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Over and over again, Rashi on Chumash points out that a hey at the end of the word means the same as a lamed at the beginning. He doesn't just clarify that that is the usage, he states the rule itself many many times. (In Bereishis alone, 14:10, 15:23, 28:2, 32:4, 33:27, 46:1, and more...)

Why does he restate this rule so much? After the first time, if he just wanted to point out that this is the situation in each case, he could do it in one word e.g.

: מרתה . למרה

Why the repetition?

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Rashi also repeats two or three times in his commentary "Why is פרת referred to as "הנהר הגדול נהר פרת"? Because it's next to Israel..." (e.g. in P' Bereishis, Devarim) –  b a Nov 8 '12 at 1:12

2 Answers 2

Rashi was written for the skill level of a child. Perhaps he does not assume people will learn it in order.

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No, you said "perhaps" to the end. I ask how you know your first sentence is accurate. –  Double AA Nov 7 '12 at 23:20
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Do you know how he knew that was Rashi's intention? (And you should probably include that information in your answer.) –  Double AA Nov 7 '12 at 23:24
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@Michoel That same argument can prove that any commentary is meant for 5 year olds. –  Double AA Nov 7 '12 at 23:47
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@Michoel (Of course, see Rashbam Breishis 37:2 for example as well. Note also that the Rashi you cite already says he's going for pshat AND basic agadata. related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/6103/759) Thank you for sourcing the OP's claim. Consider editing it into the post? –  Double AA Nov 8 '12 at 3:24
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@DoubleAA I don't think that that would be a good source for the OP as this answer is not consistent with the Lubavitcher Rebbe's approach to Rashi; he learns (as explained in Klallei Rashi Chapter 7) that Rashi assumes the learner is studying in order. Regarding the end of that Rashi about agada, see Alex's comment here. –  Michoel Nov 8 '12 at 4:10

As far as I can tell, there is no pasuk 15:23, or a 33:27.

  • In 14:2, Rashi does not only discuss the ה and the end of הרה, but distinguishes it from other close words such as ההרה, in a rather nuanced manner.

  • In 28:2, there are two items which use this form, פַּדֶּנָה אֲרָם and בֵּיתָה בְתוּאֵל. And it is strange because of the vowel change in פַּדֶּנָה over Padan, and because these are two word places, with the first word taking the heh.

  • In 32:4, I got nothing. Perhaps the follow-up of שְׂדֵה אֱדוֹם? Perhaps because it is the beginning of a new parasha, so he is focusing more on every bit of the pasuk? Perhaps because in the next perek, וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַרְצָה, has a slightly different connotation?

  • In 46:1, the nikkud on בְּאֵרָה שָּׁבַע is fairly strange, because of pausal form.

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+1 for a good approach, I'm not sure about the details though. 14:2 is the first time he mentions it, so I would expect a full treatment there - there's no kasha on 14:2. And it could well be there's a chiddush every time, but he doesn't spell out the chiddush - he has almost the same lashon every time. He could still just put the equivalent lamed form and leave it at that - we don't seem to be any better off for him repeating the rule. We should check how many times it occurs and he doesn't spell it out - which would fit your approach that he only repeats it when there's a chiddush –  limos Nov 8 '12 at 8:37

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