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.
Sarah's life states
- General Theme: This is the life of Sarah
- The 100-year life [maturity],
- The 20-year life [the young-adult life]
- The 7-year life [innocence]
- General: The years of Sarah's life
Rashi comments on the Theme-Detail-Theme form which creates the
illusion of an entire paragraph.
Although her life had 3 distinct aspects - maturity, young-adulthood, innocence -
nevertheless these 3 aspects were illustrative of her life as a whole. That is
her life had a unified theme of personal-fulfillment and growth.
Advanced Rashi: We have not explained why we translated
the verse as the 100 year life, the 20 year life, the 7 year life. This
is in fact the subject of another Rashi. We are simply not covering it today.
However it will be justified, possibly next year. We also seem to have taken
sides on what the 100 year, 20 year and 7 year life mean. There is
considerable controversy among Rashi-ists on this point. We will explain this
also next year. Right now, we are focusing on the general-theme-general
form which justifies that the three stages be nevertheless perceived as aspects
of one whole life.