The legendary Akiva ben Yosef has fascinated Jews for centuries. Arguably the most important of the Tannaim, or early Jewish sages, he lived during a crucial era in the development of Judaism as we know it today, and his theology played a major part in the development of Rabbinic Judaism.
In his book Akiva: Life, Legend, Legacy, Rabbi Hammer reassesses Akiva’s role from the period before the destruction of the Temple in 70CE until the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135CE. He also assesses new findings about the growth of early Judaism, the reasons why Akiva was so outspoken about “Christian Jews”, the influence of Hellenism, the Septuagint, and the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Ultimately Rabbi Hammer shows that Judaism without Akiva would be a very different religion.
Rabbi Reuven Hammer is the former director and dean of the Jerusalem branch of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1974-92, where he served as a professor of Rabbinic literature. He holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from JTS and a PhD from Northwestern University. He was also the founding director of the Seminary of Jewish Studies (1987-90). He is the author or editor of many books, including Entering the High Holydays: A Companion Guide to the History, Prayers, and Themes (JPS, 2005) and Sifre: A Tannaitic Commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy, both National Jewish Book Award winners.
Join us for a seudah shlishit and enjoy hearing Rabbi Hammer's insights into a fascinating period in Jewish history and tradition.
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