Yitro: When Rashi Falls Silent

It is interesting to see what Rashi chooses to comment on. Conventional wisdom as explained to SD is that when there is a problem, uncertainty or lack of clarity of a word or pasuk, Rashi will comment. If there is no ambiguity or issue with the text, he does not seek to comment.

In this parsha, Rashi is extensive.  Look at the 10 commandments, chapter 20, verse 8, “Rember the Sabbath Day.” Here Rashi is bothered by tense and goes on a long discourse about the form of the verb. It is mind numbing. I doubt 10 people in the world get through that Rashi.

However what is more interesting is what Rashi chooses not to comment on and we can assume, he sees no issues or ambiguity. The lack of comment assumes we can read the verse on face value. Therefore, the SD is intrigued that the verse “Thou shalt not desire your neighbor’s house, wife, servant, ox nor anything that is his.”   The SD has about 100 questions one  could ask regarding this statement. To the SD, this is perplexing, why list individual items  and then say “anything this is his.” Why the redundancy?  Why these particular items?

The real question is why does my neighbor have more than me?  And this does not require a Rashi explanation?

The simple answer is maybe  we have to find the answer in ourselves. We have to find a way of dealing with the clear and obvious inequities in life.  We have to find a way of dealing with the constant struggle: Why life is not fair.   The Torah is telling us our neighbor will have things that we do not have.  Now deal with it.  I guess we don’t Rashi to tell us that life is not fair.

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