Would the real Rabbi Akiva please stand up?

Akiva today, in our eyes and understanding, is a legend who has become a reality

By SHALOM M. PAUL
March 21, 2018 19:05
Rabbi Akiva

Rabbi Akiva. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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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.

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