I found this explanation online:

Rashi quotes the 10th Century grammarian Menachem (ben IBN-Saruq), who derives keri from a two-letter root k–r, meaning “prevent, refuse, withhold.” Thus, Hashem warns–If you walk with Me in refusal, I will withhold My protection from you.

First of all I would like to know the source from where Rasji got this quote of IBN-Saruq, Secondly I would like to know if this quote is based on a verse from the Tenach, or if they are his own interpretation.

  • 1
    Rashi quotes Menachem pretty often. What’s unique that you ask it here?
    – DonielF
    Jan 28, 2018 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


Rashi (Leviticus 26:21) quotes Menachem in the following words

ומנחם פירש: לשון מניעה. וכן (משלי כה יז) הוקר רגלך. וכן יקר רוח (משלי יז כז).

Menachem interpreted [the word קרי] from the language of prevention, as in "withhold (הוקר) your feet" (Proverbs 25:17), and "one who withholds (יקר) speech" (Proverbs 17:27).

Menachem (in his Machberet, s.v. קר) gives this interpretation in the second meaning of the root קר, connecting the words quoted by Rashi, along with Psalms 49:9 and Isaiah 13:12, with the explanation "עניין מניעה המה" ("they have to do with prevention").

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