Monday, May 9, 2022

Bar cochbar = most doubted that he was Messiah

 Sanhedrin (93b)Rabbi Alexandri says that the term hariḥo teaches that God burdened the Messiah with mitzvot and afflictions like millstones [reiḥayim]. Rava says that hariḥo teaches that the Messiah will smell [demoraḥ] and then judge on that basis, sensing who is right, as it is written: “And he shall neither judge after the sight of [lemareh] his eyes, nor decide after the hearing of his ears; and with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide equity for the meek of the earth” (Isaiah 11:3–4).


  1. Garnel IronheartMay 9, 2022 at 5:13 PM

    Somehow I gotta wonder how much of this is "Yeah, I guess we were wrong about him" consider Rabbi Akiva pushed his Moshiach status so much.

  2. According to the Rambam (Melachim 11:3), ALL of the Sages in Bar Kochva's day, thought that he was the Melech HaMashiach.

    The Ra'avad quotes the Gemara (Sanhedrin 93b) cited in the OP. However the Gemara there doesn't say explicitly that the gentiles killed him. It says that "THEY" killed him, which sounds like that they, the Sages who were testing him, killed him.

    The Migdal Oz concurs with the Rambam, that the Sages did not kill him; since there was no Halachic basis for capital punishment for Bar Kochva.

    The Lechem Mishneh (ad loc.) says that the Rambam follows the opinion of Rabbi Alexandri, who says that the term "hariḥo" teaches, that God burdened the Messiah with mitzvot and afflictions like millstones [reiḥayim], and that according to Rabbi Alexandri there was no basis of testing for testing Bar Kochva, if he "is able to smell and judge".

    See also Radvaz (ad loc.) who interprets the Gemara cited by the Ra’avad, that it does not mean that the Sages literally killed him; just that they did not protect him, and as a result, he was killed by the non-Jews.

    Alternatively, says the Radvaz, this is a case of differing Aggadic statements, and the Rambam adopted the position of the Aggadic statement that Bar Kochva was not killed by the Sages.

  3. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 10, 2022 at 2:10 AM

    it is still a bit wishy washy -

    Sages tested him for miracles? that was said in the other posts.

    According to the Raavad readin, his kuziva/deceiver status made him an impostor. In the NT it says that Chazal and also the Tzedukim, tested yashke, and found him to be an impostor.

    Was bar Kochba any better than Yashke, according to Raavad/sanhedrin? Was he a failed messiah or a false messiah?

    If he is a false messiah, then he's like Yoshke.

    Was Yoshka a false messiah, or according to Greenberg, maybe a failed one? Well, he didn't fit the criteria of King, as he was of uncertain birth. Of course Rambam says he was both a false Messiah and also, a partial pre-messianic figure, who is sent to straighten out the world. Actually, the fall of the roman empire, was partly due to Xtianity, its impacy on rome and the christian pacifists who led to the fall of the army. And fall of the Roman empire was the first step in the slow road to regaining E'Y. So as Rambam says we cannot understand the ways of Hashem:

    אֲבָל מַחְשְׁבוֹת
    בּוֹרֵא עוֹלָם אֵין כּוֹחַ בָּאָדָם לְהַשִּׂיגָם, כִּי לֹא דְּרָכֵינוּ
    דְּרָכָיו וְלֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵינוּ מַחְשְׁבוֹתָיו. וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים
    הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁל יֵשׁוּעַ הַנּוֹצְרִי, וְשֶׁל זֶה הַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִי שֶׁעָמַד
    אַחֲרָיו, אֵינָן אֶלָּא לְיַשֵּׁר דֶּרֶךְ לַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ,
    וּלְתַקֵּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוּ לַעֲבֹד אֶת ה' בְּיַחַד: שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר
    "כִּי אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻּלָּם בְּשֵׁם
    ה' וּלְעוֹבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד" (ראה צפניה ג, ט).

  4. 1. According to the opinion of Rabbi Alexandri (Sanhedrin 93b), there is no evidence that Bar Kochva was tested. The Rambam clearly follows this opinion, as he says, that the Sages did not ask for any signs or miracles.

    2. I also have seen no evidence that there was any question of Bar Kochva’s eligibility to be a king, or any uncertainty about his birth pedigree; and the Rambam accepts it as a given, that Bar Kochva was a king, who could have potentially been the Moshiach, had he not gotten killed.

    3. I also would be very hesitant and careful, before I utter Bar Kochva’s name in the same breath as Yoshke. According to the Greek Testament, Judaism was changed under Yoshke; and according to the Book of John, Yoshke advocated idolatry, with himself as the deity. None of the sort was evident with Bar Kochva. So other than their Messianic claims, there is no legitimate comparison of the two people.

    4. It is important to note, that Bar Kochba himself, in his letters and coins, did NOT call himself a "Messiah" nor a "king," but a "Nasi of Israel."

    5. The Rambam also does NOT characterize Bar Kochva as a “false Messiah”. He merely states that once he died, they then knew that he was not the Messiah. That indicates that according to the Rambam, Bar Kochva, at the core of his appearance, was viewed as a potential true Messiah, who ultimately failed to come to fruition; and is therefore not considered a “false Messiah”.

    6. This is spelled out in the Rambam (Melachim 11:4, censored in some editions) “And if he has not succeeded so far, or been killed, it is known that he is not the one who was promised to him by Torah, and after all he is like all the kosher kings of the house of David who died”.

    7. Hence the Rambam sees the figure of Bar-Kochba as a precedent and a model of an attempt to bring about redemption, which can end in failure without becoming a “false Messiah”. He is a potential Messiah, whose mission did not come to fruition; who nevertheless had a genuine foundation at the basis of his appearance.

  5. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 10, 2022 at 5:02 PM

    Kcking r Eleazar hamodai to death, choppingoff fingers like the yakuza. Hardly a frum tzadik

  6. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 10, 2022 at 6:19 PM

    Similarity is that both were kozvim, both rejected, both killed. The fact that yoshke was more of a menuval does not change anything. Why don't chassidim stop learning on bar kochba s birthday? Was yashke a greater talmid chacham?


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