Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph a poor, semi-literate shepherd, began the process of the Gleanings while he actively participated in Bar Kokhba rebellion against Rome. Afraid that Judaism could crumble under the weight of their times Akiba and a small group of other scholars began visiting the homes of both common Jews and scholars. Anyone and everyone who was a Jew. The men gleaned from these people their wisdom about Judaism and compiled it into the beginning of what would be called the Mishnah (the oral torah). Later rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi a well-educated man in both Greek and Jewish thought compiled the work for use by the Jewish community as a whole.

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