Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Klal U'Prat U'Klal Versus Ejusdem Generis

Klal U'prat u'klal: A general followed by a specific followed by a general, one may only include cases that are similar to the specific means that it doesn’t have to be the specific item, but it must be like the specific item.

Ejusdem Generis: Where a law lists specific classes of persons or things and then refers to them in general, the general statements only apply to the same kind of persons or things specifically listed. (this canon of stautory construction is not always used, but it is like a rule of thumb.)

I just came across the concept of ejusdem generis reading some cases today and realized that it's application is similar to the application of the principal of biblical exegesis (from Rebbi Yishmael's 13 midos she'hatorah nidreshes bahem). The interesting thing is that the cases in which it applies are when you have a principal in a statute, followed by specific examples. However, in Chumash, when you have a case like that, all you have are the specific examples actually mentioned and you may not expand the list at all. Whereas in application, a klal uprat uklal situation in Torah would be applied the same was as a plain klal u'prat in a secular statute. Interesting!

-Dixie Yid

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