Benjamin Ze'ev ben Mattathias of Arta
BENJAMIN ZE'EV BEN MATTATHIAS OF ARTA
BENJAMIN ZE'EV BEN MATTATHIAS OF ARTA (early 16th century), dayyan and halakhist. He first engaged in business but later became a member of the bet din at Arta (Epirus). After living at Larissa (1528) and Corfu (1530), Benjamin Ze'ev settled in Venice; but toward the end of his life returned to Arta (1538). As a result of his lenient decisions on an agunah, Benjamin Ze'ev was severely criticized by David ha-Kohen, Joseph Taitaẓak, and others. He replied in his Binyamin Ze'ev, containing 450 legal decisions and responsa, completed in 1534 at Venice, where it was published five years later. It constitutes an important source for a knowledge of the economic conditions and religious life of the Jews of Greece, Turkey, and Asia Minor. His legal decisions reflect his independence in halakhic matters, which led to the opposition of German and Italian rabbis to his book. He was hostile to Marranos who willingly "follow the laws of the Gentiles and transgress all the commandments of the Torah," and stated that "they are less than the Gentiles" (Binyamin Ze'ev, 203, end). Contemporaries, such as Isaac Gershon of Venice and David ha-Kohen, questioned his authority in legal decisions; while Solomon Luria (Yam shel Shelomo, bk 78) expressly states that "no one should follow Benjamin Ze'ev, unless he has made a thorough study of the relevant talmudic passages and the halakhic authorities." Several prominent rabbis, among them the rabbis of Salonika, agreed with Benjamin. Following the intensification of the dispute between Benjamin and his opponents at Arta (1530), the views of the Italian rabbis were sought by both sides. Some, including Azriel Diena (Dayyena), favored Benjamin Ze'ev's dismissal from the rabbinate. The dispute continued until 1532, but Benjamin nevertheless continued as rabbi at Arta after that date. His son Mattathias, who died in 1541, wrote a poem to mark the completion of his father's book (Binyamin Ze'ev, 573a).
Graetz, Gesch, 8 (c. 19004), 70, 443–7; Bruell, Jahrbuecher, 1 (1874), 88–90; Rosanes, Togarmah, 1 (1930), 114, 155–8; Assaf, in: ks, 15 (1938/39), 113–9.
"Benjamin Ze'ev ben Mattathias of Arta." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benjamin-zeev-ben-mattathias-arta
"Benjamin Ze'ev ben Mattathias of Arta." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benjamin-zeev-ben-mattathias-arta
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.