What Loving God Really Means

This week’s Torah reading of Va’etḥanan contains the first paragraph of the Sh’ma prayer, which includes the verse, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”—a commandment hard to reconcile with the modern notion of love as an uncontrollable feeling. Drawing from his recent book, The Love of God, Jon D. Levenson notes several ancient Near Eastern treaties requiring a vassal to love his king, or even a king to love his vassal, and suggests that the earliest readers of this passage might have found such an obligation much easier to accept. But he also cautions against pushing this reading too far:

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Read more at theTorah.com

More about: Ancient Near East, Deuteronomy, Hebrew Bible, Love, Religion & Holidays

By Restoring Funding to UNRWA, the U.S. Is Ensuring That the Israel-Palestinian Conflict Continues

Last week, the White House announced its plan to resume funding of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)—which had ceased in 2018—to the tune of $150 million per year. UNRWA, unlike the UN organization that cares for refugees from every other conflict the world over, does not seek to resettle its charges or to integrate them into the countries where they live, but instead keeps them and their descendants refugees in perpetuity. While the administration justified its decision as “a means to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” Einat Wilf argues that it will do nothing of the sort:

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Two-State Solution, U.S. Foreign policy, UNRWA