Authors, targets and versions of ibn ezra’s iggeret ha-shabbat; a polemic against calendrical heresies

Translated title of the contribution: Authors, targets and versions of ibn ezra’s iggeret ha-shabbat; a polemic against calendrical heresies

Leor Jacobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Iggeret ha-Shabbat is a short, three chapter polemical work devoted to refuting calendrical heresies. A prologue describes the fantastic circumstance of its composition: the Sabbath Day appeared to Ibn Ezra in a dream and delivered a poetic lament castigating him for contributing to heretical desecration of the Sabbath. Voluminous scholarship has been devoted to the question of whether the heretical work refuted is the Commentary of R. Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam). This literature is reviewed in toto, with a focus on Samuel Poznański’s seminal 1897 study identifying the heresy with the obscure Mishawite sect. The importance of the earliest known manuscript is first noted; copied in Lleida in 1382, it served as a basis for a little-known 1840 edition. The authenticity of the fantastic prologue – previously published separately, appended to various Rabbinic volumes – had already been questioned in the 18th century. Manuscripts that Samuel D. Luzzatto (Shadal) wrote and corrected by hand in preparing his first edition are reviewed. A previously unpublished note of his addresses a responsum by R. Hai Gaon, paraphrased by Ibn Ezra or his students in two different works, regarding tequfot superstitions, magical forces associated with the solstices and equinoxes.

Translated title of the contributionAuthors, targets and versions of ibn ezra’s iggeret ha-shabbat; a polemic against calendrical heresies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-161
Number of pages39
JournalSefarad
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 CSIC.

Keywords

  • Abraham Ibn Ezra
  • Jewish Calendar
  • Karaites
  • Mishawites
  • Samuel David Luzzatto

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