Jewish Mourning Customs During the Spring Season (Sefirat Haomer): A Ritual Act of Collective Memory

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Dr. Fishbane’s monograph seeks to employ social scientific theory to understand the significance and evolution of Jewish mourning customs practiced between Passover (Pesach) and the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) holidays.


"Most researchers, scholars and rabbis are in agreement that these twenty-four thousand students of Rabbi Akiva were in reality soldiers of Bar Kochva, who participated in the revolt against the Romans; this was the last attempt to restore Jerusalem Temple society and Jewish sovereignty. … Furthermore Rabbi Akiva was known to be a strong supporter of Bar Kochva and even believed him to be the Messiah. It is no surprise then, that he would instruct his students to join forces in revolt against the Romans. … The obvious question then, is why the editors of the Talmud pre-ferred to present the Rabbi Akiva tragedy and ignore the Bar Kochva story?"

Table of Contents


The Rabbi Akiva Story

The Theoretical Framework of Collective Memory

The Talmud as History

The Rabbis of Late Antiquity

Babylonian Talmud Yebamot 62a

The Geonim

Roman and Foreign Influences

Refraining from Work

The Rishonim

New Time Frame

Supplementary Practices

Additional Rationalizations


The Sephardic Community


Concluding Remarks

Works Cited

Other Jewish Studies Books

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