Who Was Bar Kochba? Jewish Biography as History Lecture by Dr. Henry Abramson

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“Akiva, grass will grow from your cheeks,” said the talmudic Rabbi Yochanan ben Torta, “and still the messiah will not have come.” A stinging rebuke for the most prominent supporter of Bar Kochba’s would-be messianic leadership of the Jewish people in his 2nd-century rebellion against the Roman oppressors. Who was Bar Kochba, and what did his rebellion signify for Jewish history?

Dr. Abramson in print:

kof cover DMA_Fotor The Sea of Talmud  Rambam Cover  rtt2  art of hatred coverPrayer for the Government cover

15 thoughts on “Who Was Bar Kochba? Jewish Biography as History Lecture by Dr. Henry Abramson

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  1. Thank you so much for this series. I am not Jewish, but have a curiosity about Jewish history. It is so good to hear this history from the Jewish point of view instead of being filtered through Christian culture. I hope you will continue doing this for a long time.

  2. I’m glad that you made this video lecture. Not only does it support my assertion that the Third Jewish revolt led to a greater loss of life and dispersion of Judeans, but also it led to a worldwide persecution of Jews throughout the Roman world.

    Thank you again for your educational series. History is the biography of the human race.

      1. My dear friend Dr Henry,

        I’m touched that you’d take the time to reply to an autodidact like myself. All I have and all I know comes from intellectuals like yourself. I think that you are a man of integrity and have the unique ability to think outside the box that were often shoved into. I believe that knowledge of history can help us avoid the mistakes of history and to gain insight into the current events as well as the future. It has been said that, “The Jewish mindset is paranoia confirmed by history.” I believe that to be a true saying and we need to strive to teach history truthfully and I feel that you do!

        May the One God bless and keep you, may His strong arm always be around you as a hedge of protection and may you always teach the Truth.

        Your friend and student,

  3. Hi. I love the lecture and have heard all of them. Only issue i have is that on your video we, more often then not, cannot see the actual PowerPoint text. On torahcafe.com only a few of your classes go up and I do miss the text. Anyway you could upload somewhere the text?
    Thanks, Naomi from Belgium

    1. Hello Naomi from Belgium! Thanks for the suggestion. I’m not able to easily upload the earlier lectures which used PowerPoint and Keynote, but based on your suggestion I’ve made the Prezi lectures available. Please visithttp://prezi.com/user/HenryAbramson/ to find the lectures you’re looking for. Thank you for watching! HMA

      1. Thank you so much. I have just listened again to both Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and Babatha lectures, while following the prezi presentation. Everything was better! It was as if i was in your Miami Beach shul!
        By the way, you say you are moving to New York – will you at least carry on giving lectures on YouTube if not in front of a live audience? It would be a great personal loss to me (and countless Latvians) should you terminate this great project!
        Don’t give up!!!

      2. Thank you, Naomi–I laughed out loud with your reference to the Latvian audience! Yes, I’m planning to move to NY in the summer of 2015 (here’s the press release from Touro College, I’m proud of it: http://www.touro.edu/news/press-releases/las-abramson-appointment-81814.php). We’ll have to figure out which community we want to live in, and then I’ll think about giving the weekly lectures again. Glad you found the Prezi helpful, and thanks for the suggestion! HMA

  4. I very much enjoyed this lecture and stumbled upon it while looking for more information on Bar Kochba and R. Akiva. I will now listen to the remaining lectures as you are able to transmit large amounts of information with great facility and wit. But to my question. I have thought for some time that too little is made of the great tragedy brought on by Bar Kochba and in some measure by his most prominent supporter R. Akiva. As Jews we prefer to see the heroism in the revolt, yet the course of Jewish history changed here much for the worse. We cannot bring ourselves to bestow blame on a scholar like R. Akiva, but I think he is let off lightly. Now that I have retired from the world of work I am determined to better understand this upheaval and would be pleased for any reading materials you might suggest.

  5. good lecture. Would have liked for you to discuss more about Bar Kochba, personally, as that is what I Expected given the title of the video: Who Was Bar Kochba?. Instead you discussed more about the revolt, so it was more about the Kochba Revolt and not about him, personally. More ways you could have touched upon him are: Who his parents were, did he marry, how old was he when he revolted. Did he spend his time in Yeshiva or in the woods. His physical features. How did he die…things like that.

    second: why would Babatha take her Guardians to a Roman court if at that time, during the Kochba rebellion, Romans were considered inferior acc to the Israelites…is it possible she litigated before the revolt started?

    email me, thanks

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