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Tomb of Rabbi Akiva

Rabbi Akiva was a Tanna (Jewish Sage) of the latter part of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd.  His significance for the Jewish People and all humanity was astounding, and he is considered, until today, one of the greatest authorities in the matter of Jewish tradition.

He started out as a poor ignorant shepherd but became a great sage with 24,000 students, as well as extremely wealthy.  He was put to death by the Romans, with the Shema the last word to pass his lips.

According to tradition, his body was miraculously transported to Tiberias for burial alongside his students who had died in a plague. His tomb, located on the mountainside behind the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, overlooks Tiberias and the Kinneret, and has been a pilgrimage site at least since the early Middle Ages. It became a special tradition to pray for rain at Rabbi Akiva’s tomb during drought years.

 


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