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Biographies In Brief

Brief biographies of some of our nation's greatest leaders.

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12 Facts About the Wicked Haman
Haman was the evil Persian prime minister who schemed to have the Jews killed. He fell before Queen Esther and Mordecai, heroes of the Purim party.
14 Facts About Mordecai
Mordechai was the leader of the Jews and cousin of Queen Esther, his co-hero in the Purim story.
14 Reuben Facts You Should Know
The High Priest wore a breastplate with 12 precious stones, one for each of the tribes. The first stone, etched with Reuben’s name, was the red ruby.
12 Facts About Judah Every Jew Should Know
Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. Compared to a lion, Judah was the ancestor of the royal House of David. He made mistakes and rectified them, blazing a path for others to follow.
10 Dinah Facts You Should Know
Torah tells us that Dinah, daughter of Jacob and and Leah, was the victim of rape. Oral traditions add to our understanding of this special woman.
13 Sarah Facts You Should Know
Sarah was the first of seven prophetesses and the mother of the Jewish nation.
18 Abraham Facts You Should Know
Abraham, the first of the patriarchs, was chosen by G-d to be the progenitor of His special nation.
14 Rashi Facts You Should Know
Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki was the most important commentator on Talmud and Torah of all times. Living in France and Germany, he left an indelible mark on Ashkenazi scholarship and culture.
15 Elijah Facts You Should Know
Learn about Elijah, perhaps the most famous of the Jewish prophets.
15 Facts About Queen Esther
As told in the Book of Esther (the Purim story), Esther was a Jewish orphan who became queen of Persia, a position that allowed her to save her people from death.
11 Fascinating Facts about Yocheved, Mother of Moses
Learn about the mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses.
8 Fascinating Facts About Serach, Daughter of Asher
Learn more about Serach, who is best-known for telling Jacob that Joseph was still alive.
12 Facts About Benjamin Everyone Should Know
Learn about the life and impact of Jacob's beloved, youngest son.
10 Facts About Hagar Everyone Should Know
One of the most interesting women in the Bible is Hagar, Abraham's second wife, and the mother of Ishmael. How much do you know about her?
The Story of Sulika
A beautiful maiden accused of having converted to Islam and wanting to return to Judaism, a crime punishable by death under Islamic law.
14 Facts About Noah Every Jew Should Know
How much do you know about the righteous man whom G-d chose to survive a mighty deluge and repopulate the world with his children?
10 Facts About Gedaliah Everyone Should Know
Every year, we fast to commemorate the death of Gedaliah. How much do you know about this man, and why his passing was so tragic?
14 Facts About the Arizal Every Jew Should Know
How much do you know about Rabbi Isaac Luria?
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (1534-1572), known as the Arizal, was one of the most celebrated Kabbalists of all times, whose teachings and mode of living have left an indelible mark on Jewish mysticism and practice.
10 Facts About Miriam Everyone Should Know
Learn about Miriam, the prophetess of the Bible, whose life and legacy is celebrated until today.
13 Facts About Leah Everyone Should Know
See how much you really know about our fourth matriarch, Leah!
14 Facts About Esau Everyone Should Know
Esau was the twin of Jacob, but his polar opposite in many respects. Read this article to learn more about him.
Who Were Bilhah and Zilpah?
Learn about the mothers of Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher, four of the 12 Tribes of Israel
12 Facts Every Jew Should Know About Eliezer
Eliezer, the faithful servant of Abraham, is mentioned by name only once in Scripture, but there is lots to know about him.
Women of the Bible Quiz
Take a minute to see how well you know the great women who shaped the destiny of our people.
12 Facts Every Jew Should Know About Rachel
Rachel is one of the four mothers of the Jewish people. How much do you know about her?
15 Facts About Aaron Every Jew Should Know
Want to learn more about the ancestor of virtually every Jew named Cohen? Here's your chance!
Who Was Elisheva?
Elisheba appears just once in the Torah. To learn more, we dig deep into rabbinic and kabbalistic texts…
Who Was Amram?
Amram, son of Kehot, led the Jewish people in Egypt and fathered three of the greatest leaders in Jewish history.
The Evil Babylonian King Who Destroyed Jerusalem
Nebuchadnezzar is notorious for decimating the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, exiling the vast majority of its denizens to Babylon, and destroying the first Holy Temple.
The man who lived 969 years
Methuselah was one of the Seven Shepherds, i.e. spiritual leaders of their respective eras.
Who Were Dathan and Abiram?
The Eternal Antagonists of the Bible
They were descendants of Reuben, mentioned in the Torah in conjunction with Korah’s rebellion. The Midrash tells us a lot more…
Who Was Caleb?
Caleb (in hebrew, “Kalev”) was one of the most prominent and influential Jews to leave Egypt.
Nathan the Prophet
Nathan was a prominent prophet during the reign of King David and King Solomon.
Who Was the Prophet Malachi?
Malachi (d. 312 BCE) was a member of the Great Assembly during the beginning of the second Jewish commonwealth and was considered the last Jewish prophet.
Rabbi Moshe Schreiber (Sofer), known as the Chatam Sofer, was the preeminent leader of Judaism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the first part of the 19th century.
Who Was the Chofetz Chaim?
Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan (1839-1933) was a Talmudist, rabbi and decisor of Jewish law based in the town of Radin (today Radun', Belarus).

Who Was Iyov? Hero of the Book of Job
The Book of Job explores the morality of Divine justice through the experience of human suffering, primarily the suffering of Job himself.
Who Was Jezebel?
Her tenure as queen of Israel is equated with that of Queen Vashti of Persia, who was renowned for her ruthless and hedonistic lifestyle.
Who Was Isaiah?
A scion of the royal Davidic dynasty, Isaiah became one of the preeminent prophets of Israel during the first Jewish commonwealth.
18 Incredibly Brave Women in Jewish History
Take a look at some amazing Jewish heroines spanning 3,000 years of history.
Who Was Esther?
Heroine of the Purim Story
Celebrated on Purim, Esther was a Jewish maiden who was forced to become queen of Persia. She used her influence to save the Jewish people.
18 Amazing Converts to Judaism You Should Know
Throughout history the Jewish nation has been enriched by converts—upstanding men and women who opted to enter the covenant and become part of the Chosen Nation.
10 Inspiring Orphans Who Significantly Impacted Judaism
Meet 10 Jewish leaders who were orphaned at a young age and went on to add richness and beauty to Jewish life until this very day.
16 Amazing People Who Beat the Odds to Preserve Judaism
Time and time again, it appeared as if the plucky nation of monotheists would be swallowed up by the religion du jour
1565-1446 BCE
The Story of Joseph in the Bible
From Prisoner to Prince
Joseph was sold by his brothers to Egypt, where he ultimately became ruler of the land, second only to King Pharaoh.
The Biblical Prophet and Lawgiver Known as Moshe
The greatest prophet who ever lived, Moses (Moshe) transcribed the Torah (also known as the Five Books of Moses), the foundational text of Judaism.
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