Throughout Chumash, the Ramba"n goes after the ibn Ezra. The Ramba"n says in his introduction to the Chumash that his attitude toward the ibn Ezra is "תוכחה גלויה ואהבה מסותרת". In the introduction to the Yam Shel Shlomo, the Maharsha"l excoriates the Ramba"m for respecting the ibn Ezra, saying about the ibn Ezra: "לא היה בעל תלמודו".

Is there an authoritative text that identifies why the ibn Ezra receives all this flak? Was he considered a relative עם הארץ who wrote his perush based on his poetry rather than a mesorah or Chaza"l?

  • It goes even further then that, I have heard that some people even wanted to burn his perush because some of his perush were not 'going according to what the gemara says'
    – Russell
    Jul 2, 2020 at 18:28
  • 3
    Ramban also was quite harsh towards the Baal Hamaor. May just be a style. (And many other examples like judaism.stackexchange.com/a/78213/759 )
    – Double AA
    Jul 2, 2020 at 18:36
  • Stuff like this maybe?judaism.stackexchange.com/a/96823/14850
    – Joel K
    Jul 2, 2020 at 18:51
  • Don't both of those authorities explain why they are dissatisfied with the Ibn Ezra? I'm not sure I understand the question.
    – robev
    Jul 2, 2020 at 20:35
  • "In the introduction to the Yam Shel Shlomo, the Maharsha"l excoriates the Ramba"m for respecting the ibn Ezra" (emphasis mine). Did you mean to say there 'Ramba"m', or is it a typo?
    – Tamir Evan
    Jul 3, 2020 at 5:48

2 Answers 2


Here is a source stating that, at some point in the Ibn Ezra's life, not everyone appreciated/acknowledged his scholarship.

This is the relevant part that is nestled in the source mentioned above.

בשנת ד'תתק"ד (1145) שהה רבי אברהם אבן עזרא ברומא שבאיטליה. מהעיר רומא נדד לעיר סלרנו, שם הייתה קהילה יהודית גדולה. רבי אבן עזרא לא התקבל בכבוד אצל יהודי סלרנו, שלא העריכו את ידיעתו בתנ"ך ובמדעים, ובאותו זמן קיבלו אדם אחר בכבוד גדול. רק עשיר אחד, בשם אליקים, תמך בו כלכלית. הוא העריך מאוד את אליקים וכתב עליו תשבחות רבות בשל היחס שהעניק לו. רבי אברהם אבן עזרא התרעם מאוד על יחסם של יהודי סלרנו, וכתב שבגלל כך לא יכתוב ספרים ולא יפרסם דברי חוכמה בעירם


The Chida in Shem HaGodolim discuss the Ibn Ezra in general. He also mentions those who criticize his commentary on Chumash as well as others who question it's authenticity.

The Chida is not critical of the Ibn Ezra himself. He has tremendous respect for him. He does however come to the conclusion that those who say that some of the Ibn Ezra's commentary that we have today was written by students of his who weren't very learned are correct.He brings places it is mentioned in the later Rishonim and points out that based on those comments they could not have had the same Ibn Ezra we do.

His final conclusion is that the Ibn Ezra's commentary that we have today can not be relied on for anything that contradicts other Rabbinic sources.

  • 3
    I bet that line in the Chida was written by a mistaken student of the Chida's :)
    – Double AA
    Jul 3, 2020 at 18:10
  • @DoubleAA cf R. Menashe Klein about R. Moshe Feinstein about Peirush of R. Yehuda HaChasid.
    – Alex
    Jul 3, 2020 at 18:23
  • @Alex of course
    – Double AA
    Jul 3, 2020 at 18:44
  • Of course there big difference between when the Chida or Rav Moshe say a mistaken student wrote something and when someone online does so.In the case of the former it is due to their enormous knowledge of Torah and understanding of the issues.When someone online says such things it is usually due to their lack of it.
    – Schmerel
    Jul 5, 2020 at 2:43
  • @Schmerel sure but there's also something very similar between all three: they're rarely believeable or historically accurate. It's such a transparently unconvincing argument that I don't even really believe those who proffer it actually believe it but are rather using it as a polite way of saying "that content is clearly wrong".
    – Double AA
    Jul 5, 2020 at 3:44

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