||R. Abraham b. Meir ibn Ezra (1089–1164), poet, grammarian, biblical commentator, philosopher, astronomer, and physician. Ibn Ezra was born in Tudela, Spain, and his life falls into two distinct periods. During the first he lived in Spain, though it is possible that during this period he visited North Africa including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia (the city of Gabes), and perhaps also Egypt. Wherever he traveled he sought the company of scholars. He established a particularly close relationship with Judah Halevi (cf. his commentary to the Decalogue, Ex. 20) who, like him, was born in Tudela and lived for a time in Lucena and Cordova, and whom he accompanied on one of his journeys to North Africa. According to legend Ibn Ezra married the daughter of R. Judah Halevi, who agreed to marry him despite his straitened circumstances. Little is known of his family life. He alludes to five of his sons in his poem Govhei Shehakim el Hadom Nikbe'u. Only one of them, Isaac, is known by name, and there is reason to believe that the other four died in their youth.
The second period of Ibn Ezra's life is from 1140 until his death. In the former year, as he states, he left Spain for Rome "in a troubled spirit" and it is probable that the reason for that "troubled spirit" and the restless wandering which resulted from it, was due to the real, or alleged, conversion to Islam of his only surviving son.
Henceforth Ibn Ezra lived the life of a wandering scholar, and it is during this period that most of his works were written. He gives the places where he wrote his various works, and from them one learns the extent of his wanderings. In Rome, he wrote his work on the structure of the Hebrew language, Moznei Leshon ha-Kodesh (Venice, 1546; also called Moznayim), and a short commentary on Job and Daniel (the "short commentary"), and translated Judah ben David Hayyuj's three books on Hebrew grammar: Sefer Otiyyot ha-Nah, Sefer Po'olei ha-Kefel, and Sefer ha-Nikkud (all published together, 1849) from Arabic into Hebrew. It would appear that Ibn Ezra's ideas were not acceptable in Rome and his poem "Nedod Hesir Oni" is an expression of his bitterness against the Jewish community there.
In 1145 he was in Lucca, where he wrote a short commentary on the Pentateuch and a commentary on the early prophets (not extant); on Isaiah; Sefer ha-Yesod (not extant); Sefat Yeter (1838), a work on grammar in manuscript (wrongly called "Sefer ha-Yesod"); a defense of Saadiah b. Joseph Gaon against the criticism of his pupil Dunash b. Labrat, which has been wrongly called Sefat Yeter. From Lucca he went to Mantua where he wrote Sefer ha-Zahut (Venice, 1546); he then moved to Verona where he wrote Sefer ha-Ibbur (1874), Sefer ha-Mispar (1895), and Safah Berurah (1839). In 1147 he left Italy for Provence, visiting Narbonne and BMziers, and then proceeded to northern France (Rouen and Dreux). Reference to Ibn Ezra's impact on the French Jewish communities is found in a statement in Jedaiah ha-Penini Bedersi (who lived in BMziers some 150 years later) speaking of "the joy of the scholars of this country (France), its pious men and rabbis when Ibn Ezra passed through their communities. He began to open eyes in our regions and wrote for our people the commentary on the Pentateuch and the prophets." In France he wrote Ta'amei ha-Luhot (still in manuscript), Sefer ha-Shem (1834), a long exegesis on the Pentateuch (of which only a few sections on the Book of Genesis and the entire commentary on Exodus are extant); his commentaries on Daniel (the "long commentary"), Psalms, and Minor Prophets; another commentary on Esther (ed. Zedner) and another commentary on Song of Songs (ed. Matthews); Yesod ha-Mispar (1863), Sefer ha-Ehad (1867); and his astrological works: Mishpetei ha-Mazzalot, Sefer ha-Moladot (both in manuscript) and Reshit Hokhmah (1939), Sefer ha-Te'amim (1941), Sefer ha-Mivharim, Sefer ha-Me'orot (1932), and Sefer ha-Olam (1937). Some of his astrological works were written in two editions. In France he became friendly with R. Jacob Tam; and some of the poems they exchanged are extant. The tosafot (RH 13a; Kid. 37b) cite a question posed by Ibn Ezra to Rabbenu Tam. In 1158 he proceeded to London where he wrote Yesod Mora (Const., 1530) and Iggeret Shabbat (published in Shulhan Arukh (1739), p. 110–2), but in 1161 he was back in Narbonne. It is believed that in his old age he made his way to Erez Israel.
In popular legend and folk tradition Ibn Ezra is described as a man of few needs who refused to accept favors from others, who laughed at his own poverty, and helped many through his wisdom. Many wise sayings and witty epigrams have been attributed to him. A manuscript in the National Library in Vienna contains the following statement: "On the second day of the New Moon of the first month of Adar 1167 [it should be 1164] Ibn Ezra passed away, at the age of 75. In his own hand he has left a reminder of this written in the year of his death, saying: 'And Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from the anger of G-d'" (a reference to Gen. 12:4 with a pun on "haron" "anger" for "Haran") and on the day of his death he wrote:
My honor rejoices in the rock of my courage and strength
He has rewarded me above that which I deserved,
In His kindness He has taught me His ways
And has let me live until I know that which I want
And if that which remains of me is finished with my soul
G-d is to me the rock of my courage and strength.
||והוא פירוש ... לפירושו של החכם ... ר' אברהם ן' עזרא ... על התורה ... והנה שלשה המה מטיבי צעד הראשון ... ר' שמואל צרצ"ה הספרדי (המכונה אבן סנה) זלה"ה אשר חיבור פירוש מקור חיים [מנטובה שי"ט] ... ואחריו ... ר' יוסף (בן אליעזר) הספרדי
[טוב-עלם] ז"ל אשר חיבור הפירוש ... אהל יוסף [הוא: צפנת פענח] ... ולא באו בדפוס עד הנה. ואחריו ... ר' שמואל הספרדי ז"ל אשר חיבור הפירוש שנקרא בפי כל מוטוט, והמחבר ... בקראו שמו מגילת סתרים [ויניציאה שי"ד] ... הובאו לבית הדפוס
... ע"י המשותפים ... ר' יקותיאל לאזי בן מהור"ר נחום זלה"ה אשכנזי נין ונכד של ... ר' גרשון זצ"ל מ"כ בק"ק מיץ, בעל המלקט והמאסף דברי המחברים [שהוסיף הגהות וציונים בתוך דבריהם]. ועל ידי ... רופא דקרתא רבתי הנ"ל ונתקבל מקהל
אשכנזים להיות מנטורי קרתא ה"ה הר"ר נפתלי הירץ בן .. ר' זיסקינד סג"ל מאמשטרדם ... לסדר ולפרט וי"י ב'רך' א'ת' א'ב'רה'ם ב'כ'ל'
הפנים הוא פירוש אבן-עזרא על התורה. סביבו הפירושים מקור חיים, אהל יוסף (הוא "צפנת פענח") ומוטוט (הוא "מגילת סתרים"). כל מפרשי הראב"ע מקוצרים.
דף ג: "חידה ... להחכם אבן עזרא" (אב בהאדמה הוליד ארבעה אחים), ופירוש עליה, מאת המלקט (אוצר השירה והפיוט, א, עמ' 385, מס' 8513). בעמ' האחרון: "שיר ושבח" מאת הזעציר חיים אלטשול מפראג. הסכמות: ר' אברהם ב"ר יודא [ברלין], אמשטרדם, תפ"א;
ר' שלמה אאילייון, אמשטרדם;
ר' יעקב הקטן כהן [פאפרש], ורנקבורט דמיין, טו [מר]חשון תפ"ב;
ר' יחזקאל מבית קצנואלין בוגין, אלטונא המבורג וואנזבק, ה מנחם[-אב] ת"ף;
ר' יחיאל מיכל ב"ר יהודא ליב שליט, ברלין, כ אייר ת"ף;
ר' צבי הירש, הלברשטט, כד סיון ת"ף.