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Does any one know of any good biographies of Rashbam and/or Ibn Ezra?

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2 Answers 2

The closest thing to a full Biography I could find.

Biography of Rashbam

Biography of Ibn Ezra

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Rashbam

R. Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam) was Rashi's grandson (his father, Meir, was Rashi's son in-law) and the older brother of Rabbenu Tam. He was born ca. 1080 and died ca. 1160. He spent his whole life in France, and studied Torah with his father and other scholars, especially his grandfather Rashi, in whose house in Troyes he grew up. He studied Torah and Talmud with Rashi and occasionally took issue with Rashi's interpretations of the Torah. After Rashi's death in 1105 he returned to his father's home in Ramerupt. He was extremely humble and pious, though insistent about his views when convinced that he was right. He interprets the Torah according to its plain meaning, often taking issue with interpretations in the Talmud and in Rashi's commentary. Rashbam apparently wrote a commentary on the entire Bible; however, only the majority of his commentary on the Torah is extant. Rashbam also wrote a commentary on the Talmud and composed halakhic rulings, only some of which have been printed. In two places his commentary on the Talmud was printed instead of Rashi's: on most of Bava Batra and on the tenth chapter of Pesachim (Rashbam's commentary on the Talmud was far more verbose than Rashi's). He was one of the first tosafists.

Additional information can be found in:

Ibn Ezra

R. Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra was born in Islamic Spain, in Tudela (1089), and he died circa 1164 (apparently in London). A versatile scholar, his influence was felt widely both during his lifetime and after his death. He was a poet, grammarian, Biblical commentator, philosopher, translator, astronomer and physician. He spent the first fifty years of his life in Spain and North Africa, and the rest of his life, from 1140 onwards, he wandered throughout Europe, mainly in Italy, but also in France, England, and other places. He was apparently in close contact with R. Judah ha-Levi, whom he mentions frequently in his commentaries. He was evidently on good terms with Rabbenu Tam as well. Most of his known works were written in his second period. He was a very sharp critic of his opponents. His biblical commentary explains the text according to its plain meaning. This commentary is famous for its concise style and its linguistic orientation. It includes the views of leading scholars who were contemporaries of the author, though ibn Ezra frequently disputes them. He also polemicized against various heretics. His commentary on the Bible was first printed in Naples in 1488.

Additional information can be found in:

Above biographies are (c) Bar Ilan Responsa

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