Menachem Volfovich Begin was born on August 16, 1913 in Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) to Zeev Dov and Hassia Biegun. He was the youngest of three children. On his mother's side, he was descended from distinguished rabbis. His father, a timber merchant, was a community leader, a passionate Zionist, and an admirer of Theodor Herzl. The midwife who attended his birth was the grandmother of Ariel Sharon.