Rabbi Akiva


Rabbi Akiva (ra-BYE uh-KEE-vuh) listen


Example Sentences

  • "And yes, there is a story about Moses ascending on high and being given a view of a later Rabbi Akiva (2nd. cent. CE) lecturing on the Torah, and stating that a very profound point goes all the way back to 'Moses at Sinai,' which actually make Moses feel quite proud, according to the story. This would be in the category of 'legend' (Heb. aggadah). You can find it on page 29b of the tractate Menachot." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • עֲקִיבָא בֶּן יוֹסֵף akiva ben yosef

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


      • North America


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

      Alternative Spellings

      Akiva ben Joseph, Akiva ben Yosef


  • "According to legend, he was a shepherd who began his Jewish education late, at the age of 40, but his determination and love of learning proved him a natural scholar. He collected and arranged the whole Oral Law according to subjects, which laid the foundation for the editing of the Mishnah. Many of his wise sayings and teachings about learning and Jewish law are contained in Pirke Avot. When Roman conquerors forbid the study of Torah, Akiva continued teaching. He then supported Shimon bar Kokhba in his messianic revolt against the Romans. This fatal mistake led to Rabbi Akiva’s death. His martyrdom is legendary. As he was tortured to death, he continued to recite the words to the Shema. Akiva died for kiddush ha-Shem, the sanctification of God’s name." (JPS)

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