Tag: Abraham ibn Ezra

The solution is simple

                                                  In an exccelent and informative article, Professor Marty Lockshin of York University, a rabbi, examined the difficulty raised by Deuteronomy 13:2-4 and tells the solutions offered in a Midrash and by several medieval Jewish commentators.[1] I will add another solution. Deuteronomy states: “If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner – […]

Are Divine Commands Rational?

  While there are Jews who are convinced that certain biblical commands are inscrutable and that even though we do not understand them, we must obey them, others like Maimonides and Abraham ibn Ezra were convinced that all the divine commands are rational and people can and indeed should understand them.[1] In his commentary to […]

Did Moses write the entire Torah?

 Ibn Ezra’s “Secret of the Twelve”   Did Moses write the entire Torah? Do traditional Jewish commentators differ on the subject?   Who wrote the story of the death of Moses? The twelve verses of Deuteronomy chapter 34 tell the story of the death of Moses. The introductory four verses narrate how God told Moses […]

Who was the brilliant Abraham ibn Ezra


Baruch Spinoza Borrowed His Basic Philosophy from ibn Ezra and Maimonides

                  Baruch Spinoza Borrowed His Basic Philosophy from ibn Ezra and Maimonides   Non-Jews consider Baruch (or Benedict) de Spinoza an esteemed philosopher. Many feel that he breathed fresh air into philosophy and helped launch the open-minded enlightenment in the seventeenth century. Rebecca Goldstein, in her 2006 […]

The unorthodox secrets of ibn Ezra

                                                  The unorthodox secrets of ibn Ezra[1]   Anyone who wants to understand the rational philosophy of Abraham ibn Ezra and his method of interpreting scripture needs to read this Hebrew book because Bonfils reveals the ibn Ezra ideas that he hinted at in his commentary but did not reveal explicitly. For example, he […]

A very strange assessment of the Torah

                                                                                            A very strange assessment of the Torah   When Mordecai told Ether that Haman planned to murder all Judeans, Esther requested that Mordecai arrange that all Judeans fast for three days. The book of Esther does not reveal when the fast began. However there is an opinion in the Babylonian Talmud[1] that the […]

Ibn Ezra on Esther – Part 1

                                                                             Ibn Ezra on Esther – Part 1   Ibn Ezra wrote two commentaries on the biblical book Esther. The first published was a short version. His long version was not printed until about 150 years ago.[1] Both contain clever interpretations of the Esther drama. However, he also included some legendary material to add spice […]

Rational and non-rational in ibn Ezra – Deuteronomy

                                                                                              Ibn Ezra in Deuteronomy   I mentioned in my prior essays on the famed thinker Abraham ibn Ezra’s Bible commentaries that although he was generally a brilliant rational thinking, he wasn’t always so, and some of his ideas are not rational. The same phenomenon occurs in his views on Deuteronomy, as seen in […]

Rational and non-rational in ibn Ezra – Numbers

                                                                                                                  Abraham Ibn Ezra in Numbers   As I wrote in prior essays that focused on the brilliant thinker Abraham ibn Ezra’s biblical commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus, there are ibn Ezra views that people will like and others they will not like, and may even feel are irrational. The following are examples from […]

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