BENVENISTE, ISAAC BEN JOSEPH (d. c. 1224), physician to James I of Aragon and nasi of Aragonese Jewry. He was the leading figure in the representative congresses of the Jewish communities convened at Montpellier and Saint-Gilles in 1214 and 1215 to consider protective measures in view of the approaching lateran council . Subsequently he secured for the Aragonese communities a temporary suspension of the obligation to wear the jewish badge . In 1220, he received from Pope Honorius III a warm letter of recommendation to the king and the archbishop of Tarragona notwithstanding Isaac's "erroneous" views in matters of religion. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Neuman, Spain, index; Solomon ibn Verga, Shevet Yehudah, ed. by A. Shochat (1947), 147, 223; S. Grayzel, The Church and the Jews (19662), index. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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