Kelal (Heb., ‘surround, include’). A summary in rabbinic Judaism of the essential meaning of Torah, or of a series of halakoth in the Mishnah. One of the ideals in teaching is to follow derek qezarah, the short(est) way. Rabbis, therefore, used to search for a statement, preferably a verse from Torah, which would summarize the purpose and meaning of the covenant. Thus Aqiba called Leviticus 19. 18 ‘the great kelal in Torah’; Simeon b. Azzai identified Genesis 5. 1. Perhaps the best known examples are those of Hillel (‘Whatever you would not have people do to you, do not do to them’) and of Jesus (combining Deuteronomy 6. 4 f. and Leviticus 19. 18, in Mark 12. 28 ff.; cf. Matthew 7. 12, Luke 6. 31 for the Golden Rule in positive form).
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