Following my previous question on Moshiach's qualities, I stumbled upon my lack of understanding of Bar Kochba's Toranic qualities.

I tried to look up on WIKI and other sites, but I couldn't find any information on his level of Torah study, especially how it compares to his fellow Sages such as R' Akivah, Rashbi, R' Meir and more. WIKI page even mentions that he wasn't associated with Prushim.

As I also found that he's not mentioned in Mishna or Gemmorah.

So was Bar Kochba a Torah scholar?

  • Is being a Torah scholar a requirement of Moshiach? – ezra Jan 6 '19 at 16:13
  • @ezra see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/98240/… – Al Berko Jan 6 '19 at 16:14
  • Rambam based his requirements for ‘presumed to be Moshiach’ to a large extent on the example from Rabbi Akiva. Since part of those requirements is that Moshiach be ‘hugah b’Torah’, it would seem to be a likely assumption even absent a source text today. – Yaacov Deane Jan 7 '19 at 4:56
  • Why isn’t this a duplicate of your other question about Bar Kochba that you linked? – DonielF Jan 7 '19 at 19:22

There is a certain test mentioned in Sanhedrin where Moshiach can 'smell and judge'. See here

בר כוזיבא מלך תרתין שנין ופלגא אמר להו לרבנן אנא משיח אמרו ליה במשיח כתיב דמורח ודאין נחזי אנן אי מורח ודאין כיון דחזיוהו דלא מורח ודאין קטלוהו

The Gemara relates: Bar Koziva, i.e., bar Kokheva, ruled for two and a half years. He said to the Sages: I am the Messiah. They said to him: With regard to the Messiah it is written that he is able to smell and judge, so let us see ourselves whether he, bar Kokheva, is able to smell and judge. Once they saw that he was not able to smell and judge, the gentiles killed him.

Bar Kochba failed this special (possibly prophecy based) test and was killed. I would venture to say that if he wasn't learned and couldn't judge at all, he wouldn't even have made it to that level of testing.

The fact that he is not quoted anywhere is not a proof to his being unlearned. To echo some comments on the question I would add that Rabi Akiva's own Rebi Nachum ish Gamzu is quoted only once (Berachos 22a) and yet we know he expounded the entire Torah by ribui and miut (Shevuos 26a).

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  • You're saying he failed the test of "prophecy" (I didn't understand the test, and as I see from Metivtah no interpreter really did). You also say that Nahum does not appear much in the Talmud either. So what does it all say about B"K, the Q was about? You might say the data is insufficient, though. – Al Berko Jan 7 '19 at 18:50

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