Thursday, August 13, 2009

What does it mean to love God?

The summer parshiot contain many exhortations to love God and, like many of you (and many interpreters) I've wondered how such a thing could be legislated. An emotion like love isn't something that can be controlled or forced. I can't love something on command.

An answer to this question is suggested by the language of an old Assyrian treaty, in which a King commands his vassals to love the King's successor. This, and other clues, suggest to scholars that when the Bible tells us to love God, it is using an idiom for loyalty, and loyalty is something a law, and a ruler can more realistically demand. Much more here

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