BRODA, BENJAMIN B. AARON:
By: Louis Ginzberg
Lithuanian rabbi and Talmudist; died Sept. 1, 1818, at Grodno. He was the best-known Talmudist of the five sons of Aaron Broda, an eminent Talmudist and rabbi of the old Polish community of Kalvarien. Owing to his wealth and family connections—he was a direct descendant of the famous Abraham b. Saul Broda—Benjamin, in 1791, secured appointment to the rabbinate of Grodno, one of the oldest and most important communities of Lithuania, as successor of R. Eliezer b. Ẓebi, who had recently died. Although the letters of appointment had been signed by the king Poniatowski himself, Broda's nomination gave rise to a warm dispute in the community; many members having favored the appointment of R. Tanḥum, son of the late Rabbi Eliezer, who had officiated as "rosh bet-din" (head of the court) even during his father's lifetime. The quarrel, which lasted until almost the end of Broda's incumbency, was so bitter that at his death it was decided, in order to avoid a recurrence of similar quarrels, to leave the office of the chief rabbi forever vacant. Among Broda's sons, Ḥayyim Broda may be mentioned, the author of the work "Torah Or we-Derek ha-Ḥayyim." (Grodno, 1823), a detailed commentary to the sixty chapters of Caro's "Yoreh De'ah."
- Friedenstein, 'Ir Gibborim, pp. 55, 56, 73.