Our fellow Jews are sick. They don’t admit it. They don’t even know it. Yet the malady is grave. “The most destructive, painful, most contagious disease of all,” Rabbi Noah Weinberg said, “is ignorance. Ignorance perverts people and leads to wasted, counterproductive lives. Ignorance causes untold suffering — mistreatment of children, marital strife and suffering in a dead-end job.”
“You shall teach your children diligently” (Deuteronomy 6:7). Rabbi Akiba traveled from town to town in Israel, teaching the Torah, judging cases, settling disputes, offering wisdom and listening to the stories of his people.
So have you heard the one about the two rabbis on a boat? It's actually a story told by the Talmud in its discussion of the laws of the sukkah. It seems that Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Gamliel were on a boat during the days leading up to the holiday of Sukkot, and it became clear that they were not going to make it to land in time for the beginning of the festival. Rabbi Akiva sprung into action, pressing the members of the crew for a bit of lumber, some nails, and whatever other materials might be employed, to assemble a sukkah just large enough for himself and for his colleague.