The Gemara (Sanhedrin 106b) says that "God desires the heart". A responsum attributed to Maimonides interprets this to mean "knowledge of God, morals and wisdom" (letter to Hasdai Ha-Levi; Maimonides Reader p. 478).

I have heard this quoted in the context of emotional devotion to God.

How do different Rishonim interpret this statement?

  • Citing the g'mara would vastly improve your question IMO. – msh210 Apr 23 '15 at 2:08
  • Sanhedrin 106b אלא הקב"ה ליבא בעי דכתיב (שמואל א טז) וה' יראה ללבב – Loewian Apr 24 '15 at 18:43
  • 3
    It's pretty clear that while לב often is better translated as mind or intellect (as e.g. in Chovoth HaLevavoth), here the sense seems to be more along the lines of motivation/drive (as opposed to circumstance). – Loewian Apr 24 '15 at 18:51
  • ויאמר ה' יען כי נגש העם הזה בפיו ובשפתיו כבדוני ולבו רחק ממני ותהי יראתם אתי מצות אנשים מלמדה - ישעיה כט:יג – Lee Nov 30 '15 at 10:45

The Sefer Hakuzari (חתימת הספר כו:) writes: אָמַר הַכּוּזָרִי: כַּאֲשֶׁר אַתָּה מַאֲמִין בְּכָל מַה שֶׁזָּכַרְתָּ כְּבָר יָדַע הָאֵל מַצְפּוּנְךָ, וְרַחְמָנָא לִבָּא בָּעֵי, יוֹדֵעַ הַמַּצְפּוּנִים וּמְגַלֶּה הַנִּסְתָּרוֹת.

Seemingly the Kuzari understands it to mean that G-d has intimate knowledge of man.

Although, in this context the Kazar King is speaking and asking a question based off this interpretation. So maybe that is not an indication as to the property understanding of it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .