community because of the sinful thoughts of an individual, as Scripture says, ‘Perhaps there is among you a man…’ (verse 17 above), and after this, Scripture continues, ‘Seeing the plagues of that land [and the diseases with which the Lord struck it]’ (verse 21) [which seems to indicate that for the sinful thought of even one individual, the whole land would be struck down with plagues and diseases]. But surely no man can know the secret thoughts of his fellow [that we could somehow prevent this collective punishment!” In answer to this, God says:] “I will not punish you for the hidden things!” [I.e.,] because “[The hidden things] belong to the Lord, our God,” and He will exact punishment upon that particular individual [who sins in secret]. However, “the revealed things apply to us and to our children” [that is, we are responsible for detecting the sins committed openly in our community, and] to eradicate any evil among us. And if we do not execute judgment upon these [open transgressions, over which we do have control,], then the whole community will be punished [because they would be remiss in their responsibility]. There is a dot placed over [each letter of] the words לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ here, to teach us homiletically that even for open sins [which were not brought to judgment, God] did not punish the whole community-until Israel crossed the Jordan. For then, they accepted upon themselves the oath at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, and thereby [formally] became responsible for one another (Sanh. 43b). [When dots are placed over letters of the Torah, this denotes an exclusion of some sort. In our context, our Rabbis teach us that the exclusion refers to the period prior to the crossing of the Jordan.]

When a modern author wishes to deemphasize a concept they will strike it out. When the Biblical author wishes to deemphasize a concept He places dots over it. The dots in the Biblical version, or the strikeout in the modern version, indicate deemphasis.

    There are 10 examples of dotting or strikeout in the Bible. They are enumerated (with explanations) in Bamidbar Rabbah 3:13. 8 of these 10 examples are explained by Rashi in his commentary on the Bible. They are presented in the list below along with the accompanying Rashi interpretation. In each case Rashi interprets the verse as if the word was Stricken out.
    • Nu21-30b: We have shot at them--Heshbon unto Dibon is destroyed, and we have laid waste even unto Nophah that reaches to Maydvah Rashi: The clause that reaches to Maydvah introduced by the relative pronoun that is stricken indicating that the destruction discussed in this clause was stricken out. In fact the Jews destroyed both cities (buildings) and inhabitants until Nopach but only destroyed cities (but apparently let the inhabitants flee) until Maydvah. Hence the Maydvah destruction was stricken and weakened as it only applied to the cities and not the people.
    • Nu03-39a: All that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of HaShem, by their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand. Rashi: Aaron was stricken from the census--that is he wasn't counted since he was a Levite.
    • Gn33-04b: And Esau ran to meet him [Jacob], and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept. Rashi: The kiss should be stricken from the record! It wasn't a real (i.e. sincere) kiss since Esau really hated Jacob. Rashi offers an alternative explanation: The kiss should be stricken from the record since it was the only sincere kiss. All other kisses were insincere.
    • Dt29-28a: The secret things [sins] belong unto HaShem our G-d; but the things [sins] that are revealed belong [are visited] unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Rashi: Revealed should be stricken. Revealed sins weren't always visited upon the community; they weren't visited upon the community till after the conquest of Israel in the time of Joshua.
    • Gn37-12a: And his brethren went to shepard their father's flock in Shechem. Rashi: The word shepard should be stricken out since they didn't really go to shepard sheep; rather they went to escape their father who favored Joseph.
    • Nu09-10a: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If any man of you or of your generations shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto HaShem; Rashi: The requirement far off should be stricken. One need not be absolutely far away - but far away enough not to be able to come to Jerusalem.
    • Gn18-09: And they said to him: 'Where is Sarah thy wife?' And he said: 'Behold, in the tent.' Rashi: The phrase to him should be stricken. They said it generally, not just to him. When they met Abraham they said to him where is your spouse. Similarly when they met Sarah they said where is your spouse.
    • Gn19-33c And they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Rashi: The phrase nor when she arose is dotted indicating a strikeout: Lot really did know when she arose and even so did not avoid a recurrence on the 2nd night with his second daughter. [How can Rashi say he did know if the verse explicitly say he didn't know? Probably Rashi meant that e.g. he had a visual sexual dream about the affair so he really suspected it].

      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 Dt29-12d
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: Many leaders reminded the people of God's good and punishment before their death and transition to a new leadership.

Verse Dt29-12d
Hebrew Verse לְמַעַן הָקִים אֹתְךָ הַיּוֹם לוֹ לְעָם וְהוּא יִהְיֶה לְּךָ לֵאלֹהִים כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב:
English Verse in order to establish you this day as His people, and that He will be your God, as He spoke to you, and as He swore to your forefathers to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Rashi Header Hebrew אתם ראיתם
Rashi Text Hebrew את כל אשר עשה. דבר אחר אתם נצבים, לפי שהיו ישראל יוצאין מפרנס לפרנס ממשה ליהושע, לפיכך עשה אותם מצבה כדי לזרזם וכן עשה יהושע וכן שמואל (שמואל א' יב, ז) התיצבו ואשפטה אתכם, כשיצאו מידו ונכנסו לידו של שאול:
Rashi Header Enlish this day
Rashi Text English [You exist now] Just as this day exists. For [although] it becomes dark [for a period, nevertheless] it shines [again]. So too, here, God has made light for you, and He will again make light for you in the future. And the curses and sufferings preserve you and enable you to stand before Him [the curses, by preventing you to stray from serving Him, and the sufferings, by cleansing you of your sins]. Similarly, in the previous parashah [of כִּי תָבֹא, Moses spoke] words of conciliation, [e.g.,] “You have seen all that the Lord did…” (Deut. 29:1). Another explanation of “You are… standing”: Because the Israelites were now passing from one leader to the next-i.e., from [the leadership of] Moses to [that of] Joshua. Therefore, Moses made them stand [in assembled ranks], in order to encourage them. Joshua did the same [when he was about to die (Josh. 24:1)]. Also, Samuel [did likewise], when Israel passed from his leadership to that of Saul, [as the verse says,] “Stand now, and I will reason with you before the Lord…” (I Sam. 12:7). - [Tanchuma 1]

We ask the following database query: Find leaders who gave farewell exhortations before their death. 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 inference: Several leaders gave farewell exhortations before their death and transition to a new leadership reminding the people of God's good to them and His punishments to those who transgress His will. The list below presents the results of the database query.

Person Verses Nature of Verses When uttered.
Moses Dt29, Dt30 If you do Good God will reward you; if you do bad you will be punished. Before his death and transition to new leadership
Joshua Jo23, Jo24 If you do Good God will reward you; if you do bad you will be punished. Before his death and transition to new leadership
Samuel 1S12 If you do Good God will reward you; if you do bad you will be punished. Before his death and transition to new leadership

      9. RASHI METHOD: NonVerse
      BRIEF EXPLANATION: The common denominator of the 3 submethods of the NonVerse 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 examples applies to Rashis Dt31-26b
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: Place the TORAH in the ARK of God is interpreted literally; There was room in the ark for the Torah.

Verse Dt31-26b
Hebrew Verse לָקֹחַ אֵת סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֹתוֹ מִצַּד אֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְהָיָה שָׁם בְּךָ לְעֵד:
English Verse Take this Torah scroll and place it along side the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God, and it will be there as a witness.
Rashi Header Hebrew מצד ארון ברית ה'
Rashi Text Hebrew נחלקו בו חכמי ישראל בבבא בתרא (יד ב) יש מהם אומרים דף היה בולט מן הארון מבחוץ ושם היה מונח ויש אומרים מצד הלוחות היה מונח בתוך הארון:
Rashi Header Enlish alongside the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God
Rashi Text English The Sages of Israel differ (B.B. 14b). Some say that a board projected outward from the ark, and there it was laid, while others maintain that it was laid alongside the tablets, inside the ark.

Verse Dt31-26b states Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of HaShem your G-d, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

Rashi explains this verse with a numerically labelled diagram

	ARK  15 handbreadths
'	- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
'  9	|                                        |

'	|                                        |	

'	|   Two tablets(10 commandments)         |

'   9	|   6 x 6  + 6 x 6  = 12 x 6      Sefer  |  9 HANDBREADTHS
'	|				  2 x 8  |

'	|                                        |  

'   9	|                                        |    
'	- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Here is a rough overview of computations
  • The ark was 9 handbreadths by 15 handbreadths
  • The 10 commandments were written on two tablets of stone
  • Each tablet was 6 handbreadth by 6 handbreadths
  • Two tablets were 12 handbreadths by 6 handbreadths
  • The length had 15 - 12 = 3 handbreadths left over
  • The sides were each half a handbreath leaving 2 handbreadths
  • So left over was 2 handbreadths x 8 handbreadths = 8 inches x 32 inches
  • We infer that the Scroll of Torah Law was 8 x 32 inches and laid in the ark
  • The diagram above illustrates this.

There are many problems with the above approach. We still have room on the sides since the tablets were 6 handbreadths and there are 2-3 handbreadths left over (Some say the broken chips of the first tablets are there). There are opinions that each cubit was 5 not 6 handbreadths only giving us 12.5 handbreadths length. The major point to take away is that Rashi interprets the verselet place the Torah by the side of the ark to mean The Torah was placed in the ark and there was room for it there.

      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, Nu07
      • (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 Dt30-19a
      URL Reference: (c)
      Brief Summary: If inanimate objects like the sun and moon can do what they are suppose to and earn the right to exist how much more so people.

Verse Dt30-19a
Hebrew Verse הַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ:
English Verse This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses [that I have warned] you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your offspring will live;
Rashi Header Hebrew העדתי בכם היום את השמים ואת הארץ
Rashi Text Hebrew שהם קיימים לעולם וכאשר תקרה אתכם הרעה יהיו עדים שאני התרתי בכם בכל זאת. דבר אחר העידתי בכם היום את השמים וגו' אמר להם הקבה לישראל, הסתכלו בשמים שבראתי לשמש אתכם, שמא שנו את מדתם שמא לא עלה גלגל חמה מן המזרח והאיר לכל העולם, כענין שנאמר (קהלת א, ה) וזרח השמש ובא השמש, הסתכלו בארץ שבראתי לשמש אתכם, שמא שנתה מדתה, שמא זרעתם אותה ולא צמחה, או שמא זרעתם חטים והעלתה שעורים, ומה אלו שנעשו לא לשכר ולא להפסד אם זוכין אין מקבלין שכר ואם חוטאין אין מקבלין פורענות, לא שנו את מדתם, אתם שאם זכיתם תקבלו שכר ואם חטאתם תקבלו פורענות על אחת כמה וכמה:
Rashi Header Enlish This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses
Rashi Text English For the heaven and earth exist for ever, and when the evil befalls you, they will be witnesses that I had warned you regarding all of this. Another explanation of “I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses, etc.” : The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Israel, “Look at the heavens which I created to serve you. Have they ever changed their ways? Has the sphere of the sun ever failed to rise from the east to illuminate the entire world, as it is stated, ‘The sun rises, and the sun sets’ (Ecc. 1:5)? Look at the earth which I created to serve you. Has it ever changed its ways? Have you ever sown [in] it that it did not grow? Or have you ever sown wheat and it yielded barley? Now, they [heaven and earth] were created with neither reward nor loss in mind-for if they are meritorious [by fulfilling their purpose for which I created them], they nevertheless do not receive reward [for this]; and if they sin, they are not punished. And yet [even with this lack of incentive], they have never changed their ways! So you, who will receive reward if you are meritorious and who will be punished if you sin-how much more so [should you fulfill My will]!”- [Sifrei 32:1]

Verse Dt30-19 discussing Moses' adjuration to the Jews to observe the convenant states I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;

But Heaven and earth are inanimate. They can't be witnesses. Hence Rashi interprets this symbolically. Rashi's suggestion is simple: Heaven and earth follow the inanimate laws that govern them and as a consequence all is well with them. If only we humans could act similarly.

Advanced Rashi: Rashi's first explanation poetically sees the heaven and earth as two witnesses who punish the accused if convicted (The heavens abstain from rain and the earth from produce). However heaven and earth have no cogitive ability or free will and hence cannot really act as witnesses. Rashi's second explanation correctly sees them as symbolic affirmations adjuring humans to follow their inanimate counterparts. We have therefore concentrated on Rashi's 2nd explanation.

Sermonic Points: We close this year's Weekly Rashi series with a gem of a story from the founder of Chasiduth. The founder of Chasiduth, the Ba'al Shem Tov, that is, the Person with a Good name, as he is affectionately none, was, in his youth, as a sexton, one day, sweeping the synagogue floors. All of a sudden he burst into tears: This lowly broom has fulfilled its maximum potential in existence and has merited to clean synagogue floors, but I, a human created in the image of the Supreme being, have not fulfilled my maximum potential. Of course, the Ba'al Shem Tov was simply echoing the above Rashi that sees Heaven and Earth as inanimate paradigms fulfilling the will of their Creator and contrasting it with human behavior.


This week's parshah does not contain examples of the Style method. This concludes this weeks edition. Visit the RashiYomi website at for further details and examples.