Click here for the Talmudic Source for this famous story.
Click here for an analysis of this story by Yael Shahar.
One of the most quoted Talmudic stories is the story of the Tanur shel Akhnai—the “oven of Akhnai”. The story tells of a debate between the famous R’ Eliezer ben Hyrcanus on the one side and the rest of the sages of Israel on the other side. It includes all the trappings of a good story: drama and pathos; miraculous occurrences and steadfast adherence to logical proof. But behind the scenes, it is the story of a dramatic upheaval in the Jewish world, whose echoes continue to reverberate down the corridors of halakhic study and practice to this day.