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RLG202H5 (3)
Chapter 69

Chapter 69: Love and Fear of God

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Rachel Urowitz

Chapter 69 Love and Fear of GodPages 443448In the Jewish tradition the love of God is of central importanceThe Mishnah quotes Deuteronomy to demonstrate that human beings must love God not only for the good that befalls them but for evil as wellAccording to the Mishnah the injunction to love God involves being faithful even if this requires the loss of ones wealth or ones lifeThe Sifre states that love and fear are incompatible in human relations but not with regard to the love of GodThe Sifre also points out that loving God involves convincing others to love GodIn rabbinic sources loving God is seen as living according to his decreesMedieval Jewish thinkers placed stress on mystical loveNinthcentury Jewish philosopher Saadiah GaonStates that certain statements are believed as true even though they cannot be proved on empirical grounds Also states that it is possible to acquire knowledge of God through rational speculation andthe miracles afforded by ScriptureEleventhcentury Jewish philosopher Bahya ibn Pakuda sees love of God as the final goal and aim of all virtuesThe only way is through fear of GodFear involves abstinence from worldly desiresThe love of God is the souls longing for the creatorWhen humans contemplate Gods power and greatness they bow until God stills th
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