Johanan ben Torta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Johanan ben Torta (Hebrew: יוחנן בן תורתא‎‎, read as Yochanan ben Torta) was a Jewish Tanna sage of the third generation - 2nd-century era commence. He was one of the main opponents of Simon bar Kokhba, and the revolt he led against the Roman Empire, and especially to his definition of messianism, according to Rabbi Akiva:

"Shimon bar Yochai recounts: Rabbi Akiva would elucidate, "A star has came forth out of Jacob" (Numbers 24:17) [as] '[Bar] Cozba' [1] has came forth out of Jacob'. When Akiva would see 'Bar Kokhba', he would say: 'This is the King Messiah'. [And then] R. Johanan ben Torta would tell him: "Akiva, Grass shall grow from your cheeks and yet the son of David shall not appear."

— Y. Talmud, Tractate Ta'anit, 4:8, 68d


  1. ^ 'Kokhba' ("lie") instead of Simon bar Kokhba, an emphasis of the author siding with Torta's commentary