Today, students of the Bible learn grammar from Biblical
Hebrew grammar textbooks. These textbooks organize material by
topics. Grammatical topics include a) verb mood and conjugation, b) plurality and gender
agreement, c) pronoun reference, d) subject-verb-object sequencing, e) sentence
structure and type, f) the possessive and g) connective words, and many other topics.
However in Rashi's time gramamr was just beginning. There were no official
grammatical textbooks and tables. One of Rashi's functions was to teach grammar.
Rashi did not write a grammar textbook but instead left grammatical explanations
appended to each verse.
http://www.Rashiyomi.com/puns.pdf on the world wide web.
One method of puns is the so call read-spoken method. When using this method the Biblical Author will
write the text one way but the reader is instructed to read it with an alternate different reading.
Such a read-write passage creates what is called in literature a pun. Puns are a universal literary
device used in all languages. Many scholars regard puns as simply another grammatical tool to convey messages intended
by the author (See the above article for further details and references).
Todays example, Lv25-30, contains such a pun. The written text says
And if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the city with a wall shall become the permanent property of he who bought it throughout his generations; it shall not go out in the jubilee.
while the text is read as stating
And if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the no-wall city shall become the permanent property of he who bought it throughout his generations; it shall not go out in the jubilee.
The written-read text creates a pun. The Author intended that the text convey the message these laws apply to a
house sold in a city [initially] with a wall but [currently] without a wall.
We will continue discussion of this interesting Rashi in rule #5, contradiction below. There we will
present the explanation hinted at by the bracketed phrases that laws governing a house sold in a city with a wall apply even
when the wall is no longer present. These laws are inferred from the pun created by the written-read text.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi makes one additional grammatical comment.
The textual phrase city ...it has a wall uses a masculine form of it even though
city is a feminine noun. The Bible changed the gender of the word city in order to accomodate
the pun since in Hebrew the word for no and the masculine word for it are both pronounced the same.
This Rashi stating that grammar can be changed for the sake of a pun is important and seems to have been overlooked