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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

William Douglas Burgess Jr.

Committee Members

Jeff Gold, Marie Tedesco, Ronnie M. Day


This paper explores the development of the concept of the mitzvot of love within Pharisaic Judaism. Emphasis is placed on adherence to the Covenant through the conscious act of love, stemming from the Levitical law “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Examination begins with the Babylonian Exile, and concludes with the First Jewish War with Rome. Attention is placed on the Pharisaic sect. The Pharisees ability to synchronize Greek philosophy and Jewish covenant theology, created a new identity for the Jewish people, emphasizing the mitzvot of love. The Pharisaic academy most revered for placing value on the mitzvot of love, was the School of Hillel the Elder. For Hillel the Elder, the only true way to fulfill the Covenant was through active participation in the mitzvot to love. His youngest disciple, Yohannan ben Zakkai, followed in his master’s teachings, rebuilding Judaism through love following the First Jewish War with Rome.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.