The Love of David and Jonathan

David and Jonathan
An excerpt from Pirkei Avot, the two-thousand-year-old book of Jewish ethics:

“Any love which is contingent on a thing, when the thing is nullified the love disintegrates; but a love which is independent of anything will never disintegrate. What is the prototype of love, which is contingent on a thing? This is the love of Amnon and Tamar. And what is the prototype of a love, which is independent of anything? This is the love of David and Jonathan.” (Pirkei Avot 5:19)

David is King David, and Jonathan is the son of King Saul.

The translation is by Michael Shire from his book Mazal Tov!: The Ritual and Customs of a Jewish Wedding.

More Mazal Tov! here.

(Image: Jonathan Lovingly Taketh His Leave of David by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld via Wikimedia Commons)

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