Benayahu Ben Yehoyada
“Strong like a lion” was the title given to the greatest worrior of Isreal Benayahu Ben Yehoyada. Benayahu Ben Yehoyada (Hebrew: בינהו בן יהוידע ) which means "God has built son of the preist of Yehoyada, lived in the times of King David. However, Ben Yehoyada's military crown of greatness was accompanied by the crown of wisdom. The Zohar, says that so great was Ben Yehoyada's influence, that upon his passing, a "flow from above" came to a halt. He was buried in Biriyah a road aside from Zefat.
Benayahu Ben Yehoyada was renowned for his heroism. He commanded the Cherethites and Pelethites. Together with Zadok the Kohen and Nathan the prophet, he valiantly killed the enemies and then was appointed by King Solomon as Minister of defense. He then kept his position under Solomon, as chief of Solomon's army. The stories of him follow that he once killed an eight foot tall Egyptian. Also he was said to have killed a lion in a snowy pit.
However, besides his military greatness and leadership qualities he is also well known for his great wisdom and extraordinary Torah knowledge. The sources describe him as leader of Sanhedrin during the time of King David. He is also noted for writing a Torah scroll in one day.
Nowadays, many visitors to Tsfat as well as locals often take time to visit Ben Yehoyada's gravesite to connect on a spiritual level with the soul of the man in whose merit, it is said, both the first and second Holy Temples stood -- one of the 36 righteous men found in every generation in whose merit the very world exists.
Rabbi Yosef Chaim, the famous sage and kabbalist who was chief rabbi of Baghdad for 50 years (1859-1909), named four of his works after Benayahu ben Yehoyada because he understood himself to be an incarnation of him.
Though the prayers of each individual can be unique at the tomb of Benayahu ben Yehoyada. One cannot help but wonder how many of those who pray at his gravesite yearn for a righteous warrior on behalf of the land of Israel, the Torah and the Jewish people to rise to leadership.
The freely accessible gravesite of the great Davidian-era sage and warrior, Benaihu ben Yehoyada, wasn't always so easy to find. It is beleived that the Ari Hakadosh discovered the tomb in 1570, while hiking with his disciples on the outskirts of Zefat.
The tomb is set in a serene and beautiful little park on the outskirts of the western entrance to Tsfat. The site today provides ample space for large groups.
In Biriyah, at the edge of the road about one kilometer north of Zefat. To get to the site, when arriving by car on the Carmiel-Rosh Pina highway, instead of turning down at the main intersection leading into Zefat, simply turn towards the opposite direction, starting up the hill.
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