b-hebrew digest: December 08, 1999

Numberup at worldnet.att.net Numberup at worldnet.att.net
Thu Dec 9 20:25:36 EST 1999

I have Rashi both in hard copy and CD-ROM (Judaica Press).  I looked over the notes,
but did not see anything that specifically answers the question.  Rashi argues on
grammatical grounds that "bereshit" is a construct that requires the rendition, "In
the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth, when..."  Ibn Ezra agrees
with Rashi on this, and so do a number of modern Jewish translators (JPS, Everett Fox,
Artscroll, etc.)  However, other Jewish scholars (e.g. Rabbeinu Bachya, the Vilna
Gaon) disagree with Rashi here, and I am not sure that what Rashi says is the last
word on the matter.

The Artscroll Tanach Series: Bereshis (Mesorah Publications, N.Y. and Jerusalem) has a
nice overview of Rashi's comments on Genesis 1:1, 2.

Solomon Landers
Memra Institute for Biblical Research

Bill Rea wrote:

> Peter wrote:-
> >Unfortunately this is ungrammatical in English as a prepositional
> >phrase cannot be a complete sentence. I believe the same to be true in
> >Hebrew. I prefer a translation which is grammatical. Did Rashi answer
> >this point?
> We have a copy of Rashi's commentary in our library. If no one else can
> answer this I'm willing to go over and copy out what Rashi has to say
> and post it to the list.
> Bill Rea, Information Technology Services, University of Canterbury  \_
> E-Mail b dot rea at its dot canterbury dot ac dot nz                 </   New
> Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                        /)  Zealand
> Unix Systems Administrator                                         (/'

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