Today Hebrew grammar is well understood and
there are many books on it. Rashi, however, lived
before the age of grammar books. A major Rashi method
is therefore the teaching of basic grammar.
Many students belittle this aspect of Rashi. They erroneously
think that because of modern methods we know more. However Rashi
will frequently focus on rare grammatical points not covered
in conventional textbooks.
There are many classical aspects to grammar whether
in Hebrew or other languages. They include
- The rules for conjugating verbs. These rules govern how you
differentiate person, plurality, tense, mode, gender, mood, and
designation of the objects and indirect objects of the verb. For
example how do you conjugate, in any language, I sang, we will
sing, we wish to sing, she sang it.
- Rules of agreement. For example agreement of subject
and verb, of noun and adjective; whether agreement in gender or plurality.
- Rules of Pronoun reference.
- Rules of word sequence. This is a beautiful topic which is
not always covered in classical grammatical textbooks.
Today we deal with the Biblical rules governing indication of a plural direct object.
In Hebrew the plural direct object can be indicated by a suffix Mem. For example,
Garesh means to expel while GeresheM means to expel them.
Biblical Hebrew also allows use of the suffix Mem-Vav or Tauv-Mem-Vav to indicate the plural
direct object. So Gerashtamo also means expel them.
Similarly the Hebrew Lamed-Mem-Vav, Lamo can substitute for the more frequently used
Lamed-Hey-Mem, Lahem which indicates the plural indirect object, to them. Examples
of this plural indirect object may be found about 5 dozen times in the Bible e.g. in Dt32-32:33,36.