Abraham ibn Ezra
1089 – 1167
Who was Abraham ibn Ezra?
Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra was born at Tudela, Navarre in 1089, and died c. 1167, apparently in Calahorra. He was one of the most distinguished Jewish men of letters and writers of the Middle Ages. Ibn Ezra excelled in philosophy, astronomy/astrology, mathematics, poetry, linguistics, and exegesis; he was called The Wise, The Great and The Admirable Doctor.
He was born at Tudela, when the town was under the Muslim rule of the emirs of Zaragoza. Later he lived in Córdoba. In Granada, it is said, he met his future friend Yehuda Halevi. He left Spain before 1140 to escape persecution of the Jews by the new fanatical regime of the Almohads. He led a life of restless wandering, which took him to North Africa, Egypt, the Land of Israel, Italy, Southern France, Northern France, England, and back again to Narbonne in 1161, until his death on January 23 or 28, 1167, the exact location unknown: maybe at Calahorra at the border of Navarre and Aragon, or maybe in Rome or in the Holy Land. There is a legend that he died in England from a fever and a sickness which came upon him after an encounter with a pack of wild black dogs. This legend is attached to the belief that he denied the existence of demons.
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