Rabbi Eliyahu Hakakian, of congregation Ahavat Shalom, spoke to the middle school students at Yeshivas Toras Simcha. The Rav explained to the boys the significance of the talmidim of Rabbi Akiva. They were geonim but they harbored a small measure of disrespect for each other. Perhaps when they argued in Torah they did not give proper honor to a fellow talmid who disagreed with them. We must always be sensitive to Jews who may not dress like we do, daven the same nusach that we daven and wear a yarmulka that is not the same as our own. We can always agree to disagree respectfully. During the days of sefira we need to internalize this lesson.
Photos by Dovid Kapenstein