Mar 18

Bar Kochba

Shimon ben Koussaba as personification of the Torah

Yehuda Shenef has independently reached similar conclusions regarding Bar Kochba. I have taken the liberty of summarizing two pages from his German book –interspersed with my own comments (in blue):  Yehuda Shenef points out that Kochba’s patronymic   כוסבה [Koussaba]  בן  [ben]   שמעון [Shimon] equates to 611 which is the same value as  תורה (torah = 611) – the Hebrew word for law (Kochba thought of himself as the torah made flesh). The torah contains 613 commandments (not 611) but the ever inventive rabbi’s (cf., Rabbi Hamnuna) explained that the verse (Deut 33.4) states that whereas 611 commandments were instructed via Moses, the first two of the Ten Commandments were given directly to the people by God. Of course, 611 does not equal the 616 variant found in the Apocalypse. Shenef proposes ר שמעון as 666, which he equates with “rabbi Shimon” but one would expect “rav” (not simply ר). He does note a fairly large number of rabbinical scholars named Shimon in the time of the Mishnah as it was the most common name among the Tannaim (the tribes of Simeon and Levi were originally scribal and priestly tribes). Shenef examines the name of Esther (a star) known as a deliverer from Persian genocide in Biblical and Talmudic Literature (thus possibly highlighting connections with the Babylonian/Parthian inspired Bar Kochba deliverance) and Shenef equates האסתר (the star = value 666), the beast (=666) and rabbi Shimon (=666). Yehuda Shenef, 666, die Zahl des Menschen: Das Mysterium der Apokalypse im Spiegel Jüdischer , (BoD – Books on Demand, 1 Feb. 2016) , p211- 212…..will probably update my abstract by including this info as a footnote.