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Rapoport, Benjamin Ze'ev Wolf Ha-Kohen ben Isaac


RAPOPORT, BENJAMIN ZE'EV WOLF HA-KOHEN BEN ISAAC (1754–1837), Hungarian rabbi. His father Isaac and his grandfather came from Fuerth in Germany to Nikolsburg, where Benjamin was born. In 1771 Rapoport went, as was the custom with many Moravians, to nearby Hungary in order to evade the ban on Jewish marriages of other than the eldest son in force at the time in Moravia (see *Familiants Laws). He settled in Obuda (now part of Budapest) and married the daughter of David Boskovitz, one of the leaders of the community. He lived with his father-in-law for ten years, engaging in studying and teaching. In 1781 he was appointed rabbi of the community of Pápa in Hungary, where he served until his death. This community, founded in 1749, made considerable progress during the period of his office. Because of his comparatively liberal attitude, differences between him and the influential rabbis of the time, particularly Moses *Sofer and Mordecai *Banet, increased. These two rabbis were opposed to his methods of study and teaching as well as to his halakhic rulings, even attempting to oust him from his rabbinic office. Rapoport was opposed to *Ḥasidism and to the study of *Kabbalah. A dispute, which exercised Jewish communities in Central Europe for many years, also developed between him and Moses Sofer with regard to Jonathan Alexandersohn, rabbi of Hejőcsaba in Hungary. Like R. *Schwerin-Goetz, Rapoport supported the attacked Alexandersohn, while Moses Sofer was opposed to him, even invoking the secular government, but his community supported him.

Rapoport published during his lifetime, Simlat Binyamin u-Vigdei Kehunnah (Dyhrenfurth, 1788) on the Shulḥan Arukh Yoreh De'ah, but he left a number of works in manuscript, some of which were published after his death, among them Edut le-Yisrael on tractate Makkot with additions by his son (Pressburg, 1839). It constitutes the third part of his Masat Binyamin.


E. Carmoly, Ha-Orevim u-Venei ha-Yonah (1861); P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Ereẓ Hagar 1 (1914), 28bf., no. 13.

[Yehouda Marton]

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