Rabbi Akiva was a man of exeptional excelence and love for the Torah. Many wonder today,"How is it that this great wise Rabbi made such a mistake in declaring Bar Kochbah as Messiah, thus infusing clout in the Jewish rebellion, which eventually caused the closing down of the Jewish nation for 2,000 years?"
Did the Rabbi really make a mistake?
In Jewish understanding, any would-be Messiah has certain things to accomplish. 1: The return from diaspora; 2: The rebuilding of the Temple; 3: the return of Israel into independance; 4: Israel playing a vital role in the world. According to Jewish understanding, any time, anytime we suspect that a man seems to accomplish these goals, we are supposed to get behind him. If in the end the suspected 'mashiach' dies without finishsiung the missions, he was not the Messiah and we continue waiting for another. This was the case about Bar-Kochbah.
To get behind such a person is a question of obedience. Cynicism is out biggest enemy. We must always have faith. According to this viewpoint, Rabbi Akivah did not make the mistake of a would-be false prophet. If anything, he is guilty of hope. All a mistake proves is that someone stopped talking long enough and did something for a change.
I am also guilty of hope. As the patriarchs of old, I have learned to hope against all hope, and I am always ready to spek of the hope which is within me.
According to this concept, as per Judaism I am forced to get behind who I think is the Mashiach of Israel. Oh yes, he died, but there is witness of resurrection. , and I believe that the work he started, which is the mission of regathering diasporatic Israel, of rebuilding the Temple, of re-establishing Israel as an independent country playing a vital role in the world, he is returning to finish it.
May it be soon Hashem, even in our days!