Professor Menahem Mor, from the University of Haifa, gave a fascinating talk about Jewish rebel Shimon Bar Kochba Monday night.

Bar Kochba: Messiah or Pariah?

Professor Menahem Mor, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Haifa, entertained and educated his audience of about 35 Monday night at the UMC as he talked about the Bar Kochba revolt and Jewish and early Christian life under Roman rule in the second century CE.  The crowd, made up of a mixture of academics, community members and college students that represented a broad cross-section of ages, listened to and watched Professor Mor’s illustrated lecture on the politics and religious atmosphere of the time, the archeology that has shed new light on the period, and even modern historians’ myriad views of what the Bar Kochba Revolt means to Israelis and Jews of the 21st century.

The archeology, including coinage and artifacts of the period and letters written by and about Bar Kochba himself has revealed that there was a strong Messianic aspect to his then-radical movement.  At the same time, his initial success against the Romans, the difficulty the Romans had beating back the revolt and the sheer tenacity of he and his followers resulted in what many consider the first Holocaust against the Jews (according to a contemporary Roman account, the destruction of 950 Jewish villages and 50 fortified towns and the death of over 500,000 Jews), the banning of Jews from Jerusalem and the scattering of survivors across the empire.

This lecture is presented by the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder and co-sponsored by Menorah at the Boulder JCC.

The fifteen collaborating organizations who worked to make MoVeRs possible are Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, ADL, Congregation Bonai Shalom, Boulder JCC, Hadassah, Congregation Har HaShem, Hillel – University of Colorado, Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, Limmud Colorado, Menorah, Nevei Kodesh, Pardes Levavot, Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado, Soul Food and Tuv Ha’aretz.

MoVeRs is made possible with support from Rose Community Foundation, SCFD, and the Goldberger Fund for Jewish Culture at the University of Colorado at Boulder. For more information, visit or call 303.492.7143.

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