[3] Some modern scholars argue that Akiva's thousands of students died fighting for Bar Kochba, but this opinion was first formulated by Nachman Krochmal around 200 years ago and has no earlier source. When his wife went out to greet him, some of his students, not knowing who she was, sought to restrain her. When it is unclear how to read a letter, the example of the Gemara is whether a letter might be a vav or a yud, one should call upon a child, one who is neither too smart (who might figure out the proper letter based on the context) nor too foolish. Breaking this rule! So did Rabbi Akiva; he arranged the Torah rings by rings. [3] The only established fact concerning Akiva's connection with Bar Kochba is that he regarded Bar Kochba as the promised Messiah;[31] this is the only evidence of active participation by Akiva in the revolution. Akiva, however, was not to be turned from his purpose; he sought the son of the tax-gatherer and labored long and assiduously in teaching him the word of God. [82] This is quite remarkable, seeing that in matrimonial legislation he went so far as to declare every forbidden union as absolutely void[83] and the offspring as illegitimate. It was cast upon the shore close to the house of Akiva's creditor, so that when the matrona went to the shore to demand of the sea the amount she had lent Akiva, the ebbing tide left boundless riches at her feet. Besides Eliezer, Akiva studied under Joshua ben Hananiah[6] and Nachum Ish Gamzu. [3][11] Akiva also lived for some time at Ziphron,[12] modern Zafran[13] near Hamath. [3][47] It is quite instructive to read how a Christian of Akiva's generation, Justin Martyr, calls the literal interpretation—thus objected to by Akiva—a "Jewish heretical one". the father suddenly appeared to Akiva and overwhelmed him with thanks for his deliverance from the pains of hell through the merit of his son. Rabbi Akiva (sometimes spelled Akiba) is considered to be one of the greatest rabbinic sages, yet the biographical details of his life remain somewhat of a mystery. No sooner had they left it than the cavern closed of its own accord, so that no one has found it since. These legends set the beginning of his years of study at about 75–80. He says to them, "All my life I was worried about the verse, 'with all your soul' (and the sages expounded this to signify), even if He takes away your soul. Of course, it is not the death itself that atones for us; rather, it is the impact and inspiration that their lives provide for us that can atone. For our purposes, the story begins with Moshe asking G-d why He is putting crowns on certain letters of the sefer Torah. On the death of R. Eliezer, R. Akiva was distraught over the loss of such a great master of Torah. The most common version of Akiva's death is that the Roman government ordered him to stop teaching Torah, on pain of death, and that he refused. Every peculiarity of diction, every particle, every sign, is to be considered as of higher importance, as having a wider relation and as being of deeper meaning than it seems to have. And when a great Sage dies, “all of Israel mourns”,  all must do teshuva. They all died between Pesach and Lag B’Omer from a horrible and painful death known as askara, which can be translated as either croup or diphtheria. When morning dawned he learned how true his words were. !” Like Philo,[75] who saw in the Hebrew construction of the infinitive with the finite form of the same verb and in certain particles (adverbs, prepositions, etc.) Our Sages (Moed Katan 28a) teach that the death of the righteous atones[1], and it is thus hard to think of anything more appropriate to recite on the Day of Atonement. Genealogy profile for Rabbi Akiva Sofer of Pressburg - The Daas Sofer Rabbi Akiva Sofer-Schreiber (1878 - 1959) - Genealogy Genealogy for Rabbi Akiva Sofer-Schreiber (1878 - 1959) family tree on Geni, with over 200 million profiles of ancestors and living relatives. G-d responds that, “There is one who, in the future and the end of some generations, will expound from each crown mountains and mountains of laws, and Akiva the son of Joseph is his name”. [14], According to the Talmud, Akiva was a shepherd for Ben Kalba Sabu'a when the latter's daughter noticed his modesty and fine character traits. As we have previously noted, the first of the four steps of a korban mincha is the kemitza, where the kohen takes a handful of flour—not more and not less—to be burnt on the altar. [62] Akiva stoutly defended, however, the canonicity of the Song of Songs, and Esther. This probably would have been the case had not Akiva created his own Midrash, by means of which he was able "to discover things that were even unknown to Moses. RABBI AKIVA: SAGE OF THE TALMUD By Barry W. Holtz Yale University Press, 248 pages, $25. death of rabbi akiva's students The accepted explanation for this transformation of a joyful period into a time of mourning is the demise of the students of Rabbi Akiva: The practice is not to get married between Passover and Shavuot – until Lag B'Omer, because during this time the students of Rabbi Akiva perished. When I was a rabbinical student, my teacher, Rabbi … Later, when Akiva arrived to discharge his indebtedness, the matrona not only refused to accept the money, but insisted upon Akiva's receiving a large share of what the sea had brought to her. [16], By agreement with his wife, Akiva spent twelve years away from home, pursuing his studies. It was precisely because of the breakdown of civil discourse and respect for one another that they were afflicted with the plague and died. "No mercy in [civil] justice!" While the destruction and subsequent exile was a major blow to the Jewish nation, there was always the Torah that kept us strong, giving us vital energy to survive as a nation throughout this long and bitter exile. [58] Consistent as Akiva always was, his ethics and his views of justice were only the strict consequences of his philosophical system. During the first 40 years of his life he was unlettered and unschooled.Imagine! He is referred to in the Talmud as Rosh la-Hakhamim "Chief of the Sages". [3][65], Aquila, meanwhile, was a disciple of Akiva and, under Akiva's guidance, gave the Greek-speaking Jews a rabbinical Bible. The Talmud (Brachot 61b) describes Rabbi Akiva’s bitter end. He is also sometimes credited with redacting Abraham's version of the Sefer Yetzirah, one of the central texts of Jewish mysticism. [3][49] This view of Akiva's, in spite of the energetic protests of his colleague Rabbi Ishmael, became the one generally accepted by his contemporaries. For other uses, see. As bondsmen for the loan, Akiva named God and the sea, on the shore of which the matrona's house stood. And yet, on that very same day, in response to Moshe’s request to understand the ways of G-d, G-d declared to Moshe that, “No man can see My face and live” (Shemot 33:20). 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