Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A quick thought about Rabbi Akiva

It is out of season I know, but it occurred to me that 1000 pairs (couples?) of students died for each additional year Rabbi Akiva stayed away after from Rachel after he became a Talmid Chacham.

1 comment:

JC said...

Hi Larry,

Just floated to your blog after seeing a comment you made on Hirhurim.

I gave a drasha on this topic. I think the answer to your question is seen in the Aggadata (TB Nedarim 50a) - when Rabbi Akiva returned after 14 years with his 24000 students, they repudiated Akiva's wife: "So she went to see him, but the disciples wished to repulse her. ‘Make way for her,’ he told them, ‘for my [learning] and yours are hers.’"(translation Soncino)

Hence I think the Gemara is telling us that the nature of the students' sin was related to Akiva's absence from his wife.