In the poems of Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir, may he rest in peace, there are four difficulties. The first one: Most of the words he uses in his poems / piyutim are made up of riddles and allegories. ... Would anybody dare say "Blessed Are You, Lion", because it says (Jeremiah 25:30) God will roar like a lion?! Is this what God wants from us?! Why shouldn't we learn from Solomon the most clever of all, who prayed in the most simple Hebrew with no allegories and riddles? And the same goes for Daniel who prayed in a language everyone understood! We never find a prayer that Chaza"l constituted with words that are riddles and can't be understood literally.
The second matter is that HaKalir uses phraseology from talmud, which is known that a lot of talmud isn't written in Hebrew. Why do we need this trouble of praying in foreign languages?
The third problem of HaKalir is that his usage of Hebrew is messed up, turning feminine words into masculine and vice versa.
The fourth and last is that his poems are full of Midrashim and Aggadic stuff, and Chaza"l already told us: The verse never 'goes out' of its simple meaning.
There are those who ask me: How do you dare disagree on the Lion (i.e. HaKalir) after his death? My answer to them is: We are all made of flesh and blood, and therefore no one is infallible. We know that Daniel was a prophet, and was able to contend all of the magicians of Babylonia, and yet he erred with his calculation, as Chaza"l tell us in Megila (12a)
In my opinion, one should rather not pray only the regular prayers. And our words of prayer should be few, so that our prayer won't be sinful.
The Good Lord will forgive The Ibn Ezra on his great error in this matter.
This is analogous to a person who walks in the woods at night. It is pitch dark and he can't see anything. Suddenly, he notices a fire burning far away.If this person has strong feet, he will run towards the source of light so that he will be able to see. If he has strong eyes, he will strain his eyes, so he will be able to see even the source of light is far away.
Those who were in the generations after the destruction of the Temple, still had the light of the Temple to illuminate their way. We, in our generations can already see from afar the light of Mashiach. But the Iben Ezra, he was in a period of complete darkness. The light of the Temple was gone already, and the light of Mashiach has not arrived yet. Thus, he was left in complete total darkness, and that's the reason he said what he said about HaKalir.
(Rabbi Pinchas from Koritz 1726-1791)
Full text of the IE's objection to piyutim after the jump
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