Biographies

“Baba Sali,” Rav Yisrael Abuchatzeira

June 14, 2006, by

The name Abuchatzeira has become legendary in fact, story and song among wide circles of modern-day Jews. This is due in no small measure to the impact on the Jewish consciousness of the life of the “Baba Sali,” the “Praying Father” of the Moroccan Jewish Community, who made “Aliyah” to “Eretz Yisrael” in the middle […]

Abaye

June 14, 2006, by

If one were to inquire of a Talmudic scholar what constitutes classic “Gemara,” the odds are good that he would reply, “the dialogues of Abaye and Rava,” both of whom were Amoraim from “Bavel” (Babylonia). That is because back-and-forth question and answer, point and counter-point, progressive refinement of the subject matter, which almost always involves […]

Abba Eban

June 15, 2006, by

All felt great pride when Abba Eban spoke in behalf of Israel at the United Nations during the Six-Day War. In a speech to the U.N. Security Council on June 6, 1967, he said that “if… the universal conscience was in the last week or two most violently shaken at the prospect of danger to […]

Aharon

June 14, 2006, by

Brother of Moshe and Miriam; first “Kohen Gadol,” “High Priest” of Israel.

Akiva

June 14, 2006, by

One of the greatest of the Tannaim, Scholars of the Mishnah, the earliest written form of the Oral Torah. He was the Spiritual Leader of the Bar Kochba Revolt and it was he who initially proclaimed Bar Kochba the Mashiach. He was a Master of Transformation and Growth, as we see from the fact that […]

Amos

June 14, 2006, by

The third in the traditional listing by CHAZAL of the group of Prophets known as the “Trei-Asar,” the “Twelve.” A herdsman from Tekoah in Yehudah (Amos 1:1) and declaring that he was neither a Prophet nor the son of a Prophet (Amos 7:14), Amos nevertheless scaled the greatest heights of Prophecy. For each of “Damesek” […]

Asher

June 14, 2006, by

Asher was the eighth son of Yaakov Avinu, and the second son of Zilpah, the handmaiden of Leah. He was born, according to the Midrash “Yalkut Shimoni” on the 20th of Shevat, and lived 123 years. Upon his birth, Leah said, “…It is my good fortune! For women have called me fortunate! And she called […]

Avraham

June 14, 2006, by

First of the “Avot,” the “Founding Fathers” of the Jewish People. Father of the Jewish People in particular and, by the name change of Avram to Avraham declared by the Almighty to be the father, as well, of “a multitude of nations.” (Bereshit 17:4) He re-discovered Monotheism, the belief in only One G-d, one of, […]

Bar Kochba

June 14, 2006, by

“Son of the Star;” Leader of Revolt against Rome in 135 CE, last attempt, with initial success for a few years, to regain independence from Rome, after Destruction of Second Temple in about 70 CE. He was believed by Rabbi Akiva to be the Mashiach, and he was given this name based on the prophecy […]