Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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This is the place!
teach the chanichim a bit about one of the fathers of our movement – Rabbi Akiva.
Step 1: Rabbi Akiva monologue
Ok, so one of the madrichim should come with a simple costume to dress up as Rabbi Akiva and do a short little monologue. Rabbi Akiva should act out the monologue.
Step 2: Trivia
Split the kids into either two groups, or small groups of four or five. Ask them the trivia questions (if it's a really hard question, maybe you could make it a multiple choice question). Ask one group - if they get it right, they get a point (or 2 or 3 if it's a hard one). If they get it wrong, then the other team tries.
Step 3: Bnei Rabbi Akiva? (conclusion)
Why are we called “Bnei Akiva” instead of “Bnei RABBI Akiva”? Because we want to be associated with Akiva, the simple person with his personality and drive, instead of Rabbi Akiva, the person who is considered great and everyone looks up to… the “Rabbi” in a sense masks who he really is in his essence.
RABBI AKIVA MONOLOUGE
Don’t look at me like that…Today I may look like a respected, important person. Yes, Baruch Hashem I managed to bring up 24,000 Talmidai Chachamim in Am Yisrael, but until age 40, I was a regular, plain kind of person, I was a dunce. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I didn’t even know what Torah was.
Yeah, a person can go through a lot in his life. The truth is I loved nature. I would wonder around with Kalba Savua’s flocks of sheep, enjoying myself, I didn’t need more then that. How did my life change? Ah… that is thanks to my wonderful wife Rachel. She says that she took one look at me, and saw that I had great qualities… I’m not so comfortable saying this out loud, but if you asked… and we’re all friends… but that’s what she said, she saw I was great and modest. She asked me if I would marry her, but she had a condition- if we get married, I must go learn Torah in the Bet Midrash.
I agreed. We did everything secretly without her father, Kalba Savua, knowing about it. But as you know, things like that don’t stay a secret for long, and when he found out about the wedding, he kicked Rachel out of the house and said she was cut out of his will. You must understand that Kalba Savua was a very wealthy man, and we really didn’t get a Villa or Penthouse apartment, we lived in a barn.
I, of course, had to keep my promise to Rachel, so I went to learn Torah for 12 years. Don’t think it was easy, learning Torah is hard work… but like I said I love nature. In difficult times I would outside to get some fresh air. One time I was standing near the well and I noticed a rock with a very strange shape. I asked myself- “wow, how did that happen in nature?” Suddenly I noticed that drops of water that were dripping constantly onto the rock, were causing the weird shape. I immediately remembered that the Torah is compared to water. I said to myself- “Is my heart harder then stone? If water can penetrate stone, Torah can penetrate my heart. I will go learn one Parasha in the Torah”. That is what I did, stage after stage, until Baruch Hashem I became who I am today.
RABBI AKIVA TRIVIA QUESTIONS (Ask whichever ones you think are appropriate, or come up with some of your own)
At what age did Rabbi Akiva start learning Torah? (40)
Who was his wife? (Rachel)
Who did he work for? (Kalba Savua)
Who did R’ Akiva rebel against? (The Romans)
What did R’ Akiva dedicate his life to? (learning Torah)
How many students did he have? (24,000)
What natural occurance convinced R’ akiva that he could learn? (water penetrating a rock)
What was R’ Akiva before he became a Talmid Chacham? (a Shepard)
What’s the important rule we learn from R’ Akiva? (V’ Ahavta Leraiacha Kamocha)
What were R’ Akiva’s last words? (Shma Yisrael)
What was R. Akiva’s job before he started to learn torah? shepherd
Who was R. Akiva’s wife? rachel
What thing in nature convinced R. Akiva to start to learn torah? Water smooth out rock
What did the talmidai chamim do when they saw the remains of the beit Hmikdash? They cried
What did R. Akiva do when he saw the remains of the Beit Hamikdah? He laughed
Why did R. Akiva start to laugh when he saw the remains of the Beit Hamikdash? He realized that if the nevuot of destruction happened so will the nevout of redemption
Who does R. Akiva credit to all his learning? His wife
What did R. Akiva make for his wife? A gold necklace of yerushalim- worth a lot of money
How many students did R. Akiva have at the end of his life? 40000
What did R. Akiva’s wife say the first time that he came home? That he should continue to learn
When R. Akiva met his wife what did he say to his students? That what is yours and mine is because of her
Why do we consider R. Akiva to be are leader?