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Berechiah de Nicole

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Title: Berechiah de Nicole  
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Subject: Early English Jewish literature, History of the Jews in England (1066–1290), Berechiah
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Berechiah de Nicole

Berechiah de Nicole also known as Benedict fil Mosse, (d. after 1256), was a thirteenth-century English Tosafist who lived at Lincoln. He was of the well-known Hagin family, and son of Rabbi Moses ben Yom-Tov of London. He was the chief rabbi of Lincoln (the Norman-French name of which was "Nicole"), and probably lived in the house now known as the Jew's House in that city; for this was in the possession of a certain Belaset of Wallington in 1287, and there is a deed which speaks of Belaset, daughter of the Rav Berechiah. It has been conjectured that it was to attend the marriage of this Belaset and to do Berechiah honor that the Jews of England assembled at Lincoln toward the end of August, 1255, when the body of Little Hugh of Lincoln was discovered, and all the Lincoln Jews were sent up to London for complicity in a so-called ritual murder. Berechiah was released earlier than the rest of the Jews, on January 7, 1256.

His subsequent fate is unknown; but there are a number of decisions of his in the ritual literature of the time, which show that he was considered an authority in ritual matters. For instance, the Mordecai quotes that he decided that the evening prayer might be said an hour and a quarter before the legal time of night.


Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography: Zunz, Z. G. p. 97; Renan-Neubauer, Les Rabbins Français, p. 441; Jacobs, in Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. England, i. 102-111.G. J.


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