Someone in my synagogue posed the following question to me; stumped, I pose it to you:

The Bavli, Taanis 6 amud 1, notes that מלקוש is good rain. It then proposes that, perhaps, that's mistaken; rather,

perhaps מלקוש is [rain] that knocks down houses, breaks apart trees, and raises locusts

— but refutes the possibility. Rashi (ad loc.) notes that the idea that מלקוש may be rain that raises locusts, specifically, is because

"מלקוש" is terminology of locusts, like [Amos 7:1].

(Amos there uses the similar word "לקש" and refers to locusts.)

But "לקש" there doesn't refer to locusts! (The verse does, but not that word.) Not according to Rashi there, and not according to anyone I can find. Why would "מלקוש" mean "locust-raising"? Or why does Rashi claim a semantic connection to a word that seemingly has none?

Or (as a sort of contrapositive), do we accept Rashi (to Taanis) as explaining that the g'mara (at this point) holds "לקש" in Amos means "locusts"? If so, how does the g'mara (at this point) read the verse entire?

  • I guess it might does sound odd."דברי תורה עניים במקום אחד ועשירים במקום אחר". Rashi might have had several commentaries for the pasuk (P'shat,Remez...). In the bible he gave the more Pshat-like one. In the g'mara, a less Pshat-like yet corresponds the g'mara's D'rash one.
    – Zeev
    Aug 6, 2015 at 14:39
  • I was hoping that Targum would have used the term "SKa'i" in Amos. Then, I could, perhaps, see the relationship or the reason as to why Rash"i mentions Amos in the 1st place. But, it's not there, so for now, I'm also puzzled.
    – DanF
    Aug 6, 2015 at 15:27
  • I’m confused, doesn’t everyone agree Rashi to Taanis is not Rashi at all?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 27, 2019 at 13:39
  • @Dr.Shmuel so? This question would make as much sense with any other commentator's name substituted for his.
    – msh210
    May 27, 2019 at 23:36


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