Bar Kochba Revolt

The Jewish revolt led by
Bar Kochba in 132 AD was not the work of a single if a single radical revolutionary.
It was the inevitable result of years of promises not kept to the Jews, and
laws which suppressed the basis of Jews as a nation.
To understand the reason
for Bar Kochba’s Revolt one must go back many years even before the war. Prior
to Hadrian, an emperor by the name of Trajan was the ruler of the Roman empire.
Due to the rebellion of the Jews in the Diaspora to the east and the west
of them, Trajan, in order to keep the Jews in Palestine from rebelling he had
to send a great general to be governor of the Jews in Palestine, a general
who was well with the harshness in which he treated people. This general’s
name was Tineius Rufus, he was the general that put down the uprising of the
Jews in Parthia. Because of Rufus’ reputation of his severity to the Jews,
he uprooted any thought of the Jews in Palestine to rebel against Rome at that
time. The Jews did not want to rebel anyway. Trajan had promised the Jews
that he would rebuild the asenv ,hc, the Jews assumed this also meant to rebuild
The Pagans in Palestine did not want the asenv ,hc to be rebuilt,
they thought that if it was rebuilt it would be the rebirth of the Jewish nation.
Also, in addition, Trajan, the Emperor who made this promise died and was
succeeded by Hadrian. The Jews were unsure if Hadrian would keep the promise
that Trajan once made. Hadrian wanted to go to Jerusalem to see what he was
rebuilding before he started the construction. When Hadrian got there he was
awed by the sight of a once desolate and fruitful city in ruins. He immediately
wanted to start the reconstruction. However later the Jews were surprised
and disappointed to discover that Hadrian wanted to rebuild Jerusalem not as
a city for the Jews to restart in, but as a Pagan city sanctified to the Pagan
G-d Jupiter. He was going to put an alter where the Jews asenv ,hc once stood.
Hadrian was to be the high priest. What once was called Jerusalem would now
be called Aelia Capitolina.
This was a mockery to the Jews. The Jews waited
sixty years from the destruction of the Second asenv ,hc for Rome to restore
it to them. The Jews held themselves back from Rebelling with their neighboring
Jews in Diaspora because they held onto, and believed that Trajan’s promise
would be kept. Furthermore, Hadrian later made a prohibition of circumcision.
"Consequently the Jews saw in Hadrian another Antiochus Epiphanes. And where
there was an Antiochus, a Maccabee was bound to arise."
The Romans had by now either banned or mocked some of the most important beliefs
in Judaism. If they did not revolt against the Romans they would have died,
in a spiritual sense. Even if the Romans didn’t kill them, they would not
really be Jewish anymore. Circumcision, which was the physical difference
between them as Jews and, as well as a basic premise of their Jewish beliefs.
Their only choice was to gain their independence.
Rabbi Akiva, a great scholar
of his day, also once believed in Tarsus’ promise. He had also been led astray.
Therefore, the great Rabbi helped organize thousands of soldiers to fight
for the independence and welfare of the Jewish people. Rabbi Akiva also picked
a man named Shimon Bar Kochba to lead his army. Rabbi Akiva was sure that
Bar Kochba would turn out to be "A second Judah the Maccabee."
Rabbi Akiva
was so sure of this that he called Bar Kochba the jhan. His name alone was
a reference to him being the jhan, his name Bar Kochba means "Son of a Star"
from the word Kochab which means star. There was also a sentence in the Torah
which stated, "A star has come forth from David." Both times a star is mentioned.
This is a direct referral to him being the jhan.
Bar Kochba had to make
sure his army was ferocious and unstoppable. To make sure that his army only
consisted of the strongest warriors, he said that only men who would bite a
finger off his right hand would merit to be in his army, 200,000 people passed
this test. The Rabbi’s objected to this manner of testing Jews. They said
to Bar Kochba, "How