Todays example combines the meaning, grammar, and formatting rules #2,#3 and #7.The interested reader is
referred to the discussion in the previous examples.
We have explained in our article
Biblical Formatting located on the world wide web at
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.
Verse Ex23-05c states
perhaps you will see the donkey of your
enemy overburdened with transport and you
will abstain from helping him? You
must, with his help, unload unload.
Rashi commenting on the repeated words unload
unload connoting an unspecified emphasis states
You must always unload the donkey even e.g. if the
person is elderly and cannot help you.
Advanced Rashi: To fully appreciate this
Rashi we remind ourselves of the emphasis brought by the
use of a full word to indicate the pronoun, with him.
explained above in rule #3, Grammar
Thus these two emphasii - only with him vs. always unload -
create two contradictory albeit unspecified emphasis. Such
appearances of dual emphasis occurs frequently in the exegetical
literature. Rashi following the mechiltah and talmud resolves
this by skillfully identifying two cases
- From the use of a full word to indicate with him
we infer that you shoud only help when the owner of the donkey
participates with the unloading
- but from the repeated unload unload we infer that
you must always unload even if the owner is not there.
- Obviously if the person is elderly you must still unload
even though he can't help
- But equally obviously if the person is a smart-alec who sits
down and says 'You are obligated to unload - go do it' then you
do not have to assist.
The above Rashi is therefore fundamental and illustrative
of a broad class of Rashi comments with talmudic flavor. The serious
student of exegesis would do well to study it throughly.