Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In the Talmud Yerushalmi, Nedarim 9:4

ואהבת לרעך כמוך: אמר רבי עקיבא זה כלל גדול בתורה:

"You shall love your fellow as yourself. Said Rabbi Akiva: This is a great principle in the Torah."

What did Rabbi Akiva mean when he said that "Veahavta lereacho kamocha" is "klal gadol batorah"? Is it possible to read this as a legal statement, the same way any other legal statements might be designated as a "klal"? If so, what effect does it have?

share|improve this question
    
When you say "as a legal statement, the same way any other legal statements might be designated as a 'klal'", are you thinking of the way the Bavli always jumps on a mishna that says "ze hak'lal", asking what it means to include? Or, if not that, then what sort of "other legal statements" are you thinking of, where the designation "k'lal" makes a difference? –  msh210 Sep 4 '11 at 15:11
    
@Msh210 "Veahavta lereacho kamocha" is a verse in the Chumash (vayikra 19:18) and Rabbi Akiva is stating it is a klal gadol. The prat is the very next line. I am god, keep my decrees. –  avi Sep 4 '11 at 18:11
    
@avi, oh, now I get it: you're saying that Rabi Akiva means that v'ahavta l'reacha kamocha is a k'lal (as in "Rabi Yishmael omer"). I tend to doubt it, as he would also have to say what he's using the k'lal for: is it part of a k'lal ufrat? a k. uf. uch.? a p. uch.? And what is/are the other p'suk(im) of such a d'rasha? Unless you have a source that says that that's what he means, I'll have to disagree WADR. –  msh210 Sep 4 '11 at 18:27
1  
@avi:"I am G-d, keep my decrees" seems to be more general than specific? –  Menachem Sep 4 '11 at 18:49
1  
@Menachem, yes... But since Rabbi Akiva is NOT making a legal statement, I have no idea what would or would not be the prat. You can tell he isn't making a legal statement, because the counter argument to him is that 'Zeh Toldot Adam' is the real 'Klal Gadol b'torah' –  avi Sep 4 '11 at 19:07
show 5 more comments

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzva 243) writes that "Loving your fellow as Yourself is a great general rule in the Torah" because many mitzvot are dependent on it. Someone who truly loves someone else as himself would never steal from him, sleep with his wife, cheat him monetarily, encroach on his boundaries, or do anything to harm him.

So, to answer the question. According to the Chinuch, "Loving your fellow as yoursef" is the Klal (the General Commamdment) and all the other Mitzvos between a man and his friend are the Pratim (the specific examples(?) of this general rule).

Perhaps this is why Ben Nanas, when asked to find a verse which encapsulated (Kolel) the most of Torah, chose this verse. (Midrash brought by Yaakov ibn Chaviv in the introduction to his Ein Yaakov - See curriculum to this shiur for an english translation)


Follow these links to some different approaches to understanding Rashi on Kedoshim 19:18:

"You shall love your fellow[-Jew] as yourself. Said Rabbi Akiva: This is a great principle in the Torah."

share|improve this answer
add comment

The Klal Gadol of the entire Torah is to unify (m'yachaid) the entire creation with Hashem (Kudsha Berichu v'Shechinatei). This is the purpose of all Torah and mitzvos. It is what Olam Haba is all about. Thus, the idea of loving one's neighbor as oneself illustrates the unity of Jews for one another, which is a moshol (metaphor) for the yichud of the entire creation. It is what all of the mitzvos (prattim) are meant to achieve. Each one unifies a different aspect of ourselves and the beriah as a whole. That is what is meant by "the rest are details".

share|improve this answer
1  
Chaim Baruch, welcome to the site. I hope you stick around and enjoy it. A source for each of your claims would make your answer much more valuable: without one, we readers only have your say-so to go by, and, with all due respect, we don't know you. Also, please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. –  msh210 May 21 '12 at 20:53
add comment

I don't think it's possible to read R. Akivah's statement as a legal klal, it's part of an agadatah, not part of halacha.

If taken as a legal statement, it would mean that you could never paskin something that which you would not be willing to do yourself.

It would also mean that you could not use halacha to do something to another person, that you would not be willing to have be done to you.

share|improve this answer
2  
What is the source that one cannot paskin something that you don't want other's paskining to you? Doesn't a psak have to be emes l'amito? –  Shmuel Brin Sep 4 '11 at 16:49
    
There is no source that Hillel's statement is actually a klal! So, I doubt there is any source that we can't paskin that way either. But IF it was a klal, that would be it's ramification. –  avi Sep 4 '11 at 16:58
    
However, there is a concept of 'Torah darchei Noam' which would prevent an objectively harsh pska, irregardless of how the person giving the psak feels about it. –  avi Sep 4 '11 at 17:00
1  
while many say that R' Akiva's statement was based on Hillel's, it may be useful to say that explicitly in your answer. Otherwise people might not see the connection between the question and the answer. Also, while the story with Hillel may be Agaddatah, the quote from R' Akiva comes from Torat Kohanim, which is Halachic Midrash: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sifra –  Menachem Sep 4 '11 at 18:08
    
Meachem, if you look in the Talmud Yerushalmi, you will see it is agadatah. It is a list of possible statements which are 'klal gadol' –  avi Sep 4 '11 at 18:55
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.