Hillel Quote

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow; that is the whole Law: all the rest is interpretation.”

~ Hillel


Ratings and Comments

David L. Rosenthal

Spreading the word? ;-)

Me Again
  • Reply
Me Again    12/22/06

Straightforward and simple to follow.That's nice,but it seems to be lacking something.Good words,though.

Mike, Mount Holly, NC

Good quote, but not the whole law according to Jesus. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said this sums up the whole law. Maybe that's what is lacking Me Again.

  • Reply
EGl, LA    12/22/06

One of the beauties of Judaism is its tradition of unending study of the holy word. A continual quest for new and deeper enlightened meaning is an intellectual beacon that uniquely exists in this faith. Unlike Christianity that thinks the word of god is etched in stone, the Jews embrace the same idea except apply the tenet that since the interpretation of God's word is always human it must therefore be subject to revision. Would that Christians could embrance this idea and move beyond the literalism with which they take the words of an antiquated tome written over centuries by many different human scribes and colored by mythologies and a variety of pre-scientific facts.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Three stars for being half correct. As Mike pointed out, he left out the most important part. Loving your neighbor is just the corrollary.

Dick, Trice

What the message does not comprehend is that "hateful" may be defined quite differently among people. It may be acceptable to some and not to others. It also, as is pointed out by others here, does not include the positive acts of love and altruism. The quotation may fit "law" but its lack of kindness negates the "whole" part.

Mike, Norwalk

Excellent comments by Mike, Ken, and Dick. EGI once again raises the bar on bigotry's ignorance.

E Archer, NYC

One of Nature's laws transcending many creeds. Real truths are not hard to understand.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Basicly a statement of the "Golden rule", which is back asswards... one should not assume that others live by the same measure of what they want as you do for yourself... so better is to "do unto others as they would have you do unto them"... i.e. treat people like they want to be treated.

Joe, Rochester, MI

If you rate this quote with less than 5 stars, you apparently believe there are reasons to be hateful to others. i.e. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you ... unless they ________. <-- fill in the blank "are Muslim, Catholic, black, white, yellow, brown, gay, female, old, say something you disagree with, etc."

David, Bethel

This is a beautiful concept. Unfortunately, looking at a single quote void of its content leaves the text bereft of real meaning.This quote is part of a larger discussion which numerous points, including Rabbi Akiva's quote, "Love your Neighbor as thyself." Additionally, all these quotes must be seen within the context of Torah's underlying understanding that there are no such things as inalienable rights, only inalienable obligations. To understand this clearly, simply look back to the earliest stories of Genesis. Adam and Eve are ejected from Eden, not for eating of the Tree (the punishment for that was death), but for failing to take personal responsibility. Then recall that When Cain asks God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" the answer is an unequivocal and resounding, "Yes!"

Ben Aharon, Albuquerque

Unless one loves Yhvh with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, they are not able to fulfill the mitzvah. Withholding from one's neighbor what one finds hateful is a negative command in that it requires one to refrain from taking action. It is easy to fulfill Hillel's negative command outwardly while still harboring hate towards (or not loving) one's neighbor. Yeshua's mitzvot to "love your neighbor as yourself" is a positive command in that it requires one to take action. Loving Yhvh with all one's resources and loving one's neighbor requires an inward change of the heart rather than an outward observance to withhold hateful things. This is a great example of how Yeshua brought fullness to Torah ("I did not come to abolish Torah, but to fulfill Torah"..."until heaven and earth pass away, not one yod or tittle shall pass from the Torah"). Obviously heaven and earth have not passed away and the Torah is still able to "make you wise unto salvation" and is "profitable for doctrine, reproof correction, INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, that the person of Yhvh may be COMPLETE".

Josh D, Palm Springs

I only gave it four stars because you left out the most important part of the quote: "What is hateful to you, do not do unto your neighbor, all the rest is commentary. Now go and study." Hillel did not say this was a commandment from God, only that it summarized Judaism. The story goes that Hillel was asked by a pagan to convert him to Judaism by summarizing the religion while standing on one foot. What makes the last line so important is that he is telling this man that in order to learn what the moral good in any given situation is, he would have to study and not rely on his heart. Love thy neighbor as yourself is a lofty goal, but how can you incorporate that into your life today? Wouldn't it be better to at least start with "What is hateful to you, do not do unto others." I think that if more people lived by that alone, this world would be much better off.

Phil, Stockholm

This concept, this idea is a part of a discussion which I think is interesting, both how the question was made and the answer. But apart from that, the answer to a complex moral question we have to deal with can be narrowed down to that idea, sometimes because we can't or shouldn't try to offer more than that. It is a great tool for to deal with moral issues practically. Just a thought...

S. Robertson, Georgia

In principle, the neighbor is every person in the world. But that is too much for us,because we do not yet know how to treat our enemies and opponents correctly.All of this has to be learned,and the Torah is the teacher. To begin with the neighbor is my friend, a person who wants to unite with me to attain a goal of friendship. We might think badly of our friends and look at them critically, but a beginning is if we try to create the right connection among us and overlook what we think are shortcomings."Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" means: we dont want to act against others in any of our thoughts, desires, aspirations, or intentions, by that we already extend threads toward each other.

Nat, London

Wouldn't REALLY to not do what is hateful to yourself be to love your fellow? - what more is love beyond that kind of empathy in action? But I wonder who/what is meant by "your fellow" here? Is this 'your fellow' in the sense of humankind, or just those you like, your side, your countryfolk, your fellow religionists etc? When it comes to the real world, how does this relate to Palestinians, for instance?


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