"The Oven of Akhnaï"


The charge: Willingness to Protect G-d’s Name

Commentary by Joseph Ehrlich 
January 23, 2002

The following is one of the better compilations of Talmud (1) found on the trial of Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus. We intersperse our comments based on the Talmudic rendition presented.

We first note that Rabbi Eliezer was considered the greatest scholar of his time. He also did not lack in courage smuggling Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai out of Jerusalem, which allowed the creation of the Academy of Yavneh, which many thought, saved Judaism. A footnote to the Talmud notes that Rabbi Eliezer also was not known to take contrary positions before the singular confrontation detailed below (over an oven) that resulted in his far-reaching expulsion from the Jewish community.

Rabbi Eliezer noted the times surrounding his trial, and in line with the very environment which platformed the loss of the temples, the devastating loss of Jewish life and soon the Bar-Kokhba Rebellion, Rabbi Eliezer saw that evil had entered the midst of the Sanhedrin which aimed to pollute Torah by having the Sanhedrin remove G-d from center stage and give themselves godly power to rule over the Jewish people for all time, which would help assure that the Jewish people would not be taught Torah correctly.

Rabbi Eliezer described the environment in Mishna Sota 9.15:

“The young shall shame the elders
and the elders will stand up before the inferiors
‘The sons dishonor the father,
the daughter rise against her mother
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies will be men of his own house’ (Micah 7:6).
This generation’s face is like a dog’s face:
The son is not ashamed before the father,
And on whom can we rely?
On {G-d}!


On that fateful morning, Rabbi Eliezer and his disciple Rabbi Akiva were seen walking together to the Academy of Yavneh. The time was a few years before the Bar Kochba rebellion (approximately 132 - 134 CE). Oblivious to all about them, they were locked in an intense debate. "Master", said Rabbi Akiva, "the issue has been clearly defined. You believe, as does the owner of the oven, that since the oven of Akhnai is made of pieces that have been joined together, it is considered to be built of broken fragments. The law is that broken utensils cannot contract ritual impurity. Therefore the oven is ritually pure. Unfortunately, the other sages do not agree with your interpretation. They point out that the original oven had become contaminated. The owner cut it into tiles and reassembled the tiles with sand between them. He then plastered the reassembled oven over with cement so that it again could be used as a stove. They believe that since the intent of the owner was to make it into a whole vessel, its ritual impurity persists."
"Akiva, you have stated the problem well, but what is the answer ? My colleagues have not understood the underlying concepts and have misinterpreted the law. It is my job to correct their erroneous way of thinking."
"Master, the debate between you and all the other sages has persisted so long without resolution that it has generated considerable anger and frustration. A number of us fear that this partisan zealotry will split the Academy and result in harm to yourself, the Academy and possibly the whole Jewish community. It is not unusual for the sages to hold differing views, and then the matter is decided in favor of the opinion of the majority. Why not follow that principle ?"

Comment: Those wishing to justify the wrongdoings about to occur platform their position on the legitimate need of all to honor the majority ruling in legal issues. Rabbi Eliezer did not have an inherent problem with the validity of that argument. What Rabbi Eliezer ultimately perceived was that there was an agenda in play beyond the scope of the issue raised regarding the oven (knowing that the Sanhedrin should have seen it as he did but adamantly stood otherwise).

The older man slowly shook his head back and forth, "No, the truth must be sought, and when found, followed. It is my duty to convince the others of the error of their thinking." When they reached the Academy, Rabbi Eliezer went directly in to take his appointed place, while his disciple turned to join several colleagues standing near the entrance.
Rabbi Tarfon had been expressing his concern over the increasing intensity of the debate concerning the oven of Akhnai. "Rabbi Eliezer is increasingly obdurate and stiff-necked in holding to his opinion in the face of opposition by nearly all of the Sages. I fear that our Nasi (Head of the Sanhedrin), Rabban Gamliel, will not easily accept such strong opposition to his leadership. Yehoshua, you felt the sting of Rabban Gamliel's displeasure on more than one occasion. What do you think ?"
"It was more than a sting that I felt. I was the only one to disagree with Rabban Gamliel on the matter of whether evening prayer was optional or mandatory. In the end I changed my opinion and agreed with him. Nevertheless, he proceeded to publicly humiliate me by forcing me to stand throughout the remainder of the session. What will he do to a man like Rabbi Eliezer who has continued to express such forceful opposition to the majority ? Although I strongly disagree with Rabbi Eliezer's arguments in the matter of the oven, I feel sorry for him. You have been speaking with him, Akiva, do you think he will change his mind and accept the opinion of the majority ?"
"I did try to influence him to do so, but I was not successful. His teacher, Rabban Yochanan, described his astounding memory as `a cemented cistern which loses not a drop (of stored knowledge).' It also stores emotional memories. Under stress cement will not bend or yield to accommodate outside forces. I do not know what he will say this morning, but I too fear for him."


"I have more to say." When the members of the Sanhedrin had gathered that morning, Rabban Gamliel the Nasi rose and started to speak. "We have now heard the arguments concerning the ritual purity or impurity of the oven of Akhnai, and now it is time..."
"One moment sir, I have not yet completed my arguments." It was Rabbi Eliezer. Rabban Gamliel turned and imperiously looked from one side of the Assembly to the other, and then looked directly at Eliezer, "Is it absolutely necessary for you to further prolong this discussion ?"
"So be it. Proceed."
Rabbi Eliezer stood alone before the Assembly. He spoke slowly but in a loud clear voice. "I know that you have not accepted the logic of my arguments. I now ask if the halacha (Divine Commandment) is in accordance with me, let this carob tree prove it !" The carob tree immediately uprooted itself and moved one hundred cubits, and some say 400 cubits, from its original place. Voices from the Sages of the Assembly were heard crying out, "Proof cannot be brought from a carob tree."

Comment: The key element which Rabbi Eliezer is soon to bring out is that the Sanhedrin wishes to foreclose G-d’s intervention in any matter, where the Sanhedrin’s position ultimately comes to be that even if G-d does intervene, in whatever format He intervenes, whether or not direct intervention, or otherwise, such as a sign, or a miracle, is subservient to the majority decision of the Sanhedrin. Rabbi Eliezer well knows, as any reader should well know, that this is casting the foundation for abuse and corruption. Moreover, having the sheer gall to say that G-d’s word is subservient operates as a Khillul Hashem and is evidence that evil has taken control of the Sanhedrin. Such a reality is non resonant with a holy body and thus must be confronted, rebuked, and extirpated.(2)

Rabbi Eliezer then said, "If the halacha is in accordance with me, let the stream of water prove it." The stream of water immediately flowed backward, against the direction in which it usually flowed. The Sages responded, "Proof cannot be brought from a stream of water either."
Rabbi Eliezer then said, "If the halacha is in accordance with me, let the walls of the House of Study prove it." The walls of the House of Study then leaned and were about to fall. Rabbi Yehoshua, who was one of Rabbi Eliezer's chief opponents, rebuked them, saying,” If Talmudic scholars are engaged in a halachic dispute, what right have you to interfere ?" The walls did not fall down, out of respect for Rabbi Yehoshua, nor did they straighten, out of respect for Rabbi Eliezer. Indeed, they remain leaning to this day.
Rabbi Eliezer then said to the Sages, "If the halacha is in accordance with me, let it be proved directly from Heaven." Whereupon a Heavenly Voice cried out, "Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer, seeing that in all matters the halacha agrees with him!" Rabbi Yehoshua immediately rose and, quoting from Deuteronomy, said, "The Torah is not in heaven!" Rabbi Jeremiah explained, "The Torah has already been given at Mount Sinai; we pay no attention to a Heavenly Voice, because You have written in the Torah at Mount Sinai, `After the majority must one incline'."

Comment: At this juncture, the covert agenda has been cast, and the following must be emphasized:
a.        Rabbi Jeremiah has affirmatively distorted what the Torah says as discussed in the Postscript of MISSED MESSAGE OF TORAH. The Torah does not say what Rabbi Jeremiah says is written in Torah. His false statement went without rebuke.

b.       Rabbi Eliezer did what the Sanhedrin thereafter banned, appealed to G-d for intervention. To say that a Jew cannot appeal to G-d is a Khillul Hashem that any true Jewish court or body honoring Torah could never support or allow.

c.        The Heavenly Voice came down because of Rabbi Eliezer’s appeal to G-d for intervention. His plea was worthy of such a deified response.When it is received it is a Khillul Hashem to reject it.

What Rabbis Gamliel, Yehoshua and Jeremiah say is not worthy of any response by the Heavenly Tribunal. They made no plea for a response, and they received none. Had they made such a plea I am sure they would have received none, in any event, they being clearly unworthy of one.

Silence is not ratification by the Heavenly Tribunal who already spoke on the issue. It was tantamount to asking for further review on appeal. Since the Sanhedrin was about to disallow future appeals for Heavenly intervention, it was oxymoronic for them to construe silence as support for the statements of two wrongdoers.
       If someone as illustrious as Rabbi Eliezer can be silenced, curtailed, or made to agree with the majority, then the insider circle of the Sanhedrin would never face opposition or rebuke for anything they decided, in fact the remainder of the Sanhedrin simply following the path of least resistance as did the Shas Knesset members in following the questioned decision of its religious leadership to abstain from a critical vote, the abstention permitting Barak to give up the Holy City.

A long period of silence followed. Rabbi Eliezer, with head erect, looked over the entire assembly of Sages as though to acknowledge that he had heard their decision. Then he turned and left the Assembly.
The Sages then brought in all the objects that had been placed within the Oven of Akhnai and that Rabbi Eliezer had declared clean. The Assembly pronounced them unclean and burned them.


Rabbi Eliezer, lost in thought, slowly and quietly opened the door to his home, walked into the dining room and sat down at the table without saying a word to his wife who was in the kitchen. He placed his elbow on the table and sighed as he rested his head on his hand. His wife, Imma Shalom, entered the room and sat down on the other side of the table. After a few minutes of silence, she asked him in a soft voice, "How did things go this morning?" "Not good," he replied wearily, and then he briefly summarized the events of the morning for her. Imma Shalom remained silent for a short while carefully considering what she had heard. She then said, "The sages directly disagreed with the Heavenly Voice. I wonder what G-d must think." Rabbi Eliezer raised his head and looked at her. "We now know what G-d does think. On my way home, I passed Rabbi Nathan. He stopped me and told me he had met Elijah, the Prophet. He had asked him, "What did the Holy One do when the Sages challenged the Heavenly Voice ?" Elijah replied, "The Holy One laughed with joy, saying, `My sons have defeated Me, My sons have defeated Me." "It seems," Rabbi Eliezer continued, "that even though we misinterpret a ruling and are corrected by a Heavenly Voice, we can challenge that correction on the basis of another Divine ruling. Furthermore, the Holy One will celebrate that challenge !"

Comment: The Talmud allows untruths and injustices to go unchallenged because it is the fruit of man not G-d. Talmud thus bows to man over G-d and history shows that Orthodox Judaism is more willing to reject G-d than Talmud. If Rabbi Eliezer believed what he just said, he would have recanted. He clarifies himself immediately below. One must carry heavy suspicion about whether G-d would have said what the Talmud so ascribes. See Postscript, MISSED MESSAGE OF TORAH. In other words, in view of what is about to transpire one should carry serious reservation whether Rabbi Nathan in that particular environment of the day, when Rabbis will say something is written in the Torah when it is not, whether Rabbi Nathan told Rabbi Eliezer the truth, or whether Rabbi Nathan was part and parcel of the evil process taking place which only Rabbi Eliezer had the backbone to confront. Moreover, in this very vein, we will soon see that the rabbi who calls Rabbi Eliezer “Master,” lets Rabbi Eliezer absorb an unjust punishment, and in fact usurps Rabbi Elizer’s role in Jewish history as the foremost scholar of his time. Lastly, there is no reference in Torah that G-d laughed, those loving G-d recognizing that the assertion itself does not resonate with G-d or truth, and without question this entire episode proved to become a leading Exhibit of why G-d stood aside and allowed the death and destruction which soon consumed the Jewish people yet again in the Bar-Kokhba Rebellion, these evil doers standing again blind to their very own role in the death the destruction and the casting out of the Jews from Eretz Yisroel and into the Diaspora.

Imma Shalom reached across the table and placed her hand on her husband's. "Perhaps," she said, "there is a lesson in all of this for you." Eliezer looked into her eyes and asked,” What do you mean ?" "You were so sure that your interpretation of the rules concerning ritual purity of the oven, was the correct one that you were willing to challenge the entire Sanhedrin. That includes the Nasi, Gamliel. He is my brother. I know him well. He is as proud and as sure of his judgements as you are of yours. The Holy One has pointed out, that each of you, in your own way is correct. That seems to be an impossibility. You are correct, however, in terms of the Holy One's rulings concerning ritual impurity. Gamliel and the Sages, however, are correct in that this is a matter here on earth. Hence it is not in the hands of Heaven but in ours. Since there rarely is unanimity of opinion among the Sages, the rule of the majority must apply here on earth." Still looking intently at his wife, Eliezer asked, "I understand what you have said, but what is it that you want me to do ?" "Gamliel and the Sages are upset by your challenge of the majority and your direct appeal to Heaven. For the sake of peace in the Sanhedrin and the continuation of the important work of all of you, you should go before the Sanhedrin and recant. Say that you now agree with their decision". Rabbi Eliezer pulled his hand from under hers, partially turned from her and looked out the window. "It is not as simple as you say. If the majority of Sages are in error, is it not my responsibility to do all I can to show them the error of their thinking ? The oven of Akhnai may be only one small point, but the principles underlying decision making cover all questions. I cannot ignore basic errors. Our Torah clearly states, `You shall not follow a multitude to do evil.'  I cannot simply say, `My people right or wrong.' When they are wrong, I must have the courage to try to correct them. He continued to stare solemnly out the window while she continued to look sadly at him.

Comment: This is why Rabbi Eliezer is a Jewish hero and a model for the rabbinate. He was willing to endure great sacrifice and stand up to confront evil and protect G-d’s Name. While it is a given that to maintain community one must adhere to majority legal opinion, what Rabbi Eliezer opposed were precedents which permitted consequences which would operate in Khillul Hashem. Rabbi Eliezer knew that there was more at stake that the oven. He pushed the envelope to see how far his beloved brother in law would take things under an agenda he may have otherwise been privy to. When he invoked Hashem to intervene, and He did, but the Sanhedrin was willing to say “So what?” and “It doesn’t matter,” Rabbi Eliezer knew that evil had roosted in his midst and that the Sanhedrin was corrupt in line with the very basis for the downfall of the temples, the death and destruction of the Great Revolt, and soon the finale with the Bar-Kokhba rebellion, the portal opened by the one who called him “Master” who will soon stand silent deliberately as a participant in the evil design not speaking to defend his “Master” against the wrongful and egregious punishment to be rendered against him, not to discount his submission to the corrupt agenda consolidating eternal power(3) into the hands of those who say G-d no longer has a central role or place with the Jewish people, resulting in a victimization which has still not been uprooted by those who continue to benefit therefrom.


That afternoon Rabban Gamliel stood before the Sanhedrin. Earlier he had met with the leading Sages and they had agreed on a course of action to meet this challenge to their authority. Now it was his responsibility to present that recommendation to all. "Rabotai," he said, "this morning Rabbi Eliezer refused to go along with the wishes of the majority of the Sages. He had the audacity to challenge the authority of this Sanhedrin and appeal to Heaven. After you called out in response to the Heavenly Voice that the Torah is not in Heaven and that the Torah we have received instructs us to incline after the majority,the Voice was silent. And yet, Rabbi Eliezer persisted in insisting on his interpretation of the Law and left the Assembly. In so doing he has separated himself from our community. According to Jewish law, insisting on minority views overruled by the majority is a cause for imposing a ban or excommunication on the individual. Therefore I and the other leaders of the Assembly have concluded that a ban should be imposed on Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus. Such a ruling by this Assembly would mean that Rabbi Eliezer no longer could come to this House of Assembly and participate in our deliberations, and members of this Sanhedrin could not visit and study with him. This ruling is now placed before the Sanhedrin for a vote." No voices were raised either in assent to or dissent from this decision.(4) Rabban Gamliel looked sternly at Rabbi Yehoshua who had disagreed frequently with him in the past. Rabbi Yehoshua responded quietly, "I agree with the decision of our leaders." Then Rabbi Gamliel looked at Rabbi Akiva, a disciple of Rabbi Eliezer. But Rabbi Akiva said nothing. A vote was taken and the decision of the leadership was approved unanimously. Rabban Gamliel then asked, "Who will go and tell him ?" Only then did Rabbi Akiva speak. "I will go and tell him, lest an unsuitable person go and tell him and thus destroy the whole world (commit a great wrong by informing him tactlessly)."

Comment: The other defamations to Hashem flow out of the very facet that the corrupt Sanhedrin, masking its deed under the façade that it was acting in service to the Jewish community, denied Rabbi Eliezer the right to even appeal for Hashem’s intervention, and then took the position that regardless of it, the Sanhedrin would reject it, G-d having no further place in the proceedings and rulings of the Sanhedrin (even if G-d or the Heavenly Tribunal thought otherwise). Thus minimizing miracles, distorting Torah, and building themselves up over G-d, platforming a revisionist foundation to back door Torah via Oral Law, all were a given. 

The other facet which proves the Khillul Hashem, which occurred, and which continues to occur, for anyone predicating contemporary power based on this egregious abuse and power play, is that Rabbi Eliezer provided the best example for the Jewish community, for if Rabbi Gamliel could do this to his own brother-in-law, then nothing less and possibly even a death decree awaits those even thinking that the Sanhedrin may have gone too far with an agenda contravening Hashem and Torah. The Jewish people now have their own Caesar.

Who played along with all this? Rabbi Eliezer’s prime student, Rabbi Akiva! He wasn’t even a member of the Sanhedrin, but was present when they were going to humiliate him and tear out his heart. “But Rabbi Akiva said nothing. (Some sage – not speaking against the severe degree of the punishment or even that the proceedings took place without Rabbi Eliezer’s being present, precluding Rabbi Eliezer from speaking against the charges and the punishment rendered, particularly when the cat caught his disciple’s tongue!)” However, Rabbi Akiva, who was to usurp his Master’s place in Jewish history, took the “heavy burden” of bringing the tragic news of his ex-communication to his teacher. I sensed there was something wrong with this rising star, but this surely augments what I sensed when he went out to declare Bar-Kokhba the Moshiach and drew the Jewish people right into the Roman slaughter.

Rabbi Akiva put on black clothes (a sign of mourning) and went to his teacher's home. He sat four cubits away from Rabbi Eliezer (it is prohibited to stand or sit within four cubits of a person who has been excommunicated). "Akiva," asked Rabbi Eliezer, "why the different garb today ?" "Master," Akiva said,” it seems to me that your companions are parting from you." Upon hearing this Rabbi Eliezer tore his clothes, took off his shoes, slipped off his seat and sat on the ground, tears streaming from his eyes.
The general failure of crops which came the following year was explained by many as G-d's answer to Rabbi Eliezer's indignant outcry against the injustice that was done him. According to aggadah (Jewish legend), the world was smitten: one third of the olive, wheat and barley crops were ruined, and dough in women's hands fermented and spoiled. The Sages taught that a great wrath befell the world that day, because anything that Rabbi Eliezer looked at was incinerated !

Comment: Anyone who loves Hashem should be repulsed at what took place. We shouldn’t need anything more to know that Jacob’s use of manipulation and deceit in Hashem’s holy design is an egregious wrong, and now here you shouldn’t need anything more to know that you witnessed a political power play and coup where evil intertwined itself gaining political, academic and religious control.
The Talmud it seems attributes a major crop failure to the above. Next, when there is another sign from Heaven that an egregious wrong has been done, a precedent to victimize the Jewish people for the centuries to come, the Jewish leadership allows the distorted version of what occurred to send a misleading message. Why had the truth of it been buried ? Rabbi Eliezer’s brother in law facing the specter of death, believes he has successfully cajoled and mislead the Heavenly Tribunal by declaring that what he did was to mitigate against disruptive and divisive dissension, as though he were smart enough to fool the Heavenly Tribunal in the same manner he acted to fool the future generations that when the Voice from heaven stood silent after what was said against Rabbi Eliezer, that was a ratification as to what was said.
Rabbi Gamliel got his retort soon enough. As indicated below, when Rabbi Eliezer bent down to Hashem in his pain and suffering for his victimization and injustice, the clarion call came out of his brother in law’s house that Rabbi Gamliel was dead .

Even Rabban Gamliel felt the great wrath. He was traveling on a ship when a huge wave arose, threatening to drown him. Realizing that it might be on account of Rabbi Eliezer, he cried out, "Master of the universe! It is known and revealed to You that I have not acted for my honor, nor for the honor of my father's house, but for Your honor - that dissension might not multiply in Israel !" At that, the sea's rage subsided.

Comment: Rabbi Gamliel, less than worthy brother in law of Rabbi Eliezer, and head of the Sanhedrin (showing one how debased it became after the destruction of the two temples), knew, per the Talmud, that when the ocean wave swelled, he believed his imminent death connected with Rabbi Eliezer. What was his response ?
a.        He intervened for himself by screaming to the heavens that he was not serving himself in what he did to Rabbi Eliezer but that he was working toward minimizing the element of dissension which proved a problem among the Jewish people of that time;
b.       The Talmud records the sea’s rage as subsiding which is no doubt offered to suggest that there is truth to Rabbi Gamliel’s position to the heavens further supporting the scheme to defraud (normally this is the isolated reference burying the truth and furthering the scheme);
c.        However, if the wave had taken Rabbi Gamliel there would be no record in the Talmud of what he said to the heavens.
d.       Thus, the truth of the matter is that the Talmud now records what he said to the heavens.
e.        To Jews like Rabbi Eliezer and myself Gamliel’s words represent hollow justification and complete rationalization for a crime against Torah, victimizing Jews for untold generations;
f.        Thus, the truth is shown by how he, Rabbi Gamliel, and Rabbi Akiva did die and shortly thereafter. In so dying, and under the circumstances the Talmud records (conveniently overlooked by those perpetuating the avarah), the weight of it is that the only reason Rabbi Gamliel did survive the ocean travel experience was to allow the Talmud to record the events which confirm that he was punished also in this life for his crimes.
The Heavenly Tribunal expected Gamliel to repent not rationalize!What Rabbi Gamliel would have to have done to save himself is first, repent in the face of the imminent death he faced and second, thereafter take aggressive and permanent action to correct the wrongs committed to wit: publicly admit his grievous error, publicly repent to G-d, restore Rabbi Eliezer’s name and reputation (if not declare him a hero), remove himself from all public service, and do everything to assure the Jewish people are not coerced again by self-serving leaderships to so defame G-d and Torah to platform a long term victimization of the Jewish people.
The person living today standing in the shoes of Rabbi Gamliel is Shimon Peres.

Why did such a great wrath strike the world? The Talmud teaches that verbal ona'ah (to wrong or cause anguish by words) is a terrible sin. It was the sin people in the Holy Land most carefully avoided. A monetary wrong can be corrected by restitution, but this is not possible with a verbal wrong. To shame another person in public is like shedding blood, for the person's face whitens as though his blood has been shed. All who descend into Gehenna (the place of torment reserved for the wicked after death) subsequently reascend except three: he who commits adultery, publicly shames his neighbor, or calls his neighbor by an evil nickname. From the day the Temple was destroyed all gates sometime have been locked (the very close relationship between G-d and the Jews had been altered), except the gates through which pass the cries of wrong (ona'ah). The tears of the person who has been publicly humiliated go straight to Heaven and Divine Retribution may follow.
Imma Shalom, sister of Rabban Gamliel and wife of Rabbi Eliezer, also knew (from her grandfather's house) the tradition that all gates may be locked except the gates for wounded feelings. From the time the ban was imposed on her husband, she did not permit him to prostrate himself upon his face in prayer. She feared that he might pour out his sense of injury and that G-d would punish her brother. One day, however, a poor man came and stood at the door, so she took out some bread for him. On her return she found her husband prostrated upon his face. "Get up!" she cried out to him. "You have just slain my brother!" Even as she was speaking, a horn's blast coming from the house of Rabban Gamliel announced that he had died !


Rabbi Eliezer fell seriously ill. Rabbi Akiva and his companions came to visit him in the hope that they could persuade him to recant. He sat in a canopied four-poster bed, and they sat a distance of four cubits from him. "Why have you come?" he asked. "We have come to study Torah," they replied. With a note of anger in his voice, he asked, "And why did you not come before now ?" "We had no time," they replied.

Comment:  Rabbi Akiva found it appropriate to visit with his teacher when Rabbi Eliezer was on his deathbed. He came with his crew with the mask of wishing Rabbi Eliezer to recant (so that he could study a little Torah), as though there was any chance at all of that (recanting) taking place! What we see is that Rabbi Akiva is starting to have second thoughts about his own decisions and character, causing him concern in view of what is transpiring in the outside world.
“Then Rabbi Akiva asked, “And what kind of a death will be mine ?” Looking directly at him, Rabbi Eliezer slowly and solemnly responded, “Yours will be more cruel than theirs.”
Hashem no doubt decreed a severe punishment also in this life for Rabbi Akiva, and  G-d no doubt saw the Roman torture of Rabbi Akiva and his self-serving declarations differently than does Jewish history. Can anyone have any doubt that G-d made it very clear that the Sanhedrin was the anti-thesis of a holy body in service to Hashem ?

Thinking this might be because they were intensively involved in plotting the Bar Kochba uprising, and yet still bitter, he said, "I wonder if such as you will die a natural death." Then Rabbi Akiva asked, "And what kind of a death will be mine ?" Looking directly at him, Rabbi Eliezer slowly and solemnly responded, "Yours will be more cruel than theirs." Akiva's face flushed, his eyes closed, and he hung his head as he could no longer look into his Master's eyes. [When Rabbi Akiva was arrested by the Romans he was executed by being flayed alive with iron combs]. Then Rabbi Eliezer placed his arms over his heart and cried, "Alas for you, arms of mine, that are like two Torah scrolls about to be rolled up and put away. Much Torah have I learned and much have I taught, but how much more have I to learn and to teach." Then his disciples asked him about the laws of cleanness and uncleanness. Concerning that which was unclean, he kept saying, "Unclean." Concerning that which was clean, he kept saying, "Clean," until his soul departed as he uttered the word "Clean." At that Rabbi Yehoshua, seizing the opportunity to exonerate the Master, stood up and exclaimed, "The ban is lifted, the ban is lifted !"


Comment: How noble for Rabbi Yehoshua to act as the son or daughter who neglects their parent but comes to the funeral to cry his or eyes out before the public! How in G-d’s Name can the Jewish leadership in today’s times not see the fantasy that has created institutionalized wrongs and wrongdoings against G-d and the Jewish people and platforms a truly dangerous future for the entire world ? What type of illness permeates the Jewish psyche which allows us to stand blind to this reality which will lead Israel to encounter horrendous death and destruction and return the Jewish people in the Diaspora to persecution ? This has been the aim of MISSED MESSAGE OF TORAH; to show that if we simply repent for Jacob’s (Israel’s) sin against G-d that He will contravene the evil forces of man and intervene to give us a leader or leadership that will take us on the correct path. We can never get there if we persist on defending the indefensive and acting as caterpillars following a path that has lead us to only continued victimizations and persecutions.

A reader to MISSED MESSAGE OF TORAH raised a valid point. He proffered that when Jacob said “your G-d” to his father, Isaac, in the midst of his manipulation and deceit of his father, he was purporting to be Esau, and thus said what he thought Esau would say. Thus, in response:
  1. There was no reason for Jacob to bring G-d into the picture. He supposedly had reservations about what he was doing. His father’s question did not beg the need for Jacob to bring G-d’s Name into the response, and the deceit, at all;
  1. Nothing more is needed than (a), however, in so using G-d’s Name under the argument that he was standing in place of his brother, he further demeaned his brother; for in using manipulation and deceit for his own benefit, he should not have unnecessarily further compounded it by slandering Esau to his father by making such a disrespectful reference, regardless of whether Jacob thought Esau would have put it that way or not;
  1. Once receiving the blessings, he owed apologies to G-d, Isaac, and Esau, just for enmeshing
    G-d’s Name as he did in the scheme. None was ever given at any time.
A person who is truly righteous and respectful to his G-d and his holy father would never enmesh G-d into a scheme he purportedly had reservations about, especially when it was not critical or necessary for him to use G-d’s name at all. Further, afterwards, there was no consciousness of guilt. The Torah clearly provides repeated verification that Jacob should have apologized and shown remorse for what he did.

Final Remarks: The vast majority of the Jewish people have no knowledge or idea of these Talmudic tractates and their role in Jewish history. Those in the Jewish leadership take carved out pieces and portions to distort the truth and continue to hide the true implications of what occurred which needs to be refuted, rebuked and rejected to honor Hashem. Rabbi Eliezer was correct. He saw that this one incident and precedent could platform taking G-d away from His central role and purpose for the Jewish people. G-d, no doubt, in accord with the failings of Jacob, waits to see what it will take for the Jewish people to correct the course. G-d sees tens of thousands of Jews go to the synagogue, sit and study Torah, and say rote prayers day after day: yet despite the expenditure of all this time and resources He hasn’t heard the needed apologies on behalf of Jacob (Israel). Rabbi Eliezer knew he had more to teach, and he no doubt would teach the Jewish people correctly. But he became a victim himself, and he continues to be victimized by those Jewish scholars today who keep him and his message imprisoned.(5)

Recipe for the Messianic Era:
a.        Israel as a nation showing the world Kavod Hashem, carrying a peace agenda moving the peoples of the region to G-d not away from Him.
b.       Apologizing for Jacob’s (Israel’s) (it’s) sins against G-d and for failing to recognize and repent therefor long ago when afforded numerous signs and given numerous opportunities to do so.
c.        Pardoning Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, restoring his name and reputation and declaring him to be a Jewish hero.


(2) The persecutions of the Diaspora acted to mitigate the degree of abuse and corruption which would have been otherwise seen.
(3) Under the legitimate façade of curtailing divisive dissension.
(4) This first recorded abstention parallels the ones recorded by the Shas Knesset members whom blindly followed its leadership in abstaining, then seeing the portal open because of it for Barak to give up the Holy City to Arafat and the Palestinians. While the Shas members subsequently did recognize the folly of their leaderships position, the damage was done, and but for Hashem hardening Arafat’s heart, the Holy City would have been transferred pushing the Jewish people already into the abyss.
(5) In fact, daresay most of the orthodox community have no familiarity with the full story and true dynamics in play resulting in the power assumed by the Orthodox rabbinate today and its continued conception, homage to and proffer of Oral Law. Discovery that Oral Law separates the Orthodox movement from other Jewish religious sectors raises a dire need for the Orthodox rabbinate to perpetuate the wrongdoing, resulting in holding Rabbi Akiva as hero without any mention or felt need to absolve Rabbi Eliezer, instead continuing to perpetuate a continuing slander against him, which no doubt only aggravates the continued victimization of the Jewish people per Israel’s failing to repent for that wrongdoing. The author verily believes that correction of these issues to the attention of every Jewish person will herald the coming of the Messianic Era.