The Disputation of Paris took place in 1240 in the court of the reigning king of France, Louis IX (St. Louis). The forced disputation had four rabbis defending the Talmud against the accusations of a Franciscan Order member.
Nicholas Donin represented the Christian side of the debate and four of the most distinguished rabbis of France, Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry, represented the Jewish side of the debate. Donin was a member of the Franciscan Order and a Jewish convert to Christianity. He had persuaded Pope Gregory IX to issue a bill ordering the burning of the Talmud. Louis IX, who sponsored the debate, was a sworn enemy of Judaism, at one time mentioning that the best way to conduct a disputation with a Jew was to plunge a sword into him.
The terms of the disputation demanded that the…
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