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Encyclopedia > Rabbi Akiva

Akiba ben Joseph (or Rabbi Akiva, Rebbi Akiva, c. 50-c. 135) was a famous Jewish rabbi of the 2nd century. He was a great authority in the matter of Jewish tradition, and one of the most central and essential contributors to the early Oral Torah, mainly the Mishnah and the midrash halakha. He laid the foundations of the mishnaic dispute, by which pairs or larger groups of sages dispute points of Halakha or Bible interpretation. Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools the sages were addressed as רִבִּי (Ribbi... // Events Roman Empire governed by the Five Good Emperors (96–180) – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ... The word tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio which means to hand down or to hand over. ... When Moses received all of the laws that would define the Jewish tradition, he also received the explanation of these laws. ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish rabbinic law, custom and tradition. ... The Bible (Hebrew תנ״ך [tanakh], Greek η Βίβλος [hÄ“ biblos] ) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Good Book, Word of God, The Word, or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βίβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the classical name for the Hebrew Bible of Judaism or the combination of the Old Testament and New Testament of Christianity...

Contents


In the Mishnah

A member of the third generation of the Mishnah sages, Akiba was a disciple of Nahum Ish Gamzu, Rebbi Eliezer son of Hyrcanos, and Rebbi Yehoshua. Some say that Rebbi Tarfon was also a teacher of his; others claim he was his contemporary colleague. The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... Rebbi Yehoshua was a Jewish rabbi of the 2nd century. ...


Among other contemporary colleagues are: Elisha ben Avuya, Rebbi Eleazar ben Zadok, Rebbi Eleazar ben Azarya, Rabban Gamliel, Rebbi Yehuda ben Beteira, Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri, Rebbi Yosei Haglili, and Rebbi Yishmael. Elisha Ben Abuyah (spelled variously, including Elisha ben Avuya) was a Jewish heretic born in Jerusalem sometime before 70. ... Rabbi Gamliel II, also known as Gamliel of Yavne, and often simply Rabban Gamliel was the first person to lead the sanhedrin as nasi. ...

"What was Rabbi Akiva like? - A worker who goes out with his basket. He finds wheat - he puts it in, barley - he puts in, spelt - he puts in, beans - he puts in, lentils - he puts in. When he arrives home he sorts out the wheat by itself, barley by itself, spelt by itself, beans by themselves, lentils by themselves. So did Rabbi Akiva, and arranged the Torah rings by rings" (Avot deRabbi Natan ch. 18; see also Babylonian Talmud, tractate Gittin, 67a).

Rabbi Akiva held countless disputes with his teachers and colleagues. A rule was later established: whenever Rabbi Akiva disputes a single sage the halakhic ruling follows him, but not so when he disputes more than one sage. Torah (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ... The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. ...


Rabbi Akiva's students include Judah ben Ilai. Rabbi Judah ben Ilai was a Talmudic scholar and a Tana, or writer of the Mishna, who lived in the second century. ...


Biography

The Talmud is the only ancient source of knowledge about Rabbi Akiva. According to it he was born to a proselyte named Joseph. He was an am ha'aretz (Hebrew: ignoramus) during his first forty years. During that period he used to say: "O that I would find a talmid chacham (Torah scholar) and bite him like a donkey" (Talmud tractate Pesachim, 49b). Hebrew (עִבְרִית ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than 7 million people, mainly in Israel, the West Bank, the United States and by Jewish communities around the world. ... Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, or a willful lack of desire to improve the efficiency, merit, effectiveness or usefulness of ones actions. ... The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. ...


He was the shepherd of a rich man nicknamed Kalba Savua because anyone who entered his house hungry like a dog (Kalba) went out sated (savua) (a reference to his hospitality toward guests). Kalba Savua's daughter, whose name was Rachel, noticed his modesty and good nature. She asked him: "If I marry you, will you go study at (a Torah) school?" He answered positively, and they married in secret and she sent him off (to study). Her father, hearing this, drove her out of his house and prohibited her by vow of having any share in his assets. Torah (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ...


Akiva went and sat twelve years at school, starting off in the same class as small children. When he returned, he had twelve thousand disciples following him. He overheard an old man saying to Rachel: "How long will you live as a widow while still married?" She answered him: "If he would listen to me, he should go study another twelve years." Hearing this, Rabbi Akiva said: "So I'm doing it with her approval!" and went and studied another twelve years.


When he came back this time, he had twenty-four thousand disciples with him. Hearing this, his wife was about to go out and greet him. Her female neighbors said to her: "Go borrow garments and dress yourself!" She replied: "A righteous man knows the spirit of his domestic beast" (Proverbs 12:10). The Book of Proverbs is a book of the Tanakh/Old Testament. ...


When she reached him she prostrated herself and started kissing his feet. His servants started pushing her away. He said to them: "Let her be! What both I and you have is hers."


Her father heard that a great man had arrived in town. He said: "Let me go to him, perhaps he may annul my vow." Rabbi Akiva asked him: "Had you known that her husband would become a great man, would you have vowed?" Kalba Savua answered: "Why, if he even knew one chapter, even one Halakha!" Rabbi Akiva then said: "I am him." He prostrated himself and kissed him on his feet, and gave him half his assets (tractate Ketubot, 62b-63a). Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish rabbinic law, custom and tradition. ...


Rabbi Akiva was very rich. The Talmud enumerates six occasions in which he gained his riches. (tractate Nedarim, 50a-b)


When the Simon bar Kokhba (bar Kozeba) revolt took place (135), Rabbi Akiva expounded the following verse homiletically: "A star has shot off Jacob" (Numbers 24:17) and so nicknamed the rebel as Kokhba, "the star", rather than Kozeba. When Rabbi Akiva would see bar Kozeba, he would say: "This is the Melekh Hamoshiach (Anointed King)!" (Jerusalem Talmud, tractate Ta'anit 4:8). Simon bar Kokhba was a Jewish military leader who led Bar Kokhbas revolt against the Romans in 132, establishing an independent state of Israel which he ruled for three years as Nasi (prince, or president). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following a two-year war. ... For other uses, see number 135. ... Homiletics (Gr. ... The Jewish Messiah, (משיח) or Mashiach, or Moshiach, has traditionally referred to a future Jewish king from the Davidic line who will be anointed (in Hebrew, mashiach -- משיח (messiah) means anointed with holy olive oil) and inducted to rule the Jewish people. ... The Jerusalem Talmud (In Hebrew Talmud Yerushalmi, in short known as the Yerushalmi), also known as the Palestinian Talmud, (not related to current Palestinian issues at all!), was written in the Land of Israel at the same time of the writing of the the Babylonian Talmud, (which is known as...


Following the failure of bar Kokhba's revolt, the Romans prohibited the public study of Torah. Rabbi Akiva defied this order, and was imprisoned. The Roman officer Turnus Rufus sentenced Rabbi Akiva to death. It was the time of reciting the Shema (see: Jewish services). They ripped his flesh with iron spikes, and he acknowledged the "burden of the Kingdom of Heaven." His disciples asked him: "Rabbi, as far as this?" He replied: "All my life I was worried about this verse (from the Shema Yisrael), "(And you shall love the Lord your God) ...with all your soul," (and the sages expounded this to signify), even if He takes away your soul. I said: "When will I encounter such a situation and fulfil this!" Now that I encountered it, won't I fulfil it?" He laid out the word "Echad" (one) until his life expired with that word. A heavenly voice went out and announced: "Blessed are you, Rabbi Akiva, that your life expired with "Echad" (Talmud Berachot 61b). For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Torah (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ... Jewish services are the communal prayer recitations which form part of the observance of Judaism. ... The Kingdom of Heaven (or the Kingdom of God, Hebrew מלכות השמים, malkhut hashamayim, Greek basileia tou theou) is a key concept in both Judaism and Christianity. ... Shema Yisrael (or Shma Yisroel or just Shema) (Hebrew: שמע ישראל; Hear, [O] Israel) are the first two words of a section of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) that is used as a centerpiece of all morning and evening Jewish prayer services and closely echoes the monotheistic message of Judaism. ...


See also

The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... Midrash (pl. ... The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia: Rabbi Akiva (475 words)
Rabbi Akiva is one of the most central and essential contributors to the early Oral Torah, mainly the Mishnah and the Midrash Halakha.
Rabbi Akiva, as a young man, did not know a word of Torah.
Rabbi Akiva was now able to fulfill a promise he had made to his wife, to give her a model of Jerusalem made of gold to wear in her hair.
Rabbi Akiva - Torah.org (815 words)
Rabbi Akiva is one of the leading figures in the Mishna and Talmud and one of the heroic figures in all of Jewish history.
Rabbi Akiva was a shepherd -- as was Jacob, Moses and David -- in the employ of Kalba Savua.
Rabbi Akiva laughed at viewing the same scene, serene in his faith that just as the negative prophecies regarding the Jewish future were fulfilled literally, so too would the positive blessings of Israel recorded in the book of Zecharya occur in a most literal and perfect sense.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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