I have seen a number of articles on Ibn Ezra that quote a supercommentator known as "Jonah Filwarg" (usually just referred to as "J. Filwarg") who wrote a book known as "Bnei Reshef." Does anyone have info on who J. Filwarg was, when he lived, what Hashakfic and/or denominational sect of Judaism he was part of, and if he is accepted/respected by Orthodox Jewry?

2 Answers 2


The sefer was printed in 1900 Petrekov [Russia], to explain Ibn Ezra. He has number of approbations, of those I recognized the Tehila L'Dovid. The first pages of the book can be seen free on Otzar HaHochma here.Here is a copy of the Shaar Blatt/cover page.


According to Yehudah Leib Fleischer, in his series of articles on super-commentaries on the Ibn Ezra's commentary which appeared in Otzar Hachaim (this specific one appeard in year 14, vol. 11-12), R' Yonah Filwarg was a melamed in Omanen (maybe Uman, not sure - apparently it was part of Russia in the 30's). He notes that R' Filwarg was not aware of the shorter commentary to Shemot (Ibn Ezra wrote two commentaries, one long and one short, for some books), did not see any of the Ibn Ezra's other books, save for his commentary on Tanach, and as he didn't write a super-commentary on Ibn Ezra on Yesha'ayahu, perhaps he was not aware that such a thing existed. On the other hand, he did write a super-commentary on the pseudo-Ibn Ezra on Mishlei, Ezra and Nechemiah.

It seems he learned only two prior super-commentaries: Rabbi Shlomo Lipmann's Avi Ezer and Rabbi Shlomo Netter's commentary.

He decided he would not comment on anything the Ibn Ezra wrote that was based on secular studies: philosophy, astrology and mathematics, and wouldn't look into the various "secrets" the Ibn Ezra mentioned in his commentary.

Sometimes he chose to correct the Ibn Ezra's words, resulting in his sometimes guessing things that were correct per older manuscripts, but sometimes his ideas did not match the MSS (in other words, he did not examine any MSS). That's pretty much what Fleischer wrote about him and his commentary.

As can be seen from the introductions to his book, it seems that he had good ties with the rabbinical authorities of his city. From all of this info, in particular in his exceedingly traditionalist style of commentary, it seems he was very much Orthodox in his views and ways. As for whether his commentary is accepted - I think it is, just perhaps not so popular like Avi Ezer or some other super-commentaries. As a person, not much is known about him either way. I suppose that as long as his commentary is considered legitimate orthodox (i.e. not haskalic in nature), he is too.

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