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|Title: Akiva: Life, Legend, Legacy|
By: Reuven Hammer
Number of Pages: 232
Vendor: Jewish Publication Society
|Publication Date: 2015|
Stock No: WW612150
That legacy played an extraordinarily important role in helping the Jewish people survive difficult challenges to forge a vibrant religious life anew, and it continues to influence Jewish law, ethics, and theology even today. Akivas contribution to the development of Oral Torah cannot be overestimated, and in this first book written in English about the sage since 1936 Hammer reassesses Akivas role from the period before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE until the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. 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 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 (JTS), where he served as a professor of Rabbinic literature. He holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from JTS and a PhD from Northwestern University and was also the founding director of the Seminary of Jewish Studies. He is the author or editor of many books, including Entering the High Holy Days: A Complete Guide to the History, Prayers, and Themes (JPS, 2005) and Sifre: A Taanaitic Commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy, both of which are National Jewish Book Award winners.