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Johanan ben Torta

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Title: Johanan ben Torta  
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Subject: Tannaim, Hanina ben Antigonus, Baba ben Buta, Johanan ben Baroka, Rabbi Ilai I
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Johanan ben Torta

Rabbinical Eras

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 Akiva ben Joseph:

"Shimon bar Yochai recounts: Rabbi Akiba would elucidate - "A star has came forth out of Jacob" (Numbers 24:17) [as] '[Bar] Cozba' [1] has came forth out of Jacob'. When Akiba would see 'Bar Cozba', he would say: 'This is the King Messiah'. [And then] R. Johanan ben Torta would tell him: "Akiba, Grass shall grow from your jaws and yet the son of David shall not appear."
—Y. Talmud, Tractate Ta'anit, 4:8, 68d


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

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