Friday, April 27, 2007

v'ahavta l're'acha kamocha - a rashi question

On the pasuk of "v'ahavta l're'acha kamocha" Rashi cites Rabbi Akiva's famous teaching that "zeh klal gadol batorah". Presumably Rashi is concerned with explaining textual difficulties and pshuto shel mikra, not to collect famous Midrashim (actually, I wouldn't want to have to defend that thesis, but many people seem to accept it as a given). What is the textual difficulty in the words "v'ahavta l're'acha kamocha" that prompts Rashi's comment?

[Update: see AddeRabbi’s discussion here.]


  1. probably the Ani Hashem. See my post on this.

  2. The problem with that is the dibbur hamaschil does not match (again, depending on which meforshei rashi you read, this may or may not be a big deal).

  3. Maybe the p'shuto shel mikra can be expanded to a macroscopic view of the Torah as a unit rather than just a microscopic view focused on individual words and p'sukim?

    I don't have evidence to support this, from elsewhere in Rashi's commentary but if the most important k'lal of the Torah is V'Ahavta l'rei'acha kamocha, it would seem that an explanation of the meaning of Torah on a basic level should mention this as a landmark from which to understand the other pesukim.

  4. >if the most important k'lal of the Torah is V'Ahavta l'rei'acha kamocha

    I don't believe that Klal Gadol means "the most important". Just being anal!

  5. I was originally going to write the/a, but then recalled the wording of Ben Azzai (?), who introduces his opinion by saying "There is a k'lal even greater than this", which implies that the sugya is about superlativity. Unless "gadol" has some other meaning?

  6. Anonymous4:02 PM

    When is it a big deal to be
    "v'ahavta l're'acha when your and him are vying for the same position then he is kamocha"

  7. >sugya is about superlativity

    or relativity.

    Shabbat Shalom.

  8. good question.
    just posted a response on my blog. too long for the comments.

  9. Anonymous7:32 AM

    Pshuto shel mikra means, not the literal meanng (which is fundamentally Rashbam's disagreement with his illustrious grandfather) but the meaning in context. Rashi is addressing the reason for the passuk being in Kedoshim, where the mitzvot are fundamentally connected to the asseret hadibrot. Rashi is stressing the foundational nature of this halacha, and thus (implicitly) its connection to "Anochi ..."