New Books Network

Is love between man and woman the source of wisdom and the cornerstone of moral life? Naftali Rothenberg says it is, based on the...

Is love between man and woman the source of wisdom and the cornerstone of moral life? Naftali Rothenberg says it is, based on the works and life of the first century Jewish scholar and sage, Rabbi Akiva.

In Rabbi Akiva’s Philosophy of Love (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) Rothenberg explores the philosophy of love through the thought and life of Rabbi Akiva whose life was transformed by the love of his wife, Rachel. From this starting point, Naftali Rothenberg conducts a thorough examination of the harmonious approach to love in the obstacle-laden context of human reality. Discussing the deterioration of passion into simple lust, the ability to contend with suffering and death, and so forth, Rothenberg addresses the deepest and most pressing questions about human love. The readings and observations offered here allow readers to acquire the wisdom of love—not merely as an assemblage of theoretical arguments and abstract statements, but as an analysis of the internal contradictions and difficulties revealed in the context of attempts to realize and implement harmonious love.


Renee Garfinkel is a Jerusalem-based psychologist, writer, and television & radio commentator. Write her at r.garfinkel@yahoo.com or on Twitter @embracingwisdom