Mind-blowing statement from the Iben Ezra

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  • #609482
    jewishness
    Participant

    I once read a fascinating statement from the Iben Ezrs. He states that most wealth is amassed through stealing. I believe I have it right. It’s a mind blowing statement that most (but not all) of wealthy people became wealthy through acts of sin.

    Its so true. If you ever were able to dig deep into how some guy became wealthy, usually (again, not always) you can find some “shtick” thats not according to halacha. And remember, a goy who steals is assur too.

    Does anyone know where this statement is? I can not remember. It’s an atom bomb.

    #977606
    Brony
    Participant

    in before pba comes in and turns the tables on you with his rand shtick.

    btw I hope this is nowhere because it’s false. a dud, if you will.

    #977607
    Git Meshige
    Participant

    #1, I assume you are not wealthy

    #977608
    golfer
    Participant

    Sorry jewishn; unless you can tell us exactly where we can see that the Ibn Ezra said what you think he said, this thread is going nowhere.

    #977609
    WIY
    Member

    Brony

    “btw I hope this is nowhere because it’s false. a dud, if you will.”

    Why would you say that if you dont know if the Ibn Ezra said it or not? Or is your opinion more valid than the Heilige Rishon Rabeinu Avraham Ibn Ezra’s?

    #977610
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    in before pba comes in and turns the tables on you with his rand shtick.

    lol wut

    I’m not aware that Rand would have an opinion on this.

    #977611
    oomis
    Participant

    Tell that to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.

    #977612
    Brony
    Participant

    “Why would you say that if you dont know if the Ibn Ezra said it or not?”

    you answered your own question nicely.

    #977613
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Or is your opinion more valid than the Heilige Rishon Rabeinu Avraham Ibn Ezra’s?

    Let’s first establish that this is indeed the opinion of the Heilige Rishon Rabeinu Avraham Ibn Ezra. Then we’ll talk.

    #977614
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    What about the famous Rabbeinu Peretz that you are Mechuyav to stand on your head before saying Mode Ani? Who are you to even think otherwise, when I invoked a Rishon!? A Rishon!

    WIY, if something sounds stupid, a Rishon didn’t say it.

    #977615
    Yussel
    Participant

    I don’t know about that, but there IS a mind-blowing Ibn Ezra which hints at the idea that some of the pesukim in the Torah were NOT written by Moshe Rabbeinu, or even Yehoshua.

    #977616
    jewishness
    Participant

    For all those dissing the assertion, I searched and found!

    Check out Koheles chapter 8 verse 8. (Final piece on verse).

    Commenting on the last statement “vlo yimalet resha es bialav” – “and wickedness cannot save the wrongdoer.” the Iben Ezra discusses the word “resha”. First he explains it to mean – not the traditional meaning of “wickedness” – rather “an abundance of movement and victory” He brings two verses to support his assertion.

    Then he states “and some explain that it is (refers to) money, since most of it is amassed through wickedness”

    In other words, this interpretation uses the traditional meaning of “wickedness” but states that it refers to something definite – money. (I do not understand why the verse cannot simply mean that acts of wickedness – whatever forms they take – will not escape unpunished. I think that somehow the dikduk of “resha” lends itself to be referring to a specific scenario vs. a general meaning. I am not sure why, anyone?)

    Be it is it may, the Iben Ezra is bringing down an alternate interpretation. He obviously holds that it could fit into the meaning of the verse, even though he likes his interpretation better. He certainly believes in the sweeping statement, since if held it not to be true he would be the first to blow it off, as he does countless times.

    Brony: “btw I hope this is nowhere because it’s false. a dud, if you will.”

    You say for a fact it is false. So you hope it is nowhere since that would make the Iben Ezra wrong which you would not want. Maybe (just maybe) you are wrong? Egg on your face.

    Oomis: “Tell that to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.”

    I actually wrote that the Iben Ezra states “most”. We can safely assume that R’ Yehuda HaNasi is not in the “most” category.

    HaLeiVi: “if something sounds stupid, a Rishon didn’t say it.”

    #977617
    Son of Man
    Member

    Yussel:

    how dare you say that the Iben Ezra hints to kfirah! terrible thing to say.

    You write “hints”. Why do you not be dan lkaf zchus that you are picking up the wrong “hint”?

    And, if he does say so (chalila) why not let us know where so we can show you how you are making a huge mistake

    #977618
    jewishness
    Participant

    For all those dissing the assertion, I searched and found!

    Check out Koheles chapter 8 verse 8. (Final piece on verse).

    Commenting on the last statement “vlo yimalet resha es bialav” – “and wickedness cannot save the wrongdoer.” the Iben Ezra discusses the word “resha”. First he explains it to mean – not the traditional meaning of “wickedness” – rather “an abundance of movement and victory” He brings two verses to support his assertion.

    Then he states “and some explain that it is (refers to) money, since most of it is amassed through wickedness”

    In other words, this interpretation uses the traditional meaning of “wickedness” but states that it refers to something definite – money. (I do not understand why the verse cannot simply mean that acts of wickedness – whatever forms they take – will not escape unpunished. I think that somehow the dikduk of “resha” lends itself to be referring to a specific scenario vs. a general meaning. I am not sure why, anyone?)

    Be it is it may, the Iben Ezra is bringing down an alternate interpretation. He obviously holds that it could fit into the meaning of the verse, even though he likes his interpretation better. He certainly believes in the sweeping statement, since if held it not to be true he would be the first to blow it off, as he does countless times.

    #977619
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Jewishness, most wealth accumulated through stealing is not the same thing as most wealthy people becoming so through stealing.

    #977620
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Jewishness, most wealth accumulated through stealing is not the same thing as most wealthy people becoming so through stealing.

    #977621
    PBT
    Member

    JEWISHNESS: Perhaps you need to read the Iggeress HaRamban, which states that we should not think negatively about the rich, but should realize that Hashem entrusted them with such wealth for reasons known only to Hashem. I have no idea where the Ibn Ezra says what you say he says, but I have a hard time believing that such a statement would have come from any Talmid Chacham or from any Yireh Shomayim

    #977622
    BaalSechel
    Participant

    Jewishness,

    How do know it to be true? Perhaps Ibn Ezra was referring to a specific time and place.

    #977623
    Yussel
    Participant

    Son of Man:

    I don’t have a chumash with me now, but it’s at the beginning of Sefer Devarim. I think it’s where the Torah says “Me’ever HaYarden”, but I’m not certain. Ibn Ezra refers to the “Sod Ha Yud Bes”, the secret of the 12. The 12 is a reference to 12 Pesukim in the Torah which, according to Ibn Ezra, were not written by Moshe Rabbenu.

    #977624
    Yussel
    Participant

    Son of Man;

    It’s Devarim 1:2.

    #977625
    WIY
    Member

    HaLeiVi

    “WIY, if something sounds stupid, a Rishon didn’t say it.”

    It seems like he did say it and the Rishonim and gemara say many things that we dont quite grasp.

    Most often the case is that the Gemara, or Rishon or Acharon says something that sounds stupid to our farshtuppedteh American brains so we just decide its wrong or crazy or stupid. I will repeat what one of my Rabbeim told me Besheim Rav Wolbe zatzal, “in the time it took a Rishon to dip his quill into ink and put it to paper to write he thought more in learning than any of us will think in our entire lifetimes!”

    #977626
    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    Do “stealing” and “wickedness” have the same meaning?

    Wickedness could be referring to bitul torah. Amassing money beyond your requirements at the expense of learning could be characterized as “wickedness.”

    Wickedness could also refer to many things.

    The Ibn Ezra didn’t say what you said he did.

    The doubters can be characterized as “right.”

    #977627
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Son of Man – look to the sky

    Lift your spirit, set it free

    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride

    Joseph, a man in time you’ll be

    #977628
    JayMatt19
    Participant

    @OP

    There is what the Ibn Ezra says and there is you application of his words.

    The 2 are mutually exclusive.

    For starters:

    1. What does he mean when he says “most”? 51%?, 70%?, 99%?

    2. What is this nature of this “rishus” he is talking about? You seem to imply that it means theft or shtick. Maybe it means missing out on mitzvos because he is too busy accumulating wealth? maybe it means his bein adam l’chaveiro is lacking cause he is too focused on his money?

    3. Is he focusing on the wealthy yidden or goyim as well? (yes, I know goyim cant steal, but this would help us with question 1, namely the percentages)

    #977629
    Sam2
    Participant

    Son of Man: The Ibn Ezra is famous for saying this. He clearly didn’t hold it was K’firah.

    #977630
    rebdoniel
    Member

    Ibn Ezra said a lot of things that the typical, yeshivish guy would find objectionable. Aside from his belief in Post-Mosaic authorship of the last 8 verses in Devarim (R’ Yehuda ben Ilai was also of this view; see Bava Basra 15a and Menachos 30a), he was also opposed to piyutim and yotzerot (as am I, and many Sephardim). The kabbalistic Yam Shel Shlomo, who was opposed to codification and concrete reality, condemns Ibn Ezra in his haqdama to Bava Kamma, as did R’ Ezra of Gerona. Ibn Ezra was a rational, logical tour de force, and I consider him one of our greatest minds, along with Rambam, Rasag, and others of like mind.

    #977631
    Brony
    Participant

    reb d, please EXPLAIN your hero’s (purported) enigmatic and puzzling statement.

    #977633
    Son of Man
    Member

    so the Iben Ezra holds that the last few psukim were not written by Moshe. If in fact he means that, there are opinions that yehoshua wrote it after Moshe died. We know that already from Tanaim

    #977634
    jewishness
    Participant

    Instead of twisting his words like a pretzel just deal with what he says.

    To try and answer some points raised:

    He says that the majority of wealth is amassed through wickedness. Wickedness with regard to money means cheating, stealing, shtick etc. He means how it is obtained.He doesn’t mean bitul torah or who knows what, I think most people would agree.

    Most means most. No one knows the exact percentage, but it means that most wealthy people do not gain their wealth honestly. Certainly more than 51% since that is practically half and he is not giving a lumdish shiur, he is just speaking straight (which is his style by the way). Most means the majority, not in a technical sense. I think most (pun!) would agree to this assertion.

    He was not referring to a time and place, he made a general statement.

    I am sure the Iggeres Haramban says to not think negatively of the rich, but I am quoting the Iben Ezra not the Ramban and besides thinking bad of someone and knowing something negative about someone are two different things.

    Like it or not, do not make out of his words what he did not say. You do not understand how it is possible, or it goes against your grain, ok. Maybe think into it for a while before you decide it makes no sense.

    Personally I do not think it is a big chidush. Yes there are honest wealthy people – but they are a minority.

    Think about it, for every honest man with money who studies Choshen Mishpat, there are even more who are wealthy since they desire money, possessions, honor or whatever it is and do not ever study relevant halachos. If so, it is hard to imagine they will withhold from doing their business even if they need to cut corners here and there, flub a little on tax returns, a white lie here and there, withhold money owed, be over on onaah, ribis, and a thousand other details in Choshen Mishpat they never even heard of…many businesses engage in minor illegalities as a way of course. All this fits well with the Iben Ezra’s sweeping beauty of a statement.

    #977635
    Yussel
    Participant

    Son of Man:

    It’s NOT just the last 8 pesukim. It’s other pesukim in other sefarim of Chumash that Ibn Ezra casts doubt on regarding who wrote them. THAT is the mind-blowing part.

    #977636
    Sam2
    Participant

    Fine, I’ll be nicer this time.

    RD: I strongly protest your insinuation that you (or anyone) has a right to decide who “our greatest thinkers” are. And certainly, since your view is based solely on the fact that you often agree with him, it is nothing short of arrogance and idiocy to say such a thing.

    #977637
    Son of Man
    Member

    Yussel: Sam2:

    Instead of accusing the Iben Ezra of saying such a thing without bringing down sources, why not quote chapter and verse so I could look it up and see if it is so? You can not make such a statement without backing it up!!

    Did you have a chance to find a chumish yet?

    Yusel says:

    “Sod Ha Yud Bes”, the secret of the 12. The 12 is a reference to 12 Pesukim in the Torah which, according to Ibn Ezra, were not written by Moshe Rabbenu.

    Not sure if I should laugh or cry. YOU decide what his enigmatic hint is referring to? How do you know that this is a reference to that? Maybe it is a secret about a totally different issue?

    Besides it’s not there.

    #977638
    rebdoniel
    Member

    Are you disputing that the Ibn Ezra was a great rishon? He definitely was one of our greatest thinkers, and his greatness is evident in his voluminous writings. I think many people I disagree with are great. R’ Yoel Teitlebaum, zt”l, had many views I don’t agree with, but I’d still say he was one of the great posqim and Jewish leaders of the 20th century. Likewise, the Yam Shel Shlomo was one of our great minds, even though I reject much of his approach.

    #977639
    littlefishy
    Member

    Maybe it’s in the “Iben Ezra says” 😀

    #977640
    musser zoger
    Participant

    Ibn Ezra said a lot of things that the typical, yeshivish guy would find objectionable.

    RD, name 3 or 4 things “that the typical, yeshivish guy would find objectionable” that the Ibn ezra said. Besides what was already mentioned here. With citations. I look forward to your learned answer.

    #977641
    Yussel
    Participant

    Son of Man:

    The reference IS there, on Devarim 1:2.

    Perhaps, if you allow yourself to examine this issue without your prejudices, you might come to a greater level of understanding. Don’t allow yourself to be boxed in by what somebody told you to believe.

    #977642
    Son of Man
    Member

    Yussel:

    YOU decide that the Iben Ezra holds of an idea that Moshe did not write certain verses when all you can muster is some veiled hint written in code. To use your own words, “Perhaps, if you allow yourself to examine this issue without your prejudices, you might come to a greater level of understanding”

    Without prejudices please explain how you can know what he is hinting at. Since it is a hint, it is by definition not clear. Maybe he hints at some other idea? Until proven, the given is that he does NOT hold of such an outlandish belief. A hint is no proof. Is that not the unprejudiced honest way to approach this? Yes it is.

    If he did hold of it, he would be the first to say it out right. He was not one to hide. Things written in code usually refer to kabalistic things which the Iben Ezra was very knowledgeable in.

    I do not believe you are being honest to yourself. You want to believe in this for some reason and all you can bring as a proof is something written in sod/code. Very unimpressed. I still maintain, chas vishalom that he would hold of such a thing. Bring me a real proof!!!!

    #977643
    Rosh Cham
    Participant

    WIY

    You wrote:

    “I will repeat what one of my Rabbeim told me Besheim Rav Wolbe zatzal, “in the time it took a Rishon to dip his quill into ink and put it to paper to write he thought more in learning than any of us will think in our entire lifetimes!”

    How did he know? Was there a measurement done? Again this is not to be disrespectful, but borne out of frustration, i grew up hearing these things and it always made me like like no matter what i do i will never be able to attain the heights of those who came before us. It causes one to think why even bother, so for that sake i must ask , how did he know? is there a unit of measurement? do any of the people who live today been alive for the past 3000 years and can confirm that this comment is true? And again, what unit of measurement was used to determine how much Torah passed in his mind while he took the quill and dipped it into his ink? Also, who did he test it against in our generation or future generations?

    #977644
    Sam2
    Participant

    mz: The Ibn Ezra has numerous places where he straight-up said Chazal were wrong in interpreting P’sukim, for starters.

    #977645
    Yussel
    Participant

    Son of Man:

    Read Ibn Ezra. He quotes a bunch of pesukim, all of which appear to be written from a perspective LONG AFTER the events they describe. That includes the speech of Moshe Rabbenu.

    #977646
    Son of Man
    Member

    Yussel:

    Ok. So you THINK based on the verses he quotes that he means what you think he means. How can you state as fact that he hints to this idea? Which of those psukim are problematic asserting that Moshe said them? Even if the events did not occur yet (please explain which ones those are) have you ever heard of nevuah?

    The last place you can prove anything is from Sod. Sod by definition is vague so there is a lot of purposeful grey area. It could very well be kabalistic. There are plenty of aggadita gemoras and midroshim (without even a preface that they are hinting at something) that if you would understand literally and not think into the deeper meaning you would be way off, kal vchomer where he states that it is sod.

    Once your at it, the torah states visachas raglav! Under Hashem’s feet. Does that mean Hashem has feet? You would say YES. Obviously that would make you into a heretic. It is meant in a borrowed sense to describe an abstract idea. Do not jump to conclusions in deep areas. If it leads you to the wrong conclusions the consequences are very very dangerous. (Like loosing your share in the Afterlife)

    #977647
    Sam2
    Participant

    Son of man: You do know that there are Rishonim who read that Passuk and said exactly that. Several Rishonim, not hailing from the Spanish/Sephardic tradition, felt that G-d has some sort of semblance of a physical corporeality because that’s how they read the Pesukim.

    #977648
    son
    Member

    Sam2: Mind pointing me in the direction of the rishonim who say that/where they say that?

    #977649
    E-O-M
    Participant

    Rosh Cham- there is a big inyan that we get more credit for keeping Torah and mitzvot in this generation than our ancestors who lived in places and times that were more morally conducive… We are tested with much more…

    #977650
    Son of Man
    Member

    Sam2 there is a disagreement between the Rambam and Ravaad if believing in corporeality makes one into a heretic. The Rambam says yes. The Ravaad says no, however even according to him that does not mean that such a person is not going to Gehenom for such a belief. Read the various commentators. The Ravaad says that there were great people who made such MISTAKES based on verses and midrashim that cause mistaken ideas when taken literally. (In other words, they are not understood correctly.)

    You make is sound like there is some valid opinions about this out there. GOD FORBID. First off, the greatest philosophers, jewish and gentile, agreed that the first cause is in NO way physical. And besides, the Rambam codified the 13 cardinal beliefs (codified, not made them up) and the majority of the greatest men in all later generations accepted it as did the masses of Jews the world over. One of the beliefs is that Hashem is not corporeal. So I would advise you to be careful what you write.

    #977651
    charliehall
    Participant

    “Rambam codified the 13 cardinal beliefs (codified, not made them up)”

    Not exactly true. The 13 ikkarim are in his Mishnah commentary, not his halachic codification (the Mishnah Torah). And not all the 13 ikkarim were accepted; even today we say prayers to angels in direct opposition to the 5th ikkar.

    #977652
    Sam2
    Participant

    Son of man: Chas V’shalom. The Ra’avad held that corporeality made one an Apikores. His argument was no on corporeality per se. He argued on the Rambam’s comment that one who is mistakenly an Apikores still has no Chelek in Olam Haba.

    That aside, there will still Rishonim who held of corporeality. We don’t hold like them. Holding like them would be Apikorsus. But there were Rishonim who held of it (to some extent).

    #977653
    Son of Man
    Member

    Rambam codified them in Mishnah. He codifies in other places aside from Mishnah Torah. Codify means to “Arrange (laws or rules) into a systematic code”.

    Where do we say prayers to angels? Examples would help.

    We sing Shalom Aleichem. However, all we are doing is blessing the angels, asking for blessings from the angels and giving them farewell. Is getting a blessing from a great person in violation of the 5th ikkar? No. Especially since the blessing is really a prayer to G-d for that person, openly stated or implied. Why is it different with angels? We are asking them to bless us, no prayers to them.

    Machnesai rachamim. (Some do not say it) Those who do, once again, are not praying to angels. The Rambam does not say you can not SPEAK to them or REQUEST something. He says not to to PRAY. We ask them to bring our prayers in front of God since Hashem created a process in how prayers ascend to him (yaleh, vyavo, vyageya…). If anything it perhaps AFFIRMS the Rambam’s position.

    Do you have any other cases?

    #977654
    charliehall
    Participant

    “you THINK based on the verses he quotes that he means what you think he means”

    It is very clear that Ibn Ezra to Devarim 1:2 means that there were some post-Mosaic changes to the text of the Chumash. It is also clear that Chazal thought the same thing (see Kiddushin 30a). Rashi and the authors of Midrash Rabbah clearly had a sefer Torah with variant spellings, see for example Rashi to Bereshit 25:6 and Bereshit Rabbah 61:4.

    I’m not sure why Artscroll claims that it is a unanimous opinion that there have been no changes to the Torah since the time of Moshe Rabbeinu; that clearly is not true.

    #977655
    Sam2
    Participant

    Son of Man: The Rambam does say that requesting something of angels is Apikorsus as it is attributing a solely Divine purpose to any being other than Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

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