Unlike what we may all have been taught to presume as necessarily true from 3rd grade and onward, the fact that the Torah says very little and the biblical commentators say very much is of great import — in other words, there is a difference between the two and just because Rashi says something doesn’t mean we should accept it as reflecting reality. As we saw last week, Rashi sometimes says something that cannot be accepted in 2012 with any real sense of dependability. With his extensive depth of knowledge, he certainly provides a great sense of direction in halachic and grammatical matters when it comes to helping us to better understand the Torah, but his comments that relate to the mystical interpretations of what the Torah meant when it said X, Y or Z is suspect through the lens of contemporary understandings of reality.
In short, Rashi’s contributions will forever be relied upon, but it’s important to know when later authorities with a greater and more profound understanding of the universe should be consulted when trying to understand what it is the Torah (written and oral) meant when it made a statement.
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