Bar Kokhba, Fighter for Israel and Judea
Died 135 CE
by Nadene Goldfoot
The Oregonian newspaper had an article in it on 9/4/2010 about more people of all faiths believing in reincarnation today. They are getting hypnotized in the hopes of gaining insights to their personality. According to recent data, 1/4 of the U.S. population believe it’s possible.
That being so, and I know an element of Judaism believes in reincarnation, I hope that Bar Kokhba has been reincarnated into some present day Israeli person. He died in 135 CE, the time that the Romans renamed Israel-Judea as Syria-Palaestia. This brave personality was reputed to be of Davidic descent.
Jerusalem had been attacked critically in 70 CE. By 130 CE it was going to be rebuilt as a Roman colony called Aelia Capitolina. Romans were prohibiting circumcision. Feelings against the Roman take-over had been fermenting for a considerable period until it was intolerble. Bar Kokhba then stood up against Hadrian, the Roman ruler who visited in 130 CE
He led a revolt against Hadrian in 132 CE. Rabbi Akiva was so impressed with him that he said he was the Messiah, though he was the only Rabbi to think that. He had great personal strength, was autocratic and irascible. Those are not all admirable qualities but perhaps necessary to become a leader in a revolt. They would not necessarily be good for being a wonderful husband except the personal strength part, especially in such times as what we are living in nowdays with Israel being threatened by not only Iran but Lebanan as well as Hamas in Gaza.
BarKokhba led his forces to Jerusalem and recaptured it. Supposedly it was a fierce battle. In 133 CE the Romans counterattacked with an army of 35,000 under Hadrian and Julius Severus, commander.
By 134-135 the Romans conquered Bar Kokhba’s last stronghold and killed him. They destroyed 50 fortresses and 985 villages. We had 580,000 Jewish casualities besides many dying of hunger and disease. This is when Judah fell into desolation. Jerusalem was turned into a heathen city, barred to Jews. A statue of Hadrian was erected on the site of the Holy of Holies.
Bar Kokhba was a man with a military ability to organize a revolt against the best Roman forces for over 3 years. I imagine he had been a young man, about 25 years old, full of a fighting spirit of justice, yet old enough to lead men of all ages. He could have been about 30 when he fell.
We just gained Jerusalem back in 1967 from Jordan occupation. Netanyahu is under pressure to allow it to be divided so that the Arabs can have half of it for their to be created Palestine. Will Netanyahu have the personal strength to deal with the pressures coming from Egypt, Jordan and Obama to give into these demands in the name of peace? I don’t see him as a reincarnated Bar Kokhba. He is not easily angered. Do we have a Bar Kokhba waiting in the wings to continue to defend Israel? Sharon could have been much like him. We don’t want to lose our country again.
Reference: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Oregonian Newspaper 9/4/2010