by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek
Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues
Parashas EmorVayikra 22:2
Speak to Aaron and his sons and they should keep separate from the holy of the Children of Israel., and they should not profane My holy name which they hallow unto Me, I am Hashem.
- and they should keep separate : Rashi: The word "nizira" means separation As it says (Yechezkail 14: 7) "And the separated from after Me. And (Yishayahu 1:4) "separating backwards."
from the holy of the Children of Israel that they not profane My holy name .,Rashi : Invert the order of the words (as in his Lead Words) and explain it accordingly. Which they hallow unto Me, and they should not profane My holy name,
WHAT HAS RASHI DONE
Rashi has changed the order of the words in this verse: The verse has three parts:
1) They should keep separate from the holy things of the Children of Israel.
Rashi switches 2 & 3. His order is 1,3,2.
1) They should keep separate from the holy things of the Children of Israel
WHAT IS BOTHERING RASHI?
It is not clear to whom the "they" refers to in the phrase "Which they hallow unto Me"
Is it the children of Israel or is it the priests?
If "they" refers to the Children of Israel then the order should be "Separate from the holy that they hallow unto Me" (because it is Israel who volunteered the sacrifices)
Rashi assumes it refers to the children of Israel, so he reorders the words.
But the Ramban differs and says "they" refers to the Priests, because they are the ones who offer it up in the Mishkan. In that case the Torah's word order is fine.
This is characteristic of the Ramban. He always prefers to avoid using the rule "that there is no before or after in the Torah" and prefers leaving the Torah text in the order as it is, without rearranging G-d's words.
Avigdor Bonchek has published a new book on Rashi called "Rashi: The Magic and the Mystery" published by Gefen. Look for it at Jewish book stores.
This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
For information on subscriptions, archives, and