The special word method deals with the
few dozen special connective words that exist in all languages.
Familiar examples are also, when, that, if, then, all, because, only,
this,.... These words are typically
Rashi's job, when he comments on a special connective
words, is to enumeratively list the nuances and usages of the word.
- adverbs, such as all,also or
connective words, either
- conjunctions, such as if, then, because
- articles or demonstrative or abstract pronouns, such as the, this, that
- propositional connectives, such as in,on,to,from.
The most famous example of the special word method is the Hebrew word Kaph Yud
which can mean because, that, when, 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
One can classify the special word method as either a meaning
sub-method or grammar sub-method.
Today we deal with the Hebrew special word
which can have any of the following meanings.
- all, even borderline cases
The whole nation rebelled, [even the leaders]
- all, any part
don't defile to any dead [even to organs]
- all groups
All flesh [even non-human animals] had become
- all, emphasizing, no exceptions
all people [without exception] in Sedom gathered (for the rape)
Applying this rule to the translation of
The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi,
[even blemished Levites who can't serve in the Temple]
shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel;
they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance.
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
Better still visit the RashiYomi calendar at
and click on the all series which you can find beginning July 10 2000 and ending July 30 2000
(7-10-00 through 7-30-00).