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Rabbi Simlai was a talmudic sage from Palestine in the 3rd century. The calculation of 613 Mitzvot is attributed to him.[1] He was a student of Rabbi Judah II, the grandson of Judah I, the author of the Mishnah. A famous Haggadist, Simlai endeavored to induce Judah II to abrogate the prohibition against using bread prepared by pagans. One of the earliest polemicists against Christianity, he engaged Origen in a debate on the Trinity.[2]


  1. ^ Abrahams, Israel (1907). Judaism (PDF). London: Archibald Constable & co. ltd. p. 28. 
  2. ^ M'Clintock, John; James Strong (1895). Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature VIII. New York (Franklin Square): Harper & Brothers. p. 347.