Rabbi Akiva's Philosophy of Love

  • Naftali Rothenberg

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Naftali Rothenberg
    Pages 1-9
  3. To Love and to be Loved

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 13-51
    3. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 53-66
    4. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 67-88
  4. Philosophy & Praxis of Love

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 91-110
    3. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 111-137
    4. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 171-194
    5. Naftali Rothenberg
      Pages 195-216
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 217-226

About this book


This book explores the philosophy of love through the thought and life of Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph. Readers of the Talmud are introduced to Rabbi Akiva through the iconic story of his love for his wife Rachel. From this starting point, Naftali Rothenberg conducts a thorough examination of the harmonious approach to love in the obstacle-laden context of human reality. Discussing the deterioration of passion into simple lust, the ability to contend with suffering and death, and so forth, Rothenberg addresses the deepest and most pressing questions about human love. The readings and observations offered here allow readers to acquire the wisdom of love—not merely as an assemblage of theoretical arguments and abstract statements, but as an analysis of the internal contradictions and difficulties revealed in the context of attempts to realize and implement harmonious love. 


Akiva Talmud love jewish studies mishna

Authors and affiliations

  • Naftali Rothenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute JerusalemIsrael

Bibliographic information