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BEGHI , family of Karaite scholars in Constantinople (15th–17th centuries). Its members include: elijah afidah (afdah) beghi (d. before 1641). Elijah wrote Hilkhot Sheḥitah, on the rules of slaughtering; Be'ur Asarah Ikkarim, on the ten principles of Karaite faith; Mikhtav Eliyahu, poems, verse compositions and tales; several responsa (all these works survived in manuscripts kept in various libraries). joseph ben moses (15th–16th centuries). Joseph was the pupil of the Karaite scholar Abraham *Bali, who in 1505 wrote for Beghi and his fellow student, Joseph b. Caleb, his Issur Hadlakat Ner be-Shabbat, on the Karaite prohibition of kindling lights on the Sabbath. The cordial relationship between the Karaites and *Rabbanites at that period is attested by Joseph's correspondence with Rabbanite scholars. Two letters by Moses b. Jacob (evidently *Moses of Kiev "ha-Goleh") to Beghi are preserved. Joseph wrote Iggeret Sukkah, on Sukkot; Keter Kehunnah, six homilies; Iggeret Kiryah Ne'emanah especially directed against the identification of the Karaites with the Sadducees, a work of literary and historical value since it mentions a number of earlier Karaite scholars; Iggeret Kelulah, an explanation of a problem in marriage law. Simḥah Isaac b. Moses Lutzki mentions two important works of Joseph which are no longer traceable: Shulḥan Ḥaverim, a book of precepts, and Safah Berurah, a philosophical work. moses ben benjamin (second half of the 16th century), wrote Mitzvot Moshe, a book of precepts including two essays "Ohel Moshe" on the calendar, and "Masat Moshe" on the Sabbath laws, published in Pinnat Yikrat by the Karaite *Isaac b. Solomon (1834; non-critical print, 2 vols., Ashdod 2005). Benjamin also composed liturgical poems, several of which have been included in the Karaite prayer book.


A. Neubauer, Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek (1866), 46n, 122; Danon, in: jqr 15 (1924/25), 337–39; hb, 17 (1877), 12; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 294n, 300, 302; Simḥah Isaac b. Moses (Lutzki), Oraḥ Ẓaddikim (1966), 98, 99, 107, 109; Z. Ankori, Karaites in Byzantium (1959), 36n, 58, 279. add. bibliography: M.L. Wilensky, in: paajr 40 (1972) 109–146; M. Polliack (ed.), Karaite Judaism: A Guide to Its History and Literary Sources, (2003), index.

[Isaak Dov Ber Markon]

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