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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 206 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

206 - LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR


Leviticus 19:18 -- “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”

“It is a positive commandment of rabbinic ordinance to visit the sick, to console the mourners, to attend to the dead, to dower the bride, to escort one’s guests, and to perform all the rites of burial, namely, carrying the deceased upon one’s shoulder, going before him, bewailing him, digging the grave for him, and burying him; it is likewise a positive commandment of rabbinic ordinance to cheer the bride and groom and to afford them support in all their necessities. All these observances are deeds of loving-kindness, which one performs in person, and for which no measure is prescribed. Though all these commandments are a matter of rabbinic ordinance, they are nevertheless embraced in His words, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself, that is to say: all things that thou desirest that others should do unto thee, thou thyself shouldst do unto him who is thy brother in respect of the Law and the Commandments.”*

* Mishneh Torah, Shoftim, Hilchoth Obel XIV, 1

The Mishnah declares: “Whenever love depends on some material cause, with the passing away of that cause the love too passes away; but if it be not dependent upon such a cause it will not pass away for ever. Which love was that which depended on a material cause? Such was the love of Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-15). And that which depended upon no such cause? Such was the love of David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-4)”.*

* Ab. V, 16

The sages further sought ever to inculcate the love of mankind – thereby, “drawing them near to the Torah” – as a basic obligation devolving upon all Israel.* “Beloved is man,” taught R. Akiba, “for he was created in the image of God.”**

* ibid., I, 16
** ibid., III, 18

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