Ibn Ezra

Avraham Ibn Ezra | ר’ אברהם אבן עזרא – ראב”ע was born in 1089 in Tudela, Spain and died 1164 in northern Europe, possibly England. He is best known for his commentary on Tanach, in which he brings into Hebrew the fruits of generations of Sefardi philological and contextual (peshat) Biblical exegesis. However, he was for most of his life a poet who was reliant on patronage to make a living, writing letters and laudatory poems for social occasions as well as sacred poetry (piyyut), some of which has been preserved in various rites. (For instance, his Seder ha-Avodah for Musaf of Yom Kippur was long said as part of the Yemenite Machzor). Only at the age of fifty, impelled by political instability in Iberia, did Ibn Ezra leave the orbit of the Islamicate world, leaving Spain for Italy, then Provence (southern France), and eventually making his way north to Rouen and probably reaching England, the northernmost boundary of the Jewish world. In Christian Europe he worked as a tutor, writing commentaries for his students and scientific-philosophical works for interested patrons.

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