Rabbi Akiva Bnei Akiva & Lag Baomer

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 10-12
Group Size: 15-30
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal
To help the children have an understanding of Rabbi Akiva.

Required Props & Materials

1. Put a crown (from board) on the head of one of the Chanichim and staple (with safety pin) a note with the name: Rabbi Akiva. The chanich needs to find out who is he, by asking Yes-No Questions.

2. One of the madrichim should come with a simple costume to dress up as Rabbi Akiva and do a short little monologue.

Prepare whats needed for the trivia questions.


Resource Contents

Akiba ben Joseph (Rabbi Akiva or as he is called in the Talmud Rebbi Akiva) (c. 1 CE-c. 121 CE) was a famous Jewish rabbi of the latter part of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century. He was a great authority in the matter of Jewish tradition, and one of the most central and essential contributors to the early Oral Torah, mainly the Mishnah and the midrash halakha. He laid the foundations of the Mishnaic dispute, by which pairs or larger groups of sages dispute points of Halakha or Bible interpretation. He is called by the Talmud "Rosh LaChachomim" (Head of all the sages).

1. Put a crown (from board) on the head of one of the Chanichim and staple (with safety pin) a note with the name: Rabbi Akiva. The chanich needs to find out who is he, by asking Yes-No Questions.

2. One of the madrichim should come with a simple costume to dress up as Rabbi Akiva and do a short little monologue.

RABBI AKIVA MONOLOUGE

Dont look at me like thatToday 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 couldnt read, I couldnt write, I didnt 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 Savuas flocks of sheep, enjoying myself, I didnt 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 Im not so comfortable saying this out loud, but if you asked and were all friends but thats 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 dont 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 didnt 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. Dont 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.

3. The third part of the peula is a game-quiz about Rabbi Akiva. The madrich/a will put the color papers in order according to number as a snake , then he/she will Split the chanichim into 2 teams. On each paper is written a number. Each team will throw the dice, the number they get is the number of steps they have to take. For example: if they get number 2, they will go over 2 papers. On some of the papers it written Question when they get to that kind of paper the madrich will ask them a question. If a team dont know the correct answer, they will lose their next turn. It is a contest between the teams which team will get more correct answers.

RABBI AKIVA TRIVIA QUESTIONS

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)

Whats the important rule we learn from R Akiva? (V Ahavta Leraiacha Kamocha)

What were R Akivas last words? (Shma Yisrael)

What was R. Akivas job before he started to

learn torah? shepherd

Who was R. Akivas 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. Akivas 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?

Important the connection between Bnei Akiva & Rabbi Akiva

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.

So why was Rabbi Akiva chosen?

Rabbi Akiva was a great man both in Torah learning and in action, and we learn this from his teachings and from his behavior.:

He was a pillar of the Oral Torah- the Gemara tells us (Sanhedrin 86a) that all of the components of the Oral Torah were taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva,

He taught us that Loving your neighbor as yourself is a great principle in the Torah,

He was one of the greatest teachers of Torah of all time, with 24,000 students,

He was the only one who was able to enter and exit safely from Pardes, the study of the deepest secrets of Torah, and teach mountains upon mountains of lessons from every crown of every letter in the Torah,

He was the spiritual leader of the national rebellion of Bar Kochva, and did everything in his power to bring redemption,

He saw the opportunity for redemption in Am Yisraels darkest moments.

Rabbi Akiva is a synthesis of the greatest of leaders, of educators, of Torah scholars, who lived his life as a model of his teachings, and all this with great effort and passion, and with building himself on a strong foundation.

Enough reason to be called by his name.

So why do we go by Akiva, and not Rabbi Akiva?

Our Rabbis have taught us that Greater than being called Rabban is to be called by ones own name. In other words, the order of greatness of the Rabbis was expressed in their title. From least great to greatest: Rav, Rebbe, Rabban, and finally, someone called simply by his name.

Rabbi Akiva went through 3 stages in his life- the time before he learned Torah, the time when he began learning and growing in Torah, when he was called Rabbi Akiva, and finally, the time when he was the giant of the generation, he was called simply by his name, as can be found in various places in the Gemara, most famously at the end of Masechet Makkot, when the rabbis say: Akiva, nichamtanu (you have comforted us).

We can also say that our desire is to become so close to Akiva that we feel able to call him by his name, not to feel so distant that we need to call him by his proper title.

Another reason that we could give is to say that Rachel, Kalba Savuas daughter, saw something in Akiva before he became a great Torah scholar as well- that he was a modest man of special character, who lived by the motto of Love your neighbor as yourself, even before he learned any Torah. With this name, we want to also emphasize the character traits that we see as a necessary foundation for all of our values.

Finally, another popular reason given is that Bnei Akiva just sounded better than Bnei Rabbi Akiva. J

So, do I now know all there is to know about Bnei Akiva now?

Not quite ;) Bnei Akiva, and the ideology of Torah VaAvodah is a rich, complex and dynamic way of life- its a life long journey of living and learning, of commitment, passion and idealism, striving letaken olam bemalchut Shakkai to build a world that is a Kingdom of Hashem. We invite YOU to join the journey!

Lag BaOmer & Rabbi Akiva

"Lag B'omer" is the thirty third day of counting the Omer. The word "Lag" means 33 because it is comprised of the letters "lamud" and "gimmel," corresponding to the numerical values of "30" and "3."

The Omer period is a time of heightened spiritual sensitivity and growth. The closer Shavuot draws, the greater our anticipation grows for the climactic celebration of the Giving of the Torah, the watershed event of Jewish history.

However, the greater the potential there is for growth and building, the greater the potential there is for destruction. Consequently, in eras when the Jewish People have not lived up to their potential, the Omer period has become one of tragedy.

In the time of Rabbi Akiva, who witnessed the destruction of the Second Temple and who was the greatest Torah Sage of his generation, twenty four thousand of his disciples died in an epidemic. The underlying spiritual cause of the epidemic was the students' lack of respect for each other. This sad event and others took place during the Counting of the Omer. As a result, the Omer period has become one of semi-mourning in which we don't hold weddings or festivities, nor do we shave or get haircuts. But because the epidemic was suspended on the 33rd day - Lag B'omer - Lag B'omer has become a joyous day of celebration.

After all his students died, Rabbi Akiva "started over" and began teaching other students. One of his foremost students was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar. The Zohar, which means "The Shining Light," is the basis of the secret teachings of the Torah. Some people light bonfires on Lag B'omer and sing songs in honor



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