Bar Kokhba

Leader of the uprising in 132 CE against the Roman occupation of Judea. This war claimed close to a million victims, including an entire generation of  Rabbi Akiva’s disciples. It was apparently Rabbi Akiva who gave the rebel leader his appellation – Bar Kokhba means “son of a star”, recalling the verse, “There shall come a star out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). Unlike most Sages of his time, Rabbi Akiva not only fervently supported the revolt but at one point even declared Bar Kokhba to be the Messiah.

« Back to Glossary Index