Early Days• Rabbi Akiva was born Akiva ben Joseph.• Nobody really knows when he was born, but they estimate around 17 CE.• Most of his early life is a .
How He Became a Scholar- A Love StoryRabbi Akiva was 40 years old. All his life he hadbeen a shepherd. His employer, Kalba Savua,was the wealthiest man in Jerusalem.He had a daughter named Rachel. Rachel lovedAkiva and wanted to marry him. Her onecondition was that he become a Torah scholar.He did for around years. He became one ofthe wisest scholars in the world.
How He Was Persuaded• At first Rabbi Akiva did not want to become a scholar, because he thought he was too old, and wasn’t smart enough.• One day, he saw a hollowed-out rock under a waterfall. He was told that the rock was hollowed out by the dripping water, over a long period of time. He realized that if a rock, one of Nature’s hardest substance, could be hollowed by water, he could learn Torah.
Rabbi Akiva’s Quotes• “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Rabbi Akiva said that this is the greatest principal in the Torah.Hebrew:“
More of His Quotes• “Beloved is man that he was created in the image of HaShem; It is a greater act of love that he was informed that he created in the image of HaShem. Beloved are B’Nei Israel that they were called the children of HaShem; It is a greater act of love that they were informed that they were called the children of HaShem.”
Yet More Quotes• “All is foreseen, but free will is given. The world is judged with [Divine] goodness, yet all is according to man’s actions.”Hebrew:
A Short Story• It happened that one of Rabbi Akiva’s students fell sick, and the Sages did not visit him.• So Rabbi Akiva himself entered the house to visit him, and because he swept and sprinkled the ground before him, he recovered. “My master,” said he, “you have revived me!”• Immediately Rabbi Akiva went forth and lectured: “He who does not visit the sick is a .”
Who Created the World?A man once came to Rabbi Akiva, and askedhim, Who created the world?G-d created the world, Rabbi Akiva replied.Prove it to me, persisted the heathen.Come back tomorrow, Rabbi Akiva told him.
Who Created the World? (Continued)The following day the man came back, and RabbiAkiva asked him, What are you wearing?’ A cloak, as you see.Who made it? Rabbi Akiva asked.The weaver, of course.I dont believe it; prove it to me! Rabbi Akivapersisted.What proof do you want? Can’t you see that theweaver has made the cloth?Then why do you ask for proof that G-d created theworld? Cannot you see that the Holy One blessedbe He created it.
Who Created the World (Continued)• And to his students Rabbi Akiva added, My children, just as the house is proof of the builder, and the cloth is proof of the weaver, and the door is proof of the joiner, so this world proclaims that G-d created it.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai• Rabbi Akiva had a student named Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.• The anniversary of his death is Lag Ba Omer• Rabbi Shimon is one of the greatest students of Rabbi Akiva.• His name is mentioned many times in the Mishnah and Talmud.
The Connection of Lag Ba Omer• Rabbi Akiva had 24,000 students.• Sadly, all of them passed away in a plague because they did show respect to one another.• Lag Ba Omer marks the anniversary of the day that the plague stopped.
Rabbi Akiva’s Death• Rabbi Akiva died in 135 CE.• Why?
How Rabbi Akiva Died• The Romans issued a decree forbidding the teaching and observance of Torah in public. Rabbi Akiva continued to gather students and teach them Torah. The Romans captured him and sentenced him to death.• When they took Rabbi Akiva out for execution, it was the time to say the Shema. While they tortured him, he was accepting upon himself the kingship of heaven.
Echad• Rabbi Akiva prolonged the saying of the word Echad, until he died while saying it.• A heavenly voice went forth and proclaimed, “Happy are you, Akiva, that your soul has departed with the word Echad.• Rabbi Akiva was one with God.
• Credits: Microsoft Office• http://www.office.microsoft.com