Rashi

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Klalim

Fundamentals

  1. Rashi, colloquially known as "Kuntress,"[1] always takes the simplest Peshat of the Gemara, even if it's not in line with the accepted Halacha - even a Hava Amina rejected by the Gemara itself later on![2]
  2. Along the same lines and by no means in disparagement of Rashi, the Radbaz alerts us that Rashi is primarily a Mefaresh, not a Posek,[3] so much so that he doesn't even register as a Shitah when deciding a Machloket between Rishonim, such as the Rosh and Rambam.[4], though some disagree.[5][6]
  3. In his inimitable and calculated pithiness, Rashi negates numerous difficulties with the understanding of the Gemara with just a few words. This is very much part of Rashi's claim to fame.[7]
  4. Rashi made multiple editions of his commentaries, which accounts for the apparent contradictions.[8]
  5. One cannot pose the tradition of the Geonim as a question on Rashi - "Gavra Agavra KaRamit?!"[9]
  6. Whenever Rashi uses the words כלומר he is offering that particular interpretation where one would have been able to offer an alternative one.[10]
  7. When Tosafot attacks Rashi with a series of difficulties from later Masechtot, one could argue Rashi assumes the Gemara at this point isn't working with them in mind.[11]
  8. The acronym 'לוי"ה' refers to Rashi's teacher, R' Yitzchak HaLevi.[12]

Works Not by Rashi

  1. The commentary on Divrei HaYamim is not by Rashi.[13]
  2. The commentaries on the side of the Gemara where Rashi should be on Masechtot Meilah, Nazir, and Nedarim, are not by Rashi.[14]
  3. There is a debate among Acharonim if the commentary of Rashi on Masechet Ta'anit is authentic or not; it seems that many Acharonim assume that it indeed is by Rashi.[15]
  4. The commentary Rashi on the Rif was compiled by a later student based heavily on Rashi.[16]

Sources

  1. Yad Malachi (Klalei Tosafot 10)
  2. Yad Malachi (Klalei Rashi 1), Chiddushei Rabbi Akiva Eiger Eruvin 47 and Yevamot 30b, Shu"t Rabbi Akiva Eiger Mahadurah Kamma 222:8. See Minchat Chinuch Mitzvah 116 and Tzitz Eliezer vol 8 Siman 32.
  3. Shu"t HaRadbaz (vol. 1 Siman 109, vol. 3 Siman 510, vol. 4 Siman 108/1180)
  4. Beit Yosef (Orach Chaim 10). See Matnat Yado ad loc for extensive citations.
  5. Sheyarei Kenesset HaGedolah (Klalei HaPoskim 19). Regarding saying Kim Li KeRashi, see Sdei Chemed Klalei HaPoskim 8:9
  6. Yad Malachi (Klalei Rasi 2)
  7. Yad Malachi (Klalei Rashi 4). See also Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Shin 35).
  8. Yad Malachi (Klalei Tosafor 22)
  9. Kenesset HaGedolah (Yoreh Deah 124 Hagahot Beit Yosef 104, Yad Malachi (Klalei Rashi 3)
  10. Pri Toar Yoreh Deah 21:2, Matnat Yado on Yad Malachi Klalei HaRif fn. 104
  11. Yad Malachi (Klalei Tosafot 9)
  12. Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Kuntress Acharon, Lamed 1)
  13. Yad Malachi (Klalei Rashi 7), Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Aleph 9)
  14. Yad Malachi (Klalei Rashi 7). See Matnat Yado ad loc who quotes some who say that the commentary on Nedarim is Rashi until Daf 22, and then substituted with Rabbeinu Gershom Meor HaGolah for the remainder of the Masechet and the Netziv (Ha'Emek She'elah She'elta 166) who holds that the commentary was written by the Rivan.
  15. Matnat Yadot (Klalei Rashi fn. 20) quotes the Maharatz Chayut (beginning and end of Taanit) who says it's not Rashi, but the Chidah says the large number of printing errors are misleading.
  16. Yad Malachi (Klalei Rashi 5), Elyah Rabbah (Orach Chaim 540:8). See Maamar Mordechai 557 at the beginning who thinks it may have been R' Yehoshua Boaz. See also Maadanei Yom Tov (Berachot 8 at the end), Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Shin 35), Birkei Yosef Orach Chaim 15, Sdei Chemed (Klalei HaPoskim 8:7), and Rav Avraham Havatzelet's article in Moriah (19:1/2, pages 106-116) at length.