Akiba ben Joseph

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Akiba ben Joseph

(əkē`bə), c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 135, Jewish Palestinian religious leader, one of the founders of rabbinic Judaism. Although the facts of his life are obscured by legend, he is said to have been a poor and illiterate shepherd who began his rabbinic studies at the age of forty. Tradition views him as one of the first Jewish scholars to systematically compile Hebrew oral laws, the MishnaMishna
, in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. Together with the Gemara, or Amoraic commentary on the Mishna, it comprises the Talmud.
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. He is believed to have been executed by the Romans in the aftermath of the messianic revolt of Bar KokbaBar Kokba, Simon,
or Simon Bar Cochba
[Heb.,=son of the star], d. A.D. 135, Hebrew hero and leader of a major revolt against Rome under Hadrian (132–135). He may have claimed to be a Messiah; the Talmud relates that Akiba ben Joseph credited him with this title.
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 (A.D. 132–135), though the extent of his participation is a matter of controversy. He is one of the martyrs mentioned in the Jewish penitential prayer.


See study by L. Finkelstein (1936, repr. 1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
It is somehow more encouraging, less frightening, to think in this way, than imaging myself on Mount Sinai with God, Moses, and Rabbi Akiba.
Among the Tannaim, the generations of rabbinic teachers whose work is recorded in the Mishnah, Rabbi Akiba is generally considered the towering personality.
This brief narrative of Moses visiting the classroom of Rabbi Akiba is a favorite citation of many scholars as an illustration of the weight given to interpretation in rabbinic tradition.
Indeed, "betweenness" is portrayed in this brief narrative in several ways: Moses stands between God and Rabbi Akiba, while Akiba stands between Torah and his students.
The meaning of this is that Rabbi Akiba was able to show that large numbers of Oral Laws were of divine origin, transmitted as an Oral Tradition from the time of Moses, and indicated by these Tittles.
Nowhere does the Talmud offer a case in which Rabbi Akiba (or any other authority) bases a legal ruling on the configuration of taggin.
Then, when Moses asks about the meaning of these crownlets, he is shown Rabbi Akiba, both teaching in the classroom and his flesh being "weighed in the market-stalls.
While the question fits with Moses' well-known humility, it is not altogether clear in this context whether the teller of the story means to imply sincere praise of Rabbi Akiba as a masterful interpreter, or astonishment at his hermeneutical leaps (represented by Moses "not being able to follow their arguments").
Only Rabbi Akiba, it would seem, was able to combine self-limiting mysticism with innovative approaches to the Oral Law and with supple politics of negotiation, opposition and, ultimately, revolt.
Rabbi Akiba departed in peace - while the two gnostics and the one who went into exile succumbed.