He was a descendant of Solomon Luria, and traced his genealogy back through Rashi to the tanna Johanan HaSandlar. He was rabbi of Glusk, Minsk Voivodeship until 1711, when he was called to the rabbinate of Minsk, where he officiated also as head of the yeshivah until his death. Heilprin was one of the most eminent Talmudists of his time. He was opposed to casuistry, and on this account succeeded in grouping around him a great number of liberal-minded pupils. For a long time he had to sustain a hard struggle with Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzberg, who, while still a young man, had founded a yeshivah at Minsk, which at first was very flourishing. Aryeh Leib attacked Heilprin's method of teaching, and the antagonism between them spread to their pupils. Later, Aryeh Leib, being obliged to assist his father in the district rabbinate, neglected his yeshivah, which was ultimately closed, and Heilprin was no longer interfered with.
Heilprin devoted a part of his time to the study of Kabbalah, on which subject he wrote a work. He was opposed to giving approbations to new books, deviating, as he himself says, only twice from his general principle in this regard. The two works so favored were the Ir ?omah of Abraham Judah Elijah and the Magen HaElef of Aryeh Löb of Plock.
Heilprin is especially known through his Seder HaDorot. This work consists of three independent volumes or parts:
The whole work is followed by notes on the Talmud, also arranged in alphabetical order. It was published for the first time by Heilprin's grandson, Judah Löb Heilprin, at Carlsruhe in 1769. There exist several other editions, the latest (as of 1906) being the revised one of Naphtali Maskileison, son of Abraham Maskileison, Warsaw, 1882.
Of Heilprin's numerous other works mentioned in the Seder HaDorot, the only one which has been published is Erke HaKinnuyim, a dictionary of synonyms and homonyms occurring in the Bible, Talmud, and other works, chiefly kabbalistic (Dyhernfurth, 1806).
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901-1906). "Heilprin, Jehiel ben Solomon". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Its bibliography: