(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
WE ARE all indebted to Rabbi Reuven Hammer’s lucid and admirably documented contribution to the study of Rabbi Akiva. “Akiva: Life, Legend, Legacy” is extremely well written, a joy to read, and a rare opportunity to learn about the multi-dimensional personality of probably the greatest of the Tannaim (rabbinic sages). Hammer’s book evinces intensive, extensive, and meticulous research as he skill- fully draws together the multiple rabbinic sources like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in order to capture Rabbi Akiva and bring him to life. It is a remarkable and enlightening biography.