Rabbi Akiva (50-135), one of the outstanding scholars and teachers of his time, patriot and martyr, exercised a decisive influence in the development of Jewish law. As a highly regarded Jewish leader, he was one of the members of the deputation to the emperor at Rome who pleaded for the rescission of decrees forbidding the practice and teaching of Judaism. Rabbi Akiva was also an overseer for the poor, making numerous journeys to collect funds on their behalf, in addition to his many other missions and activities.

My son, do not live and study in the business district of the city"[1]

Do not dwell in a town whose leaders are scholars.[2]

Do not enter your own house unexpectedly, much less your neighbor's.

Do not withhold shoes from your feet.[3]

Rise early and eat – in summer, on account of the sun's heat, and in winter, on account& of the cold.[4]

Treat your Sabbath like a weekday rather than be dependent on [the charity] of mortals.

Strive to be on good terms with a man upon whom the hour smiles.[5]


 [1] Where the movement of people disturbs study. [back]  
 [2] They are too busy with their studies to pay attention to its affairs. [back]
 [3] "One should sell even the beams of his house and buys shoes for his feet" (Shabbat 129a) [back]
 [4] So that your breakfast will be well digested by the time you have to face the summer's heat or the winter's cold. [back]
 [5] BT Pesahim 112a [back]

SEVEN Table of Contents



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