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You can find the entire story Rabbi Akiva in both Nedarim 50a-b, as well as in Kesuvos 62b-63a In English, you can find a historical novel book called "And Rachel was his wife" written Marsi Tabak and Ben Zion Sober which recounts and coalesced all the sources pertaining to Rebbe Akiva from the perspective of his wife Rachel.


It is an odd assumption that we would be celebrating a failed revolution of Lag Baomer. Another point. There is actually no need for the Talmud Bavli to hide anything negative said of the Romans. Their Parthian hosts would be more than happy to hear such stuff. And in fact they didn't hide negative statements about Romans.


the fact that the sources say he had 24000 students leads me to speculate that this number was known because of a count taken as they enrolled as part of bar kochba army- there a count would be taken-otherwise at that time there were no needs or practice of counting students---second rabbi chaim kolitz in his book rabbi akiva-says the wording pairs of pupils ...

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