Skip to main content

Ezra ben Solomon

EZRA BEN SOLOMON

EZRA BEN SOLOMON (d. 1238 or 1245), one of the leading kabbalists of his day in Gerona, Spain. For a long time scholars thought him identical with *Azriel b. Menahem of Gerona, since various authors attributed to Azriel works written by Ezra and vice versa. However, the poems of Meshullam b. Solomon da *Piera, a contemporary of the two and also a native of Gerona, make it possible definitely to determine that Ezra and Azriel were two different individuals who lived in Gerona at the same time. This fact is also confirmed by testimonies of kabbalists from the late 13th and early 14th centuries. G. *Scholem's discovery of several of their works and I. Tishby's studies have established that the two men represented different kabbalistic trends.

According to Abraham *Abulafia, Ezra wrote a commentary to the Sefer *Yezirah (see A. *Jellinek, Beit ha-Midrash, 3 (1938), 43) which has not survived. His commentary on the Song of Songs, attributed to *Naḥmanides, was first published in Altona in 1764, with many errors repeated in all subsequent editions. It was republished by H.D. Chavel in Kitvei Rabbenu Moshe ben Naḥman (2, 1964, 474–548), but this edition too contains all the errors of its predecessors. It has been translated into French and commented upon by G. Vajda (see bibl.). Both Ezra and Azriel wrote commentaries on talmudic legends. Several fragments of Ezra's commentary appear in Likkutei Shikhhah u-Fe'ah (Ferrara, 1556); however, the publisher, Abraham b. Judah Elmaleh, concealed the author's name. The work exists in several manuscripts, especially Vatican 441. Two of Ezra's letters which have survived were published by G. Scholem (in Sefer Bialik (1934), 155–62).

Ezra's works show the influence of his teacher *Isaac the Blind. In his turn, Ezra greatly influenced his contemporaries and the kabbalists of the 13th and 14th centuries. His colleague and contemporary Jacob b. Sheshet *Gerondi, who cites him several times, sometimes in agreement and often in dispute, in Meshiv Devarim Nekhohim and Ha-Emunah ve-ha-Bittaḥon, calls him "the sage (ha-ḥakham) Rabbi Ezra." Azriel follows in Ezra's footsteps in his commentary on talmudic legends, although he changes the meaning and the outlook. The greatest scholar of the period, Nahmanides, cites Ezra's writings on at least one occasion. As noted by I. Tishby, his influence can also be discerned in the works of other noteworthy personalities, especially *Baḥya b. Asher, who mentions him by name only twice but uses his writings many times; Joshua *Ibn Shu'ayb, who cites Ezra on many occasions in his Derashot al ha-Torah (the printed copy often confuses Ezra with Abraham *Ibn Ezra); and *Isaac b. Samuel of Acre, who cites Ezra in his book Me'irat Einayim (in Ms.). Traces of Ezra's commentary on the Song of Songs appear in the *Zohar.

bibliography:

G. Scholem, Reshit ha-Kabbalah (1948), 127–30; idem, in: Sefer Bialik (1934), 141–62; idem, Kitvei Yad be-Kabbalah (1930), 1–3; idem, Ursprung und Anfaenge der Kabbala (1962), 328–32; I. Tishby, Perush ha-Aggadot le-R. Azri'el (1945); idem, in: Zion, 9 (1944), 178–85; idem, in: Sinai, 16 (1945), 159–78; E. Gottlieb, Ha-Kabbalah be-Khitvei R. Baḥya ben Asher (1970), 38–73; idem, in: Tarbiz, 37 (1967/68), 294–317; idem, in; ks, 40 (1964/65), 1–9; G. Vajda, Le Commentaire d'Ezra de Gérone sur le Cantique des Cantiques (1969).

[Efraim Gottlieb]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ezra ben Solomon." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ezra ben Solomon." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ezra-ben-solomon

"Ezra ben Solomon." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ezra-ben-solomon

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.