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Rabbi Binyamin

RABBI BINYAMIN

RABBI BINYAMIN (pseudonym of Yehoshua Radler-Feldmann ; 1880–1957), Hebrew journalist. Born in Zborov, Galicia, Rabbi Binyamin published his first essay in 1903, and in 1906 moved to London, where he joined J.Ḥ. *Brenner in the publication of Ha-Me'orer. Arriving in Palestine in 1907, he first worked as a laborer in Petah Tikvah, then as secretary of Herzlia, the first Hebrew high school in Tel Aviv. He left this position to join in the founding of kevutzat *Kinneret. In 1910 he moved to Jerusalem, taught at the Rehavyah Hebrew high school, and later at the Taḥkemoni religious school. After World War i he was active in the Mizrachi Party and edited the religious national monthly Ha-Hed (1926–53). In 1925 he was among the founders of the *Berit Shalom association, which advocated a binational state for Arabs and Jews.

Rabbi Binyamin published thousands of articles and essays, often expressing individualistic viewpoints. He did much to introduce Brenner and Agnon to the Hebrew reading audiences. His critical essays include surveys and analyses of the great figures of ancient and modern European civilization, Asian cultures, and modern Hebrew literature. His works include Al ha-Gevulin (1923) and Parẓufim (2 vols., 1934, 1936), a volume of memoirs, Mi-Zborov ve-ad Kinneret (1950), and essays on writers and scholars, Mishpehot Soferim (1960) and Keneset Ḥakhamim (1961).

bibliography:

Rabbi Binyamin, Zikhrono li-Verakhah (1958), contains bibliography and a collection of evaluations; Waxman, Literature, 4 (1960), 427–9; I. Cohen, Demut el Demut (1949), 225–33; D. Sadan, Bein Din le-Ḥeshbon (1963), 358–63; J. Fichmann, Ruḥot Menaggenot (1952), 285–311; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 831–3.

[Getzel Kressel]

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