Dear Carolyn,
I do not agree at all that "brothers" and "kinsmen" are being contrasted, in Leviticus, with "fellows" and "neghbours". You are making the same mistake the Christians made when, not understanding Hebrew literary expression, they thought that the Messiah was going to arrive straddling an "ass" and the "son of an ass". The two descriptions refer to one and the same animal, not two. The whole point of the Holiness Code, in Leviticus 19, is that a dispute has arisen between oneself and one's "fellow", "neighbour", "kinsman", or "brother". These are not, here, different people. It is all a question of the one person one happens to have a dispute with. He or she may even be a "stranger", whom one is also enjoined to "love" in the same chapter. The question is, what does one do when there is a dispute, when one thinks one's neighbour, kinsman, or a stranger has wronged one. The chapter spells it out: one must not spread idle gossip, but nor must one be a bystander to evil ("standing on the blood" of a victim). One must not take revenge or bear a grudge, or have hate in one's heart, but one must nevertheless speak out, and "surely rebuke" the other. This is how one loves him, or more accurately acts with love "for him" (lere'acha, not et re'acha; dative, not accusative), because he is like yourself (kamocha, adjective, not adverb), not a mirror image, but perhaps your "semblable", because both you and he are "made in the image of God" -- but not identical images or twins. This is not sentimental rosy-glow love, it is honest love-as-action. As Auden said: "You shall love your crooked neighbour with your crooked heart."
I hope this will be regarded as sufficiently relevant to discussion of VN, as this is as it were the primal literature of our civilisation that underlies all discussions of Baudelaire, Shakespeare, Nabokov and others. 
Anthony Stadlen
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In a message dated 26/04/2010 22:19:38 GMT Daylight Time, chaiselongue@EARTHLINK.NET writes:
The word under question here ("neighbor") in Hebrew has the root resh-ayin-kaf. Unfortunately I can't lay hands on a Hebrew dictionary at the moment, but I can tell you that the two phrases in Leviticus distinguish between brothers (literally: sons of thy people) whom we are enjoined not to hate or hold grudges against, and the neighbor (in the singular) [ואהבת לרעך כמוך] towards whom we are enjoined to bear the same love as that we we bear for our own. So it would appear not to refer to the fellow next door.
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