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Bidding Information
Lot #    10840
Auction End Date    7/12/2005 10:39:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by R. Selig Reuben Bengis
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מה'ר זעליג ראובן בנגיס
Author    [Ms.]
City    Jerusalem
Publication Date    1953
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 275:220 mm., light age staining, creased on folds, ink on stationary, 19 lines of Ashkenazic script, signed, sealed, and dated.
   Recommendation letter to a scholar.

R. Selig Reuben Bengis (1864–1953), Lithuanian rabbi. Bengis studied in Volozhin under Naphtali Zevi Judah Berlin and Hayyim Soloveichik. In 1894 he was appointed rabbi of Bodki and, in 1912, of Kalvarija, Lithuania. At the outbreak of World War I he went to Smolensk, but in 1915 he returned to Kalvarija. In 1938 he was appointed head of the bet din of the separatist Orthodox community Ha-Edah ha-Haredit of Jerusalem, and in 1949, on the death of R. Joseph Zevi Duschinsky, became its rabbi. Despite the fact that his community consisted of active religious extremists, he succeeded in directing its affairs into practical channels and in curbing its most extreme wing, the Neturei Karta. He also served as head of the Ohel Moshe Yeshivah in Jerusalem. R. Bengis' mastery of rabbinic literature, and his memory, were phenomenal; he could unhesitatingly give the source of any random quotation from the Talmud, Rashi, or tosafot. He published Li-Felagot Re'uven (in 7 parts, Kaidan, Riga, Jerusalem, 1924–46), consisting of hadranim, i.e., discourses delivered on completing the study of a talmudic tractate, interwoven with his novellae. He justified the unusual form of his work by maintaining that while novellae are little read, there was a considerable interest in this form of talmudic learning. R. Bengis himself stated that he had written, under the same title, a commentary on Alfasi, and sermons, which remained in manuscript. Some of his halakhic articles appeared in Tevunah (Jerusalem, 1941).

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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica