Origins of Rabbinic Martyrology: Rabbi Akibah, the Song of Songs, and Hekhalot Mysticism

By Joseph Dan

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Spring 2009

The author examines the origins of Jewish martyrological thought, as illustrated by the development (in both form and context )of the story of Rabbi Akibah and his rabbinic colleagues who were killed by the Roman Empire under Hadrian. He discusses differences in the tale's emphasis as presented in the Talmud in contrast to the presentations in the piyyut (hymn) "Eleh Ezkera" ("These I Remember") and the independent narrative "Aseret Harugey Malkhut" (Ten Who Were Martyred by the Empire"). He further examines Akibah's relationship with the idea of martyrdom, as illustrated by his attachment to a particular biblical verse in Song of Songs.

Topic: Literature, History, Judaic Studies, Jewish Studies, Religion

Name of Publication: AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies

Volume/Issue: Spring 2009

Page Number(s): 14-16

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Genre: Report

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Dan, Joseph. Origins of Rabbinic Martyrology: Rabbi Akibah, the Song of Songs, and Hekhalot Mysticism. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Spring 2009: 14-16. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=2673


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