Rabbi Aqiba and the Song of Songs

The whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs
was given to Israel, for all the Scriptures are holy, but the Song of
Songs is the Holy of Holies.

Rabbi Aqiba

In the first century, at the Council of Jamnia, Jewish sages gathered to consider what texts should be included in the sacred scriptures. Rabbi Aqiba, an esteemed Jewish scholar, persuasively argued that the Song of Songs was divine writ; indeed, that this great work was the apex of Jewish scripture. For the Jews of this period the Song of Songs was a set of poems on the sanctity of love and of the love of God for Israel. Christians saw in this text an allegory for the intimate relationship between Christ and the church. The eloquent lyricism of the Song's poetry and the lush descriptions of the physical and spiritual union between the lover and the beloved express the profound passion of the lover of humankind, Jesus, for each human being. God, the lover of humankind, woos and animates all loving relationships.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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