Rabbi Akiva

The central figure in the third generation of Tannaim, he laid the foundations for the compilation of the Mishna. He lived from 50-135 C.E.. Rabbi Akiva succeeded in training a new group of young disciples, who became the leaders of the next generation, before he was apprehended by the Roman authorities. He died a martyr’s death after being tortured, and he expired with the Shema Yisrael prayer on his lips. His didactic methods and halakhic system were carried on by his disciples and became the basis for the perpetuation of the oral law, just as his approach to mysticism became the basis for study of this subject in the centuries to come.

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