ABBA BENJAMIN


ABBA BENJAMIN
ABBA BENJAMIN, tanna of unknown date. Four aggadic statements are quoted in his name (Ber. 5b–6a). They include: "A person's prayer is heard (by God) only in the synagogue." "If two enter (a synagogue) to pray, and one of them finishes his prayers first, and leaves without waiting for the other, his prayers are torn up before his face." "If the eye had the power to see the demons, no creature would be able to endure them." He has been identified with Benjamin the Righteous who was in charge of a charity fund. Once, when the fund was depleted during a famine, he supported a woman and her seven sons from his own pocket. Later he became gravely ill and was about to die, whereupon the ministering angels addressed the Almighty: "Sovereign of the universe, Thou hast said that he who saves one soul is regarded as having saved the whole world. Shall Benjamin the Righteous who saved a woman and her seven sons die so young?" Immediately the decree against him was annulled and a further twenty-two years were added to his life (BB 11a). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hyman, Toledot, S.V. (Yitzhak Dov Gilat)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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