This essay has a total of 1848 words and 8 pages.
Jewish 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 underezd 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 Jerusalem.
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
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 JEWS HAD TO REVOLT.
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 long are you
going to turn Jews into ohnun hkgc?" This means, how long will you
turn Jews into Warriors with imperfection (a missing finger).
Nonetheless, Bar Kochba could think of no other way to test the Jews.
So the Rabbi’s suggested that anybody who can uproot a Cedar of
Lebanon while riding past it on a horse would be deserving to enter
Bar Kochba’s army, 200,000 more people passed this test. After
recruiting several others Bar Kochba had an enormous and ferocious
army of about 580,000 people. Bar Kochba was so confident of his army
that before each battle he would say to G-d, "Ribbono Shel Olam! Do
not help us do not hinder us!" What Bar Kochba basically meant
was, let nature run it’s course, we do not need your help.
With his army, Bar Kochba started his attack. Instead of Having
an attack of Bar Kochba’s army to all of Palestine at once, he
captured Palestine a little at a time. He would take over fortress
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