IBN EZRA, JOSEPH BEN ISAAC:
Oriental rabbi of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; descendant of the Ibn Ezra family of Spain. Brought up in Salonica, he studied under the direction of Samuel di Modena, and became head of the Talmudic school there; among his pupils were Aaron Ḥazzan, Meïr Melammed, and Shabbethai Jonah. Late in life Ibn Ezra was compelled to seek refuge in Constantinople, whence he was called to the rabbinate of Sofia, in which city he died. Ibn Ezra was a learned Talmudist, and his works were highly esteemed. He wrote: "Rosh Yosef," a commentary on the Ṭurim, of which the part treating of communal taxes and contributions was published at Salonica (1601), under the title "Massa' Melek"; "'Aẓamot Yosef," commentary on Ḳiddushin (ib. 1601; Berlin, 1699; Fürth, 1767). In the preface to the latter the author states that the object of the commentary is to give, in addition to the ordinary exposition of the text ("peshaṭ"), a clear, insight into the methodology of the Talmud. He states further that the responsa of Joseph ibn Leb (1576), which reached him after he had finished his commentary, compelled him to make some changes therein. Appended to the work are the halakic decisions of the treatise in question with explanations of some difficult passages in various other treatises. Ibn Ezra also wrote: a commentary on Baba Meẓi'a, mentioned in the "'Aẓamot Yosef "; rules for the interpretation of the Talmud; responsa, some of which are found in the "'Aẓamot Yosef," the responsa of Salomon ha-Kohen, Samuel di 'Modena's "Beno Shemuel," and the "Shai la-Mora" of Shabbethai Jonah.
- Introduction to the 'Aẓamot Yosef;
- Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, p. 43b;
- Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i. 77, ii. 108;
- Cassel, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 31, p. 74;
- Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1460.