BENAIM


BENAIM
BENAIM (Heb. בן נאיים), name of North African families of rabbis and merchants. JACOB ḤAYYIM BENAIM (d. 1803), rabbi in Fez, Morocco, author, and halakhic authority, left Fez about 1760 for Algeria on his way to Ereẓ Israel, but remained in the city of Mascara, where he was appointed rabbi and dayyan. In 1764 he moved to Algiers to become av bet din, a position he held for 18 years; eventually, however, his harsh exercise of this office provoked opposition from noted scholars in the community and he left. He settled in Leghorn in 1782 and there had his works printed, including Zera Ya'akov, responsa (1784); Yeshu'ot Ya'akov, sermons (1795); and an edition of the Zohar (1795). His novellae to the Talmud were published posthumously in Ḥesed ve-Emet (Salonika, 1813). He also composed piyyutim for a local Purim of Algiers to commemorate the victory over the Spanish. MOSES (19th century), merchant, emigrated from Algiers to Marseilles, France. In 1819 he established the Dramont commercial house for Franco-Moroccan trade; his good relations in the two countries proved beneficial to the business affairs of his Jewish compatriots. His son Makhluf founded another commercial company with the later Rif rebellion leader Abd el-Kader. RAPHAEL ḤAYYIM MOSES (c. 1850–1920), was born in Tetuan but emigrated to Palestine in his youth. He was a member of the bet din of Tiberias. In the 1870s he traveled to Turkey and North Africa as an emissary to collect charitable funds for Palestine. In Gibraltar he was chosen chief rabbi (1881), and held this position until his death. His publications include Raḥamim (initials of Raphael Ḥayyim Moses (son of) Isaya (and) Masudah) Peshutim, responsa (Tunis, 1910; but according to the preface not published before 1914), and other rabbinical works. JOSEPH (1882–1961), rabbi and clerk to the bet din of Fez, Morocco, was a lifelong bibliophile, who collected the largest library of books and manuscripts in Morocco. His own works include a bio-bibliographical dictionary of rabbis of Morocco, Malkhei Rabbanan, Kevod Melakhim (Jerusalem, 1931); a collection of sermons, Millei Me'alyata (in manuscript); and many other writings left in manuscript. After his death his library was sold to the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York. DAVID (1888–1968), son of Raphael Ḥayyim Moses, was the leader of the Jewish community in Gibraltar after his father's death. He became a member of the Government Council of the Colony, and in 1954 he was appointed honorary consul of Israel for Gibraltar. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 185, 193; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 656, 859; R.H.M. Benaim, Raḥamim Peshutim (1910), preface; A. Cahen, Juifs dans l'Afrique septentrionale (1867), 105–6; Hirschberg, Afrika, 2 (1965), index; H.Z. Hirschberg, Me-Ereẓ Mevo ha-Shemesh (1957), 212–4; Oración Fúnebre… J. Ibn Naim (Leghorn, 1803); Miège, Maroc, 2 (1961), 160, 156. (David Obadia)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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