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MOSES OF PARIS:

(Redirected from MOSES BEN JEHIEL BEN MATTATHIAH.)

Exegete; lived in the middle of the twelfth century. According to Gross, he is identical with Moses ben Jehiel ben Mattathiah, the head of the Jewish community of Paris, of whom the Maḥzor Vitry (No. 280) tells the story that he defended the Jews of Paris against the charge of putting converted Jews under spells by throwing dust behind themselves after an interment. He stated to the king that this was simply done in conformity with the funeral custom of plucking grass and casting it behind oneself while reciting, "And they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth" (Ps. lxxii. 16), thereby testifying to the belief in resurrection of the dead; this explanation satisfied the king. A Moses of Paris is mentioned as being in England in 1204 (Jacobs, "Jews of Angevin England," pp. 225, 229).

Moses was the author of a commentary on the Bible, quoted by his disciple Gabriel in his additions to the commentaries of Rashi and RaSHBaM (Breslau Seminary MS. No. 103). Citations from Moses' commentary are found in many exegetical works of his time, especially in "Pa'neaḥ Raza" and in the writings of Joseph ha-Meḳanne, who contests Moses' explanation of Deuteronomy xxiii. 20, according to which the prohibition against lending money at interest applies only to Jews.

Bibliography:
  • Zunz, Z. G. p. 95;
  • Berliner, in Monatsschrift, 1864, pp. 219, 221;
  • idem, Peleṭat Soferim, p. 27;
  • Zadoc Kahn, in R. E. J. iii. 8;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 513.
K. I. Br.
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