Rabbi Akiva and His Students
In this class with Rabbi David Sedley we will learn about the lives, history, philosophy and teachings of Rabbi Akiva and five of his students; Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Yossei, Rabbi Shimon, and Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua. We will have two classes on Bar Kochba and the possible connection to the deaths of Rabbi Akiva’s students mourned during the counting of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot. Additionally, we will learn about Elisha ben Avuyha, who became an apostate because of the things he saw during that time.
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 1
RABBI AKIVA PART 1: In this first class in the series we will look at the life and teachings of Rabbi Akiva. Little is known of his family background, and how he rose from a simple shepherd to become the leader of Jews (and perhaps the most significant Jewish figure since Moshe Rabbeinu) We will look at his life, his wives, and his transformation from impoverished shepherd to wealthy Torah scholar.
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 2
RABBI AKIVA PART 2: This is the second shiur on the life and teachings of Rabbi Akiva. In this class we will look at Rabbi Akiva’s life and Torah. The personal tragedies that he suffered, and his unique and innovative style of Torah learning, which allowed him to reveal secrets that were not even revealed to Moshe Rabbeinu.
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 4
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 6
RABBI MEIR PART 1: In this shiur we look at the life and Torah of Rabbi Meir, the main voice and author of the mishnayot. A descendant of Nero, he rose to become the preeminent student of Rabbi Akiva, and the most brilliant mind of his generation. He married Beruria, the daughter of Rabbi Chananya ben Teradyon, one of the Ten Martyrs. He learned Torah from both Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael, and taught many students, including Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi. As well as his Torah knowledge, we will look at his fables (mishlei shu’alim) for which he was famous.
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 7
RABBI MEIR PART 2 AND ELISHA BEN AVUYHA: In this shiur we continue with the life of Rabbi Meir, and how he was influenced by his teachers Avnimas HaGardi and Elisha ben Avuyha. We also begin looking at the life of Elisha (also known as Acher) and the influence of Greek philosophy on the Rabbis of the Mishna.
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 8
RABBI MEIR, ACHER AND RABBI ELAZAR BEN SHAMUA: In this shiur we will finish discussing Rabbi Meir, and look at whether or not he was Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess. We will also continue our discussion of Elisha ben Avuyha (Acher) and what caused him to become a heretic (and what happened to him after he died). Then we will look at the least well known of the five students of Rabbi Akiva, Elazar ben Shamua.
Rabbi Akiva and His Students: Lesson 9
Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel.