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Benjamin Aga

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Created page with "'''Benjamin Aga''' (Karaim: Беньямин Агъа), who died in 1824, was the leader of the Crimean Karaites. He was the royal treasurer of ..."
'''Benjamin Aga''' ([[Karaim language|Karaim]]: Беньямин Агъа), who died in 1824, was the leader of the [[Crimean Karaites]]. He was the royal [[treasurer]] of [[Şahin Giray]], the last [[Crimean Khanate|Crimean Khan]], and therefore is called in [[Karaite Judaism|Karaite]] literature ''ha-Neeman'' ("the Trusted")—an appellation bestowed also upon his father [[Samuel Aga|Samuel]], who died in 1770, and who probably held the same office under former khans. When Şahin Giray fled for his life from his rebellious subjects, and sought [[succor]] from his protectress [[Catherine the Great|Catherine II]] in [[St. Petersburg]], Benjamin Aga followed him, hoping to collect the large sums of money that he had advanced to the fugitive. Following the last partition of Poland in 1795, after Crimea had been under [[Russia]]n rule for over a decade, Vilnius, Lutsk and Trakai came under Russian Rule. Benjamin Aga, [[Solomon ben Nahamu Bobowitz]], and the [[astronomer]] [[Isaac of Kalea]], the son-in-law of [[Jacob Aga]], who was the elder brother of Benjamin, went to St. Petersburg as a delegation from the Crimean Karaites, to petition the empress to release their sect from the double rate of taxation which all the [[Jew]]s then had to pay. Through the intervention of Count [[Nikolay Alexandrovich Zubov|Nikolay Zubov]], the delegation obtained from the empress the exemption from the "[[Jewish]]" taxes, some [[land grant]]s, and other privileges which had not been asked for. This established an important precedent for exempting the Karaites from subsequent anti-Jewish legislation. The extraordinary success of the mission served to arouse great enthusiasm among the Karaites, and Aga and his fellow delegates were received with great honor on their return. A large [[monolith]], fashioned out of marble, with fitting inscription, was erected in the court of the [[kenesa]] at [[Eupatoria]], to commemorate an event so important in the history of the Karaites of Russia.

==Bibliography==
*Isaac of Kalea, ''Or ha-Lebanah,'' Zhytomir, 1882.

==References==
*{{JewishEncyclopedia|url=http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?letter=A&artid=884|article=Aga, Benjamin}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Aga, Benjamin}}
[[Category:Crimean Karaites]]
[[Category:History of Crimea]]
[[Category:1824 deaths]]
[[Category:Year of birth missing]]
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