Benayahu, Meir

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BENAYAHU, MEIR (1926– ), Israeli scholar. The son of the Israel chief rabbi Isaac *Nissim, Benayahu was a member of the team of senior workers at the *Ben-Zvi Institute for Research on Oriental Jewish Communities, which was founded in 1947, and from 1964 he was its director. A prolific researcher, he published numerous studies and documents. His works include: Marbiẓ Torah ("Propagator of the Torah"), on the authority, functions, and status of the bearer of the title Marbiẓ Torah in Oriental countries (1951); Rabbi Ḥayyim Yosef David Azulai (1959), a comprehensive monograph; Rabbi Ya'akov Elyashar ve-Ḥibburo Megillat Paras ("R. Jacob Elyashar and His Work 'The Scroll of Persia'," 1960); Sefer Toledot ha-Ari ("Biography of R. Isaac *Luria", 1967). He also published a new edition of Zimrat ha-Areẓ of Jacob *Berab (the Third) on the beginnings of the Jewish settlement in Tiberias during the mid-18th century. Benayahu was an editor of the yearbook Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), comprising studies on Ereẓ Israel (vols. 3–5; 1951–55). The first seven volumes of the scientific periodical of the *Ben-Zvi Institute, Sefunot (begun in 1957), were jointly edited by Izhak *Ben-Zvi and Benayahu, while from the eighth volume onward he was the sole editor. From 1985 he was director of the Nissim Research Institute and in 2004 he was awarded the emet Prize for work that integrated traditional Torah learning with modern scholarship.