Benedict ben Moses of Lincoln

views updated


BENEDICT BEN MOSES OF LINCOLN (d. 1278), English financier, in secular records called Magister Benedictus filius Magistri Mossei de Lincolnia. Benedict came from a family of scholars: his great-grandfather, Moses of Bristol (later of Oxford), had been a patron of letters; his grandfather, Yom Tov (apparently also known as Simeon), composed the lost Sefer ha-Tena'im; and his father, R. *Moses b. Yom Tov of London, was the leading Hebrew and talmudic scholar of his day in England. One of Benedict's brothers was Hagin (Ḥayyim), *archpresbyter of English Jewry from 1257 until his death in 1280; another was R. *Elijah Menahem b. Moses of London. Benedict's business activities in Lincoln date from 1252 and are often referred to in the records of subsequent decades. It is conjectured that the *blood libel at Lincoln in 1255 took place when a number of Jews from all over England were assembled to celebrate the marriage of Benedict's daughter Bellasset. Benedict was among those arrested. After his family had procured the intervention of the Castilian ambassador, Benedict was released in December 1255 and his sequestered property restored to him. In Hebrew Benedict was known as R. Berechiah of Nicole (Lincoln). He was regarded as one of the outstanding Anglo-Jewish halakhic scholars of his day and was mentioned with veneration long after his death. R. Berechiah was also known as an exegete. His name occurs along with those of other English rabbis of the 13th century in the works of several tosafists.


J. Jacobs, in: jhset, 1 (1893–94), 101–2; C. Roth, ibid., 15 (1946), 29ff.; idem, in: jjs, 3 (1952), 56–61; Rigg-Jenkinson, Exchequer, index; Urbach, Tosafot, 402; J. Ḥazzan, Eẓ Ḥayyim, ed. by I. Brodie, 1 (1962), 141, 310; 2 (1964), 179; E.E. Urbach, in: Sefer ha-Yovel Tiferet Yisrael… Brodie (1967), 1ff.