Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The story so incidental to Akiba's that I had to look up her name, it was Rachel.

He began his studies late in life and he married her, her family had money and her father disapproved of slacker husband starting school at 40.

She saw something she dug in him. So she married him and suffered poverty as he wandered looking for teachers as was the way in those times.

She did stuff, who knows what she did, the story doesn't say much, I don't even remember if they had children. She had to make ends meet, I guess. I wonder if she had a reputation, here was the daughter of a wealthy man, probably had some sophistication, she did dig Akiba before he was even noticeable to be dug, she must have had a sharp eye for the wise guy. Though in the story it is a disapproving neighbor ridiculing her for her husband's 12 year abdication of tilling his turf.

And so he comes back to her after long times of study, and passing by the window before entering the door ("Honey! I'm home!"), he hears her respond to the mean neighbor (and what kind of neighborhood was it, I wonder, and did Rachel do anything, make anything, to make her place look or be different than the others?).

"Well if I had my way, he'd study for another 12 years!" Rachel's pride and woe and rue and glooms all poured into passionate renunciations and declarations and such, her annoyance at folks not digging what was so front and center to her, all that.

And Akiba hears it and goes back to study for another 12 years.

The story is sparse. Because in the end when he has won all the glory, wisdom prizes and entourages, and she reunites with him, he makes her contribution clear, two souls like two eyes seeing same vision, moving toward it on separate and solitary paths.

What happened to Rachel, I don't know, Akiba met a martyr's end, it was wild and savage times with occupations and empires and rebellions.


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