The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism as Exemplified in the Shema, the Most Important Passage in the Torah

By Norman Lamm | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
With All Your Heart and All Your Soul and All Your Might

With All Your Heart

I n the psychology of both Bible and Talmud, the heart is regarded as a complex organ, the seat both of the intellect and of emotion and attitude (as in colloquial usage today). The expressions, a "good heart" and a "bad heart," refer not to cardiological conditions, but to our moral-cognitive disposition. In rabbinic writing, the heart is the locus of two dramatically conflicting tendencies or impulses, one urging us toward good actions, the other toward evil. Each of these urges is called a yetzer, from the root y-tz-r, to create, probably because a human being, as a creation (YeTZuR) of God (the YoTZeR), possesses the right and duty to choose between these two warring urges, the Good Urge (yetzer ha-tov) and the Evil Urge (yetzer ha-ra). Indeed, the whole moral enterprise of human life can be described as an ongoing contest between these urges -- the good and the evil, the constructive and the destructive, the noble and the malevolent.

In one of the most well-known commentaries of the Rabbis, the Sifre 1 applies this duality to the verse commanding us to love God "with all your heart," interpreting the double bet of the Hebrew word for heart, levavkha, as indicating that we are to love God not only with our Good Urge, our moral instincts, but also with our yetzer ha-ra, our Evil Urge.2

-129-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Shema: Spirituality and Law in Judaism as Exemplified in the Shema, the Most Important Passage in the Torah
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 224

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.