This lecture examines Hebraic and later Jewish understandings of the love commandment as first set down in Leviticus 19:18. It explores several questions. What is the meaning of the commandment in its biblical context? How was it interpreted in the later rabbinic tradition? And how do its interpretations and applications compare with those found in the New Testament? We will see that these questions yield complex answers and significant disagreements, but the disagreements within each tradition, Judaism and Christianity, are greater than the disagreements between them. In all respects, the love commandment of Leviticus 19:18 lays the foundation for a shared Jewish and Christian
ethic of love.