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BENJAMIN B. JAPHET:

A Palestinian scholar of the third amoraic generation (third century), disciple of R. Johanan and senior to R. Zeïra I. (Ber. 33a, 38b; Ket. 77a). He cultivated both the Halakah and the Haggadah; in his halakic deliverances, however, he was not considered very reliable. Thus when, on one occasion, Ḥiyya b. Abba and he differed on a traditional decision by their master, R. Zeïra remarked, "What does R. Benjamin b. Japhet amount to compared with R. Ḥiyya b. Abba?" (Ber. 38b; Yer. Ber. vi. 10a; Yer. Pes. ii. 29c). Nevertheless, this same R. Zeïra had occasion to thank Benjamin for communicating to him a Halakah in the name of R. Johanan (Shab. 53a). In the Haggadah, Benjamin was a follower of R. Eleazar b. Pedat, whose expositions and sayings he frequently reports (Meg. 16b; Sanh. 7a; compare Ex. R. xli.; Lev. R. x.).—[Yer. Ber. iii. 6d; Yoma 29a; Yer. Sanh. i. 18a; Shebu. 18b; Ḥul. 52b (correctly quoted in MS. M); Pesiḳ. vii. 63b, viii. 68b; Pesiḳ. R. xvii.; Midr. Teh. xxii.; Gen. R. xliii.; Tan., ed. Buber, Lek Leka, 11.]

Bibliography:
  • Frankel, Mebo, p. 69a;
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ed. Wilna, ii. 85;
  • Luncz, Jerusalem, i. 101, in which Benjamin's grave is said to be at Safed.
J. Sr. S. M.
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