Not surprisingly, 99% of the names on the bingo cards were either pre-Exile or Zionist-era people.
Therefore, I thought I'd use the opportunity to list some of the more well-known Israeli writers, scholars and leaders throughout the ages. Maybe next time I'll find their names on school-children's bingo cards.
- Rabbi Yochanan (3rd century) - laid the foundations of the Jerusalem Talmud
- Shimon ben Lakish (Resh Lakish) (3rd century, ) - leading Talmud scholar
- Rabbi Tanhuma bar Abba (4th century) - leading Aggadah scholar
- Our early poets (4th-10th centuries) - Jose b. Jose, Yanai, Eleazar Kalir. Wrote many of the religious hymns in Ashkenazi prayer books.
- Aaron ben Asher (10th century) - Bible Masorah authority. Added the masorah notes to the Aleppo Codex, the basis for all our Bibles today.
- Judah Halevi (12th century) - poet and philosopher, author of the Kuzari, believed that true religious fulfillment is only possible in Israel.
- Benjamin of Tudela and Yehuda Alharizi (12th century) - travelers who visited the land and described its Jewish communities
- Samson ben Abraham (Rash of Sens, 12th century) - one of the leading French Tosafists, led the first wave of the Tosafist Aliyah in the early 13th century.
- Nahmanides (Ramban) (13th century) - reestablished the Jewish community in Jerusalem, following Crusader rule
- Rabbi Ishtori Haparchi (14th century) - studied the geography and plant life of the land, lived in Beit Shean
- Rabbi Obadiah of Bertinoro (15th century) - author of the popular commentary on the mishna, helped rejuvenate the community of Jerusalem
- Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi (16th century) - the 'first Zionist', leased the area of Tiberias to create an autonomous Jewish region.
- Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi (The ARI) (16th century) - founder of the Kabbalist movement of Safed
- Rabbi Jacob Berab (16th century) - reintroduced Semichah (rabbinic ordination)
- Rabbi Joseph Karo (16th century) - author of the Shulchan Aruch
- Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara (16th century) - poet, kabbalist and chief Rabbi of Gaza
- Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (Shelah ha-Kadosh) (17th century) - Mussar (ethics) scholar who greatly influenced the Hassidic movement.
- Rabbi Judah HeHasid (17th century) - led mass aliyah movement to Israel, built the Hurva synagogue
- Sar Shalom Sharabi (Rashash, 18th century) - head of the Kabbalist Bet El Yeshiva in Jerusalem
- Haim Farhi (18th century) - adviser to Ottoman rulers in the Galilee
- Rabbi Hayyim Abulafia (18th century) - restored the Jewish community of Tiberias
- Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (RAMCHAL, 18th century) - author of the "Messilat Yesharim" which became the basis for the Mussar Movement
- Yisroel ben Shmuel Ashkenazi of Shklov (19th century) - student of the Vilna Gaon, Wrote the "Pe'at Hashulchan" on the laws of the land, helped rebuild the Hurva synagogue.
- Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Zoref (19th century) - founder of the Solomon clan, renewed the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Jerusalem
- Israel Beck (19th century) - First Israeli printer in the modern era, established the first Jewish agricultural village (on Har Meiron).
- Rabbi Akiva Yosef Schlesinger (19th century) - Aliyah activist, believed Jews can only be redeemed by turning to productive work and agriculture
- Rabbi Yechiel Michal Pines (19th century) - one of the fathers of religious Zionism.
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