RABBI AKIVA: SAGE OF THE TALMUDExcerpt:
By Barry W. Holtz
Yale University Press, 248 pages, $25
Enter Barry W. Holtz, Baumritter Professor Of Jewish Education at JTS. In his new portrait of his hero, Rabbi Akiva “the teacher par excellence,” Holtz takes careful account of the scholarship about and challenges to writing rabbinic biography in recent decades. He looks at individual stories about Rabbi Akiva and treats each of them through a literary critical lens. His scholarly acumen is such that he accounts for current historians’ pronouncements on the forces that shaped the late first and second centuries. He treats the often multiple versions of these stories to understand their development and, most important, their religious meaning for readers then and now.Past posts on the book are here and links.
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and its world.