BENJAMIN OF CANTERBURY or CAMBRIDGE:
By: Joseph Jacobs
English rabbi; disciple of Rabbi Tam; died at the beginning of the thirteenth century. He is mentioned in the list of medieval rabbis drawn up by Solomon Luria (see Grätz, "Gesch. der Juden," vi. 365). Only one halakic decision of his is known; it forbids the purchase of milk from a Gentile unless a Jew be present when it is drawn (Mordecai, 'Abodah Zarah, ii. 826). But a certain number of notes by a Rabbi Benjamin on Joseph Ḳimḥi's "Sefer ha-Galuy" have been attributed by Matthews, the editor of Ḳimḥi's book, to Benjamin of Canterbury ("Jewish Quarterly Review," ii. 327). Benjamin seems to have been a member of the English school of Masorites and grammarians, including Moses ben Isaac, Moses ben Yom-Ṭob, Berechiah ha-Naḳdan, and Samuel ha-Naḳdan, the last of whom he quotes. It is possible that he came from Cambridge rather than from Canterbury, the transliteration of the former () being sufficiently near to that of the latter (). For while there is no Benjamin mentioned as living at Canterbury in the twelfth century, there is a rather distinguished "Magister Benjamin" of Cambridge mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of the fifth year of John (1204). Berechiah ha-Nakdan, in his commentary on Job, refers to "my Uncle Benjamin," who was probably the same individual.
- Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England, pp. 54, 281, 282;
- Eppenstein, in Monatsschrift, xl. 178, xli. 222.