BENJAMIN II (originally Israel Joseph Benjamin; 1818–1864), Romanian explorer and writer born in Falticeni, Moldavia. He engaged first in the lumber trade (for this reason he was nicknamed Chiristigiu or "Lumberjack") but after some initial success, he lost his fortune at the age of 25. Influenced by his failure and by the romantic trends of the time, he decided to emulate the medieval traveler Benjamin of Tudela. He styled himself Benjamin II and, in 1845, took to the road in search of the remnants of the Ten Lost Tribes. He traveled first to Egypt, from there through Ereẓ Israel and Syria, and then to Armenia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Persia, India, and China. He came back by way of Afghanistan to Vienna (1851) and from there went on to Italy and to Tripoli, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Wherever his travels took him, he made a point of assembling information concerning the Jewish settlement in that place – the number of Jews of that community, how they earned their livelihood, their customs, and folklore. Although unscientific, his approach was simple and direct, and earned the praise of scholars like A. von Humboldt and A. Petermann. He described his experiences in a Hebrew travelogue, first published in French under the title Cinq années de voyage en Orient 18461851 (1856; Eng. 1859). The Hebrew edition of the book, Sefer Masʿei Yisrael, as revised by david gordon , was published in Lyck in 1859. He published at his own expense in 1863 Nathan Hannover's Yeven Meẓulah on the 17th-century Chmielnicki massacres in Poland. Over and above his literary endeavors, Benjamin undertook to ease the plight of the Jews of Morocco. He also appealed to Turkey, France, and England in an attempt to ameliorate the condition of the Jews of Kurdistan and Persia. In 1859 Benjamin II began a three-year journey through the United States, describing his travels in Drei Jahre in Amerika (1862; republished in English in 1956 by the JPSA). He died in London in poverty while preparing another trip to the Orient. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: JC (May 13, 1864), 5; I.J. Benjamin, Three Years in America (1956), introduction by O. Handlin. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: PK Romanyah, I, 190.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Benjamin — (Hebrew Name|בִּנְיָמִין|Binyamin|Binyāmîn) in the Book of Genesis, is a son of Jacob, the second (and last) son of Rachel, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Benjamin [Genesis 35:18] ; in the Biblical account, unlike Rachel s first son… …   Wikipedia

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  • benjamin — benjamin, ine [ bɛ̃ʒamɛ̃, in ] n. • fin XVIIe « enfant préféré »; nom du plus jeune fils de Jacob, littéralt « fils du bonheur » 1 ♦ Le, la plus jeune d une famille, d un groupe. ⇒ cadet, dernier né. La benjamine de la famille, de la classe. 2 ♦… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Benjamin — • The youngest son of Jacob born of Rachel Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Benjamin     Benjamin     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Benjamin — (hebr. „Glückskind“, „Kind des Glücks“) bezeichnet: Benjamin (Vorname); männlicher Vorname, siehe dort Etymologie, Varianten und Namensträger Benjamin (Familienname); Träger des Nachnamens Benjamin (Bibel), der jüngste Sohn des Patriarchen Jakob… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • benjamin — BENJAMÍN s.m. (Rar) Cel mai mic copil al unei familii; cel mai tânăr membru al unui grup. – Din fr. benjamin. Trimis de paula, 02.06.2002. Sursa: DEX 98  benjamín s. m., pl. benjamíni Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic … …   Dicționar Român

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  • Benjamin II — was the pen name of a Romanian traveler; born at Fălticeni, Moldavia (now in Romania), in 1818; died at London May 3, 1864. Married young, he engaged in the lumber business, but losing his modest fortune, he gave up commerce. Being of an… …   Wikipedia

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