Benayahu ben Yehoyada

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Benayahu Ben Yehoyada
Benayahu Ben Yehoyada
בניהו בן יהוידע
Other Names:
Ben Ish Chi, Son of the living man, Rav Poalim, Benayahu Hacohen, Benayahu the son of Jehoiada
Benaiah, Benaihu, Jehoiada
Head general of King Shlomo's army and renown Kabbalist.

Benayahu ben Yehoyada was a warrior of King Dovid and later served as the head general of King Shlomo and head of the Sanhedrin. He was a son or great grandson of Yehoyada Hakohen. He was a master Kabbalist and renown for his Yichudim meditations. Benayahu helped capture Ashmadi in King Shlomo's quest to find the Shamir worm. He is buried in Biriya right out of Tzfat.


[edit] Warrior of Dovid

Benayahu ben Yehoyada was the most important[1] and mightiest[2] of Dovid's thirty warriors as well as their leader <ref="Divrei Hayamim I 27:6">Divrei Hayamim I 27:6</ref> but did not fall into the rank of the three leading warriors. He did not partake in the revolt of Adoneyahu.

[edit] Supervisor of the Third Month

King Dovid divided the Jews into twelve parts, each segment serving him and fighting his wars for one month out of the year[3] while he would provide them with their expenses.[4] Each division consisted of only twenty-four thousand people since Dovid only picked the mighty warriors and the rich people, who could leave their affairs and engage in the king’s affairs; he did not take the poor people, who had to support themselves.[5]. Every division had one supervisor who oversaw all associated elements. Benayahu ben Yehoyada was in-charge of supervising the division of the 3rd month (now Sivan) and its twenty-four thousand members.[6] Benayahu was more important then the other supervisors and retained the extra title 'Minister of the Army' when they were all referenced.[7]. His son Ammizavad assisted him in leading the division.<ref="Divrei Hayamim I 27:6"/>

[edit] General of Shlomo

It can be assumed that Benayahu ben Yehoyada as Shlomo's right hand man, took an essential part in the construction of the First Beis HaMikdash aside from procuring the Shamir.

[edit] Lion Milk

The King of Persia was deathly ill. His doctors told him his only hope lay in drinking the milk of a lioness. In desperation he requested assistance from the wise King Shlomo, who delegated Benayahu ben Yehoyada to the task. Benayahu and his assistance found a lion's den. Each day he through to them a number of goats and inched closer to the den. Eventually the lions became accustomed to their benefactor and Benayahu was able to take milk from the lioness and bring it back.

[edit] Praises & Great Deeds

Benayahu ben Yehoyada performed a number of mighty deeds;

[edit] Son of a Living Man

Benayahu ben Yehoyada is called 'Ben Ish Chai' - 'son of a living man', since even after he has passed away he is called 'alive'. This is the prime example given of Tzadikim being considered alive after death.

[edit] Master Recruiter

Benayahu ben Yehoyada is called 'Rav Poalim Mikabiel' since he recruited and gathered many 'workers' for the study of Torah.

[edit] Smiting of Mighty Moabites

Benayahu smote the two mighty men of Moav. This also alludes to the spiritual level Benayahu attained, so much that he did not leave anyone similar to him, neither during the First Beit Hamikdash, nor the Second Beit Hamikdash.

[edit] Slaying of Snowy Lion

Benayahu ben Yehoyada went down and smote the lion inside a pit on a snowy day. He had the power to do this since he was accustomed to break the ice and immerse in freezing cold Mikvas so he could study Torah in purity. This power was also attributed to his awesome feat of studying the entire Torat Kohanim (All the teachings related to the Book of Vayikra) on a single, short fall day.

[edit] Spear of the Egyptian

Benayahu slew an Egyptian, a man of striking appearance. In the Egyptian's hand was a spear and Benayahu went down to him with only a staff. He then grabbed the spear from the hand of the Egyptian, and slew him with his own spear.

[edit] Merit

In the Zohar it states that the two Temples existed in Merit of Benayahu ben Yehoyada, his entire generation received subsidence from him and when he passed away the abundance that was descending from Above got cut off.

[edit] Kabbalist

According to the Zohar, Benayahu ben Yehoyada was the most important of the thirty Tzadikim that existed in the world. His name 'Benayahu' is derived from the word 'Bina' - understanding. It also has the numerical equivalence of the word 'Chachma' - wisdom (חכמה = בניהו = 73), implying he had full use of his mind.

[edit] Family

Binayahu was the son of Yehoyada Hakohen. He had a son named Ammizavad who assisted him in managing the Devision of the 3rd Month.<ref="Divrei Hayamim I 27:6"/>

[edit] Kever Benayahu ben Yehoyada

Benayahu ben Yehoyada is buried in Biriya in North Israel right out of Tezfat. His kever was unmarked until its location was revealed by the holy Arizal to Rabbi Chaim Vital. In the Kitvay Ari there are special meditations that can be performed on the tomb of Benayahu ben Yehoyada.

[edit] Revelation

Rabbi Chaim Vital was sent by his master the Arizal to do Yichudum meditations on the tombs of Abaye and Rava in Ovnit. When he returned, he was surprised that the Arizal stood up in his honor, greeted him, stretched out his right hand and was very joyous. When Rabbi Chaim Vital requested to know the reason for this unusual behavior, the Arizal responded that he had not stood up in his honor but rather for the soul of Benayahu ben Yehoyada that accompanied him but offered no further explanation.

Three months later the Arizal and his students passed near the area now marked as the kever and he pointed to a pile of stones and told them that he sees with his Roach Hakodesh that here is the kever of Benayahu ben Yehoyada. Rabbi Chaim Vital now recalled how on the way to Abaya and Rava, needing a rest he had sat down on that very same pile of rocks and reviewed the Yichud his teacher had given him. The Arizal then informed him that through the power of the Yichud, Binayahu had joined him.[8]

[edit] Ben Ish Chai Visit

When Rabbi Yosef Chaim visited the Kever as part of his pilgrimage to Eretz Yisroel he became exposed to vast spiritual enlightenment and great Kabbalistic mysteries were revealed to him. Concluding that he shared soul roots with Benayahu ben Yehoyada, he named all his books after him including the Ben Ish Chai, Ben Ish Chayil, Rav Poalim and Mikabtziel.

[edit] Hillula of Benayahu ben Yehoyada

Residents of Biriya created a Hillula for Benayahu ben Yehoyada which they observe on Rosh Chodesh Adar.

[edit] Directions

Geographic Coordinates

  • Latitude: 32.979828
  • Longitude: 35.504331

[edit] More Pictures

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rashi Divrei Hayamim I 11:25
  2. ^ Rashi Divrei Hayamim I 27:6
  3. ^ Divrei Hayamim I 27:1
  4. ^ Milachim I 4:7
  5. ^ Rashi Divrei Hayamim I 27:1
  6. ^ Divrei Hayamim I 27:5
  7. ^ Rashi Divrei Hayamim I 27:5
  8. ^ Emek Hamelech
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