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Bidding Information
Lot #    9473
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 2:52:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Masat Binyamin
Title (Hebrew)    שו'ת משאת בנימן
Author    R. Benjamin Aaron Solnik
City    Metz
Publisher    Getshlik Speyer
Publication Date    1776
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [3], 91 ff., 205:150 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed and split.
   112 responsa, for the most part arranged chronologically, and several pages of the author's novellae on the Shulhan Arukh.

R. Benjamin Aaron b. Abraham Slonik (Solnik), (c. 1550–c. 1619), was probably born in Grodno. He studied there in his youth under R. Nathan Nata Spiro. He was rabbi in Silesia (R. Joseph Katz, She'erit Yosef (Cracow, 1590), no. 47) and Podhajce (R. Meir of Lublin, Responsa, no. 110). He claims to have been in "Russia" as a youth (Masat Binyamin, no. 62), probably referring to southeastern Poland, which included the Ukraine and the Podolia region. He lived in Cracow for a period of time before and after the death of R. Moses Isserles (ibid., no. 80), but since no questions in his responsa were addressed to him from Cracow or its environs, it is not likely that he served there as rabbi.

"Benjamin Aaron, harif of Tykocin," appears as one of 30 signatories of the 1590 decree of the Council of the Lands which reenacted the prohibition against offering a bribe in order to acquire a rabbinic post (Harkavy, Perles). This probably refers to Grodno since Tykocin bordered it. The two communities disputed sovereignty over a large territory, and if R. Slonik was born in that area he could have been considered to have come from either community, which explains why his name does not appear in the records of Tykocin. R. Slonik studied under R. Solomon Luria (Maharshal), R. Moses Isserles, and R. Solomon b. Leibesh of Lublin whom he calls the "second Maharshal." R. Luria had the greatest influence on his work. From him he learned lucidity, expositional skill, stylistic and grammatical precision, and a scientific approach to Jewish law. Isserles' influence is apparent in Slonik's use of the responsum as a vehicle for a thoroughgoing discussion of the legal background and principles which pertain to the question under discussion. R. Solomon b. Leibesh and R. Nathan Spiro were themselves influenced by Kabbalah, and inspired R. Slonik's interest in that subject, expressed in chance statements (no. 7, 99) and in his giving unusual weight to the opinion of the Zohar (no. 62).

Paragraph 2    והם שאלות ותשובות שחיבר... ר"מ ואב"ד מהר"ר בנימן אהרן (בר אברהם סלניק) זצ"ל

הסכמה: ר' ארי' ליב [ב"ר אשר גינצבורג], מיץ, אדר תקל"ו.

   Vinograd, Metz 35 (mispaginated) ; CD-EPI 0154279; EJ
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
France:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica