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Re: "Love" in the DSS

On Sun, 7 Apr 1996 HuldrychZ@aol.com wrote:

> Friends,
> My original intention, if I may, in posing the question about the use of
> "ahav" in the DSS, was to elicit discussion of the scrolls and the theology
> contained within them (more than a desire to discuss the theology of Judaism;
> important as this clearly is).
> I am sorry if my query has led the discussion from its central focus.
> Jim
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Jim West, ThD
> Professor of Biblical Languages, CCBI
My apologies if my response to Romney Wegner went too far afield or 
seemed inappropriate to the users of the list. However, I think the 
general tenor of the discussion was intended to suggest that the lack of 
direct expression for the love of G-d in the Scrolls would be a departure 
from the general literary context of related sacred literature. First, 
the lack of that expression in the scrolls would be a departure from the 
expression of love for G-d in Deut. 6:5, and other portions of the 
tradition in the Hebrew Bible. It would also be a departure from other 
sacred texts, Christian and Jewish, in a time-frame contemporaneous (and 
a bit later) with the scrolls. Also, the idea of love as part of the bond 
of covenant was expressed in Mesopotamian literature. All this is meant 
to say (speaking for myself and my reading of the postings) that you are 
right to pursue other related words, since you would want to avoid an 
argument from silence. As you clearly are aware, the DSS stress covenant 
strongly and this would be, as you say, an extraordinary departure.

My knowledge of the DSS in adhering to covenantal law, as reflected 
(among other things) in my research into the treatment of disability or 
illness (for history of interpretation into Lev. 13-14 and Lev. 21:16-24) 
suggests that the folks who composed the scrolls followed a stricter 
practice in general than that reflected in either Leviticus or Deuteronomy.

Again, I'm sorry if I contributed to a lack of focus.

Best wishes,

Sarah Melcher
Emory University