Yom Tov of Joigny

views updated


YOM TOV OF JOIGNY (d. 1190), talmudist, exegete, and synagogal poet. He was a disciple of Rabbenu *Tam of Troyes, the grandson of Rashi. Toward 1180 he settled in *York, probably under the aegis of *Josce, the leader of the community. His halakhic decisions are reported in the Mordekhai of *Mordecai b. Hillel (Ket., no. 198) and elsewhere; he was also known as a commentator on the Bible, and he engaged in anti-Christian polemics. Several of his religious poems are preserved, including a ballad-like strophic elegy on the Blois martyrs of 1171, Yah Tishpokh Ḥamatkha, written in Andalusian style; each of the four strophes has an allusion to some aspect of the death of the martyrs, asking God to intervene in favor of His people and avenge these deaths. He mentions in particular the names of two of the martyrs, Yehiel and Yekutiel, who had been, like himself, students of Rabbenu Tam. He is also the author of the hymn *Omnam Ken, for the eve of the Day of Atonement, one manuscript version of which embodies the name Yom Tov in the last verse. He is said to have inspired the heroic mass-suicide of the Jews of York when they were beleaguered in the castle on the Sabbath before Passover in 1190. He and Josce were the last to die.


C. Roth, Intellectual Activities of Medieval English Jewry (1948), 21–22; idem, in: jhset, 16 (1945–51), 214–5; Kahn, in: rej, 1 (1880), 233; 3 (1881), 4–5; Gross, ibid., 7 (1883), 43; Jacobs, ibid., 18 (1889), 261; Gross, Gal Jud, 123, 252, 353; Davidson, Oẓar, index; Urbach, Tosafot, index. add. bibliography: S. Einbinder, Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France (2002), 29f., 51f., 57ff., 62ff.

[Cecil Roth /

Angel Sáenz-Badillos (2nd ed.)]