Famous Israeli Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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 1 Isaiah

Isaiah
4
Famous As: Judean Prophet
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Judah

Israelite prophet Isaiah is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah of the Bible. Some believe the 8th-century prophet had written all the 66 chapters of the Book of Isaiah, while others believe two separate portions were written by two people. He also finds mention in Judaism and Islam.

 2 Jeremiah

Jeremiah
4
Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0655 BC
Birthplace: Anathoth
Died: 0586 BC

Jeremiah was one of the major prophets, according to the Hebrew Bible. As per Jewish tradition, he authored the Book of Lamentations, the Books of Kings, and the Book of Jeremiah. According to Judaism, Jeremiah is the second of the major prophets and the Book of Jeremiah is often considered a part of the religion's canon.

 3 Thomas the Apostle

Thomas the Apostle
4
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
Died: December 21, 0072

Thomas the Apostle was one of Jesus Christ's Twelve Apostles, according to the New Testament. He is often called Doubting Thomas as he doubted Jesus' resurrection. Widely considered the patron saint of India, Thomas is believed to have traveled to present-day Kerala, where Christianity is a major religion. Hence, he is credited with popularizing the religion in South India.

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 4 Samson

Samson
4
Famous As: Judge
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Zorah

Mentioned in the biblical Book of Judges, Samson was an Israelite warrior, known for his long hair, which was the reason behind his superhuman strength. He had killed a lion with his bare hands but was eventually betrayed by his lover, Delilah, who cut his hair while he slept.

 5 Ezekiel

Ezekiel
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Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0622 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0570 BC

The Book of Ezekiel, or The Prophecy of Ezechiel, of the Hebrew Bible talks about Ezekiel, the prophet. He is said to have lived near the Chebar River during the Babylonian Captivity. In about 592 BC, Ezekiel received a religious call, having viewed the “throne-chariot” of God in a vision.

 6 Jonah

Jonah
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Famous As: prophet
Birthdate: 0800 BC
Birthplace: Nineveh
Died: 0900 BC

The Book of Jonah of the Old Testament talks about Jonah, the prophet. Jonah apparently set sail to Tarshish instead of listening to God and traveling to Nineveh to warn its citizens of God’s wrath due to its wickedness. However, shipwrecked, he eventually ends up warning Nineveh of the impending danger.

 7 Nicodemus

Nicodemus
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Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 0000 BC

Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin who finds mention in the Gospel of John. According to the gospel, Nicodemus provides the embalming spices required to prepare the body of Jesus for burial after the Crucifixion of Jesus. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and in the various Eastern Churches.

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 8 Abraham

Abraham
2
Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Ur Kaśdim, Mesopotamia

Abraham is an important historical character, considered one of the fathers of the human race by the Abrahamic religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Abrahamic religions believe that Abraham was in contact with God; his story and life events have inspired several important paintings, sculptures, works of literature, and music.

 9 John The Baptist

John The Baptist
0
Famous As: Jewish Prophet & Christian Saint
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Herodian Tetrarchy, Roman Empire
Died: 0030 AD

John the Baptist was a 1st century AD Jewish preacher. The Gospels mention John as the forerunner of Jesus, as John announces Jesus's arrival and Jesus describes him as “Elijah who is to come.” It is also believed that John had baptized Jesus. John was eventually beheaded by Herod Antipas.

 10 Mary, Mother of Jesus

Mary, Mother of Jesus
2
Famous As: Mother of Jesus
Birthdate: September 8, 0018
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nazareth

The mother of Jesus Christ and the wife of Joseph, Mary, also known as the Virgin Mary, finds mention in both the New Testament and the Quran. Though most Catholic scholars believe in traditional Marian dogmas, Protestants have often argued, questioning ideas such as the Assumption of Mary.

 11 Esau

Esau
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Famous As: Isaac's Son
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Canaan

Esau, who finds mention in the Hebrew Bible, was the elder son of Isaac. Apart from The Book of Genesis, he is also mentioned in The New Testament. Esau was rough and hairy, and had become a hunter, whereas his twin Jacob was a simple man.

 12 Samuel

Samuel
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Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 1064 BC
Died: 1012 BC

 13 Leah

Leah
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Famous As: Daughter of Laban
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 14 Daniel

Daniel
4
Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem

 15 Saint Matthias

Saint Matthias
3
Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 0001 AD
Birthplace: Judea
Died: 0080 AD

Saint Matthias was chosen by the disciples of Jesus Christ (the apostles) to replace Judas Iscariot. Matthias was chosen following Judas' betrayal of Jesus. Matthias' calling as an apostle is unique as he was not originally chosen by Jesus Christ.

 16 Isaac

Isaac
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Birthdate: 1896 BC
Birthplace: Canaan
Died: 1716 BC

Isaac, son of Abraham and Sarah, finds mention in the Genesis as one of the three Israelite patriarchs. To test Abraham’s devotion, God had asked him to sacrifice Isaac but had spared his life at the last moment. No historical evidence that could prove his existence has been found yet.

 17 Jesse

Jesse
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Birthdate: 0000 BC

 18 Saint Stephen

Saint Stephen
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Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Died: 0034 AD
Saint Stephen is considered Christianity’s first martyr. The Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament mention him as the deacon of the Church at Jerusalem who created enmity among various synagogues. He was eventually stoned to death after he denounced the Jewish leaders in a speech.

 19 Amos

Amos
3
Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0800 BC
Birthplace: Tekoa
Died: 0745 BC

 20 Jehoshaphat

Jehoshaphat
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0896 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0849 BC

Jehoshaphat reigned as the fourth king of Judah from 870 to 849 BCE. Jehoshaphat is credited with instituting several reforms, including religious reforms, in the Kingdom of Judah. He is widely regarded as a successful king whose reign was marked by a great measure of prosperity and peace in the kingdom.

 21 Basil of Caesarea

Basil of Caesarea
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0330 AD
Birthplace: Kayseri
Died: January 1, 0379

 22 Judas Maccabeus

Judas Maccabeus
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Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut
Died: February 29, 0160

 23 Saint James the Great

Saint James the Great
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Famous As: Martyr, Saint
Birthdate: 0003 AD
Birthplace: Bethsaida
Died: 0044 AD

 24 Mary in Islam

Mary in Islam
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Famous As: Religious leader
Birthdate: 0018 AD
Birthplace: Nazareth, Israel; Judea, Israel; Roman Empire, Ancient Rome
Died: 0033 AD

 25 Gamaliel

Gamaliel
3
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: October 31, 0000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gamla
Died: 0052 AD

 26 James, son of Alphaeus

James, son of Alphaeus
3
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Galilee
Died: 0062 AD

 27 Eusebius of Caesarea

Eusebius of Caesarea
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0263 AD
Birthplace: Palestine
Died: 0339 AD

Eusebius of Caesarea was a historian of Christianity and Christian polemicist. He was a bishop of Caesarea Maritima and a scholar of the biblical canon.  As "Father of Church History," he wrote the Ecclesiastical History and a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor. He is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of his time.  

 28 Rabbi Akiva

Rabbi Akiva
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Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 0050 AD
Birthplace: Caesarea, Israel
Died: 0135 AD

 29 Isaac Luria

Isaac Luria
3
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 1534 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: July 25, 1572

Isaac Luria was a rabbi and Jewish mystic in the community of Safed in Ottoman Syria, now Israel. He is considered the father of contemporary Kabbalah, and his teachings are referred to as Lurianic Kabbalah. He wrote only a few poems and was known to deliver his lectures spontaneously. The Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue was built in his memory.  

 30 Zephaniah

Zephaniah
3
Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Not known

 31 Ehud

Ehud
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Famous As: Biblical Figure
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Israel

 32 Abraham Isaac Kook

Abraham Isaac Kook
3
Famous As: rabbi, mystic, Rosh yeshiva
Birthdate: September 7, 1865
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Grīva
Died: September 1, 1935

 33 Ovadia Yosef

Ovadia Yosef
3
Famous As: Rabbi, Posek, Dayan
Birthdate: September 24, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baghdad
Died: October 7, 2013

 34 Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril of Jerusalem
3
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 0313 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: March 18, 0386

Cyril of Jerusalem was a theologian of the early Church who succeeded Maximus as Bishop of Jerusalem towards the end of 350 AD. He is credited with documenting the instruction of catechumens and the order of the Liturgy in his day.  He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1883. 

 35 Adin Steinsaltz

Adin Steinsaltz
2
Famous As: educator, rabbi, writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jerusalem

 36 Rabbi Meir

Rabbi Meir
2
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Israel

 37 Johanan ben Zakkai

Johanan ben Zakkai
2
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 0030 AD
Birthplace: Israel
Died: 0090 AD

 38 Elazar Shach

Elazar Shach
2
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: January 1, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vabalninkas, Lithuania
Died: November 2, 2001

 39 Elisha ben Abuyah

Elisha ben Abuyah
2
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 0070 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem

 40 Aristobulus II

Aristobulus II
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Famous As: High priest
Birthdate: 0100 AD
Birthplace: Israel
Died: 0049 AD

Aristobulus II reigned as the King of Judaea from 66 to 63 BCE. He also served as the Jewish High Priest of Judaea during his reign. Aristobulus II succeeded his mother Salome Alexandra to the throne after defeating his brother John Hyrcanus II. He was the last of the Maccabean kings of Judaea.

 41 Simeon of Jerusalem

Simeon of Jerusalem
2
Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: 0014 AD
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
Died: 0107 AD

 42 Mordechai Eliyahu

Mordechai Eliyahu
2
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: March 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: June 7, 2010

 43 Yosef Shalom Eliashiv

Yosef Shalom Eliashiv
2
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: April 10, 1910
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Šiauliai, Lithuania
Died: July 18, 2012

 44 Moses ben Jacob Cordovero

Moses ben Jacob Cordovero
2
Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 1522 AD
Birthplace: Safed, Israel
Died: June 27, 1570

Moses ben Jacob Cordovero probably belonged to a family that had migrated from Spain to Israel during the Spanish Inquisition. Also known as Ramak, he grew up to be a Galilean rabbi who penned summarized versions of the Kabbalah, such as Elimah rabati. He also taught Kabbalist Isaac Luria.

 45 Amnon Yitzhak

Amnon Yitzhak
2
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: November 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ramla, Israel

 46 Rabbi Ishmael

Rabbi Ishmael
1
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 0090 AD
Birthplace: Israel
Died: 0135 AD

 47 Gamaliel II

Gamaliel II
1
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0114 AD

 48 Ḥayyim ben Joseph Vital

Ḥayyim ben Joseph Vital
1
Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: 1543 AD
Birthplace: Ẕefat, Israel
Died: May 23, 1620

 49 Menachem Froman

Menachem Froman
1
Famous As: Religious leader
Birthdate: June 1, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
Died: March 4, 2013

 50 Eleazar ben Azariah

Eleazar ben Azariah
1
Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Land of Israel