The Rebels Assert Independence
"for the f[reedom] of Israel"
Date- 132-135 CE
Current Location- Private Collection, Shlomo Moussaieff.
Language and Script- Hebrew, paleo-Hebrew alphabetic
Sixty years after the destruction of the Temple, the Jews revolted against the Romans for a second time. Their leader was Simon Bar Kokhba. Against penalty of death, Bar Kokhba overstruck Roman coins with Jewish symbols. This example has a depiction of a lulav and an etrog, two of the “four species” of plants used ritually in the festival of Succoth. A lulav is a “shoot” or “young branch,” especially of a palm tree, and an etrog is a thick-skinned citrus fruit resembling a lemon. Also on this side of the coin is a dating formula, consisting of the paleo-Hebrew letters shin and bet—for “y(ear) 2” (133/134 CE)—followed by an abbreviated inscription lh[rwt] ysr’l, “for the f[reedom] of Israel.”