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Akiva (Akiva ben Yosef, also Akiba ben Joseph)

Born: 50 AD
Died: 135 AD, at 85 years of age.

Nationality: Israeli
Categories: Rabbi, Religious Leaders, Spiritual Leader

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A.D 50 – He was born this year around Lydda. He was one of the founders of rabbinic Judaism. Like his father, Akiba could not read or write. As a young man Akiba did not think highly of scholars, teachers, and students. After many years, Akiba married a wealthy landowner's daughter named Rachel. She agreed to marry him, however, only if he learned to read and write.

 

A.D 70 – The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. Without the Temple there was no central place of worship for Jews. As a result, Judaism became more dependent on rabbis for leadership. Akiba became a leader during this change.

 

A.D 90 - At the age of 40, Akiba entered a school called the Vineyard at Yavneh and became a gifted student. For more than 15 years, he studied the ideas and traditions of Judaism so that he could become a rabbi, or a teacher of Jewish religion and law. After showing his skill in a debate, Akiba earned the position of rabbi.

 

A.D. 95 - Akiba and the other rabbis traveled to Rome to meet up with the Roman emperor Domitian. The Romans had approved laws that penalize supporters of Judaism.

 

A.D 97 - The rabbis wanted the laws altered, but the Romans decline. After returning from Rome in this year, Akiba opened a school of his own near the school at Yavneh. He attracted many students and taught them under the shade of a palm tree. His teachings were based on the idea of "love your neighbor as yourself."

 

A.D. 132 - Rome made it illegal to study or carry out the teachings of the Torah. This led to the Bar Kochba revolt. Akiba supported the revolt and continued teaching Jewish law. The Romans put Akiba in jail, but this did not stop him from teaching.

 

A.D. 135 - After nearly three years in prison, Akiba was executed by the Romans at the town of Caesarea, now part of Israel. In addition to his work with Jewish law, Akiba was best remembered for his concern for others, especially women and the poor.

 

 


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Page last updated: 11:08am, 01st Jun '07