Jehiel ben Joseph of Paris

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JEHIEL BEN JOSEPH OF PARIS (d.c. 1265), French talmudist and tosafist. Jehiel studied at the yeshivah of *Judah b. Isaac (Sir Leon), together with Isaac b. Moses of Vienna, and succeeded Judah b. Isaac upon his death. He was renowned both for his scholarship and his upright character, and was held in esteem by Jews and non-Jews alike. Jehiel was the leading Jewish protagonist in the famous *Disputation of Paris held at the court of Louis ix, arising from charges of the apostate, Nicholas Donin, that the Talmud reviled Christianity and contained references which were in conflict with the Bible. (The account of the disputation has been preserved in "Vikku'aḥ Rabbenu Yeḥ iel mi-Paris" (Thorn, 1873. The text with a Latin translation is included in the Tela Ignea Satanae of C.R. *Wagenseil (1681)). As an outcome of the disputation, copies of the Talmud were publicly burned in Paris in 1242. Jehiel continued to head the Paris academy, where students were apparently taught from memory. In about 1260 he emigrated with a large number of his disciples to Ereẓ Israel, settled in Acre, then under the rule of the Crusaders, and opened a yeshivah, which became known as the " midrash ha-gadol " of Paris. It was Jehiel's intention, according to *Estori ha-Parḥi, to offer in Jerusalem such sacrifices as were halakhically permissible after the destruction of the Temple (Kaftor va-Feraḥ, ed. A.M. Luncz (1899), 81–82). The only extant responsa of Jehiel are the few which appear in the works of his contemporaries. It is known that he compiled tosafot to various tractates, and there is also reference to his "Sefer Dinim," an adaptation of which exists in manuscript. joseph, Jehiel's son, was imprisoned for some time, apparently in connection with the banning of the Talmud; he emigrated with his father to Palestine. Jehiel died in Acre.


Baer, in Tarbiz, 2 (1930/31), 172–87; S.H. Kook, in: Zion, 5 (1933), 97–102 (included also in his Iyyunim u-Meḥkarim, 2 (1963), 137–41); R. Margaliot (ed.), Vikku'aḥ Rabbenu Yeḥiel mi-Paris (1944), 1–11 introd.; Urbach, Tosafot, 371–81; J.M. Rosenthal, in: jqr (1956/57), 58–76, 145–69; Z. Vilnay, Maẓẓevot Kodesh be-Ereẓ Yisrael (1963), 423.

[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]