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Rabbinical Eras

Yechiel ben Joseph of Paris (Jehiel of Paris) was a major Talmudic scholar and Tosafist from northern France, father-in-law of Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil. He was a disciple of Rabbi Judah Messer Leon, and succeeded him in 1225 as head of the Yeshiva of Paris, which then boasted some 300 students; his best known student was Meir of Rothenburg. He is the author of many Tosafot.

Yechiel of Paris is best known as the main defender of Judaism in the 1240 Disputation of Paris held at the court of Louis IX, where he argued against the convert Nicholas Donin. This was the first formal Christian-Jewish disputation held in medieval Christendom. Although the disputants successfully defended Judaism, a decree was passed, to publicly burn all available manuscripts of the Talmud - on Friday, June 17, 1244), fire was set to twenty-four carriageloads of written works.

In 1260 the rabbi arrived in Eretz Yisroel (Land of Israel) along with his son and a large group of followers, settling in Acre.[1][2] There he established the Talmudic academy Midrash haGadol d'Paris.[3] He is believed to have died there between 1265 and 1268, and is buried near Haifa, at Mount Carmel.

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