Kenneth Cohen

Rashi’s Inspiration

Rashi, Rav Shlomo Yitzchaki, is known as one of the greatest commentators on the Torah. Occasionally, he will use the words, ליבי אומר לי, “My heart is telling me.”

This would be a kind of admission that he is using his intuition in explaining a verse in the Torah.

He used this language in explaining what the apron of the Kohein Hagadol looked like. A story is told that Rashi was once walking along the road, when a noblewoman rode past him on a horse.

Rashi wondered why he was meant to witness this scene specifically when he was walking. At first, he thought there was a message that he needed to correct some kind of personal flaw by seeing something immodest.

He then realized that Hashem was helping him with his commentary. When the noblewoman rode by, he saw that the dress she wore, had criss crossed straps on her back. He now understood that this must have been the way the Kohein Hagadol wore his apron. It was criss crossed in the back!

This also explains why in this specific case, that he prefaced his commentary with the words, “my heart is telling me.” Or in Hebrew, ליבי אומר לי.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at