Posts Tagged ‘Pappos Ben Jehuda’

While Rome took control of Israel it was decreed that Torah should not be seen anywhere in the land. There came Pappos Ben Yehuda and found Rabbi Akiva carrying on as usual giving lectures to great assemblies and studying Torah.
The visitor was aghast and asked,’Akiva, are you not afraid of the wicked government?’
The Rabbi said,”I will tell you a parable: to what is the matter like? A fox walking along the running stream saw some fishes darting in and out with great agitation. The fox asked what was the matter. They answered,’From nets which men are bringing against us.’
He said to them,’Let it be your pleasure to come upon the dry land, and let us you and me,dwell together ever as my fathers dwelt with your fathers.’
‘Are you he whom they tell that you are the wisest of all animals? You are not wise but a fool. If we are in the place which is our life-element, how much more so in a place which is our death element?'”. The Rabbi added,’So alas it is with us: now while we sit and study Torah, in which it is written,’for that is thy life, and the length of thy days,’we are in such plight, how much more so if we go and neglect it!’ (from the Talmud)
Note: Rabbi Akiva was the greatest scholar of his age, and his support won Bar Kochaba wide following. When Rome prohibited the study of Torah in 135 AD, he defied the decree. He was arrested as a rebel,imprisoned and executed at Caesarea.( ack: The Jews in Their Land/ed. Ben-Gurion.pub.1966)

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