A family probably originating in Prague many members of which have been rabbis and scholars.

Aaron b. Moses Meïr Perles:

Rabbinical author; died at Prague June 4, 1739; son of Moses Meïr Perles. He edited that part of Isaac ben Abba Mari's "Sefer ha-'Iṭṭur" which deals with the porging of meat (see Porging), adding references from later literature, notes, and rules in Judæo-German. His edition was published at Offenbach in 1722 and at Prague in 1731. A manuscript without the Judæo-German part is in the Bodleian Library.

  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 76;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 725;
  • Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 204;
  • Neubauer. Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS. No. 792;
  • Hock-Kaufmann, Die Familien Prags, p. 281, Presburg, 1892.
D.Baruch Asher Perles:

Hungarian Talmudist; born in 1789; died Nov. 25, 1857. He was a descendant of the rabbinical family of Perles or Perls, which migrated from Bohemia to Hungary, and numbered among its ancestors on one side Rabbi Judah Löw ben Bezaleel and on the other R. Asher b. Jehiel. The favorite pupil of R. Götz Kohn Schwerin of Baja, Perles was won over to the simple interpretation of the Bible ("peshaṭ"), becoming antagonistic to the pilpul, which he had learned at the yeshibah of R. Moses Sofer at Presburg. He was assistant rabbi ("dayyan") at Baja, and officiated as rabbi from Kohn Schwerin's death until Nascher assumed the office. Uniting Talmudic scholarship with deep piety and a blameless life, Perles was one of the first Hungarian rabbis to comprehend the modern spirit. He read German books and periodicals, and sent his youngest son, Joseph, whom he was educating for the rabbinate, to the gymnasium at Baja. When the rabbinical seminary at Breslau was founded, he was the first to enroll his son, a fact of which Frankel was especially proud. Among the pupils of Perles was Samuel Kohn, now (1904) chief rabbi of Budapest.

  • Hock-Kaufmann, Die Familien Prags, pp. 279 et seq.;
  • Kaufmann, in Monatsschrift, xxxvii. 383-384, 388-389.
Felix Perles:

German rabbi; born at Munich March 18, 1874; son of Joseph Perles. He received his early training at the Wilhelm-Gymnasium in his native city, and at the same time began his Jewish studies under his father. He then studied successively at the University of Munich (Orientalia and classical philology); the university as well as the rabbinical seminary of Breslau; again, after his father's death, at Munich (receiving his degree of Ph.D. in 1895); at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Vienna, where he became an adherent of the national-Jewish movement; and at the seminary at Paris, receiving his rabbinical diploma in 1898. He was then called as vice-rabbi to Königsberg, where he still (1904) resides.

Perles' works, dealing with Biblical science, and more especially with textual criticism, rabbinical philology, and the science of religion, include the following: "Analekten zur Textkritik des Alten Testaments," Munich, 1895; "Zur Althebräischen Strophik," Vienna, 1896; "Notes Critiques sur le Texte de l'Ecelésiastique," Paris, 1897; "Was Lehrt Uns Harnack?" Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1902 (Eng. version in "J. Q. R." xiv. 517-543); "Zur Erklärung der Psalmen Salomos," Berlin, 1902; "Bousset's Religion des Judentums im Neutestamentlichen Zeitalter Kritisch Untersucht," ib. 1903. He also edited "Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Sprach- und Sagenkunde von Max Grünbaum" (ib. 1901), and has contributed a number of essays and reviews to the "Orientalistische Literaturzeitung," "Die Welt," "Ost und West," and other periodicals.

Joseph Perles:

German rabbi; born at Baja, Hungary, Nov. 26, 1835; died at Munich March 4, 1894. Having received his early instruction in the Talmud from his father, Baruch Asher Perles, he was educated successively at the gymnasium of his native city, the rabbinical seminary at Breslau, and the university of that city (Oriental philology and philosophy; Ph.D. 1859, presenting as his dissertation "Meletemata Peschitthoniana").

Perles was awarded his rabbinical diploma in 1862. He had already received a call, in the autumn of the previous year, as preacher to the community of Posen; and in that city he founded a religious school. In 1863 he married Rosalie, the eldest daughter of Simon Baruch Schefftel. In the same year he declined a call to Budapest; but in 1871 he accepted the rabbinate of Munich, being the first rabbi of modern training to fill that office. As the registration law which had restricted the expansion of the communities had not been abrogated until 1861, Perles found an undeveloped community; but under his management it soon began to flourish, andin 1887 he dedicated the new synagogue. He declined not only a call to succeed Geiger as rabbi in Berlin, but also a chair at the newly founded seminary in Budapest.

Of Perles' works the following (given in order of publication) deserve special notice:

  • Ueber den Geist des Commentars des R. Moses b. Nachman zum Pentateuch und über Sein Verhältniss zum Pentateuch-Commentar Raschi's, in "Monatsschrift," 1858 (with supplementary notes, ib. 1860).
  • Die Jüdische Hochzeit in Nachbiblischer Zeit, Leipsic, 1860.
  • Die Leichenfeierlichkeiten im Nachbiblischen Judentum, Breslau, 1861 (both of the foregoing in English in "Hebrew Characteristics," New York, 1875).
  • R. Salomo b. Abraham b. Adereth: Sein Leben und Seine Schriften, Breslau, 1863.
  • Gesch. der Juden in Posen, Breslau, 1865.
  • David Cohen de Lara's Rabbinisches Lexicon Keter Kehunnah, Breslau, 1868.
  • Etymologische Studien zur Kunde der Rabbinischen Sprach- und Alterthumskunde, Breslau, 1871.
  • Zur Rabbinischen Sprach- und Sagenkunde, Breslau, 1873 (contains material on the Hebrew sources of the "Arabian Nights," in addition to many new definitions of words).
  • Thron und Circus des Königs Salomo, Breslau, 1873.
  • Die in einer Münchener Handschrift Aufgefundene Erste Lateinische Uebersetzung des Maimonidischen Führers, Breslau, 1875.
  • Das Buch Arugat Habosem des Abraham b. Asriel, Krotoschin, 1877.
  • Eine Neuerschlossene Quelie über Uriel Acosta, Krotoschin, 1877.
  • Kalonymos b. Kalonymos' Sendschreiben an Joseph Kaspi, Munich, 1879.
  • Beiträge zur Geschichte der Hebräischen und Aramäischen Studien, 1884.
  • Die Berner Handschrift des Kleinen Aruch, in "Grätz Jubelschrift," Breslau, 1887.
  • Beiträge zur Rabbinischen Sprach- und Altertumskunde, Breslau, 1893.

Further, he contributed to the "Revue des Etudes Juives" and other periodicals, and edited the "Bi'ure Onḳelos" of S. B. Schefftel (1888). A selection of his sermons was edited by his wife in 1896.

Perles left two sons, Max and Felix. His congregation has honored his memory by establishing the Perles Stiftung, a philanthropic and educational institution.

  • D. Kaufmann, in Münchener Allgemeine Zeitung, March 17, 1894, Supplement;
  • B. Rippner, in Israelitische Wochenschrift, March 30, 1894;
  • L. Blau, in Magyar Zsidό Szemle, xi. 146-151;
  • W. Bacher, in J. Q. R. vii. 1-23;
  • Israel Lévi, in R. E. J. xxix. 156-157.
Max Perles:

German oculist; born at Posen April 8, 1867; died at Munich Oct. 20, 1894; son of Joseph Perles. He studied medicine at the University of Munich (M.D. 1889), and in 1890 went to Berlin, where he studied bacteriology for six months with Robert Koch, and was then appointed assistant at the largest eye infirmary in that city. In 1894 he was recalled to Munich by his father's fatal illness, and established himself there as an oculist, at the same time continuing his bacteriological studies and perfecting the electrical ophthalmoscope which he had invented. He was about to receive permission to lecture at the University of Munich when he died of blood-poisoning contracted during his experiments.

Perles published the following essays: "Ueber Solanin und Solanidin" (prize dissertation, Munich, 1889); "Embolia Partialis Retinæ" (in "Centralblatt für Augenheilkunde," 1891); "Ueber Pigmentstaar bei Diabetes Mellitus" (ib. 1892); "Ueber Allgemeininfection vom Auge aus" (ib.); "Ueber Heilung von Stauungspapillen" (ib. 1893); "Beobachtungen über Perniciöse Anämie" (in "Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift," 1893); "Ueber die Durch den Friedländer'schen Pneumobacillus Hervorgerufene Augenentzündung" (in "Vorträge der Wiener Naturforscherversammlung," 1894); "Ueber einen Einfachen Elektrischen Augenspiegel" (ib.); "Experimentelles zur Lehre von den Infectionskrankheiten des Auges" (in Virchow's "Archiv," cxl., part 2, p. 209).

  • I. Munk, biographical sketch in Virchow's Archiv, l.c.
S.Moses Meïr Perles:

Rabbinical author; born at Prague 1666; died there March 30, 1739. In the beginning of the eighteenth century he lived at Vienna in the house of Samson Wertheimer, for whom he acted as private secretary and almoner and by whom he was supported even after he had returned to Prague. He wrote "Megillat Sefer" (Prague, 1710), a commentary on the Book of Esther based especially on Rashi's commentary on the same book. In the introduction to this commentary he mentions the following works written by him: "Pene Ḥammah," homilies on the Talmudic haggadot; "Or 'Olam," sermons for the holy days; and "Ḳiryat Arba'," sermons for the four special Sabbaths (see Parashiyyot, The Four). The inscription on his tombstone mentions another book of his, entitled "Me'ir Netibot," which may be identical with "Or 'Olam," the latter title not being mentioned there.

Perles was related to many prominent rabbinical families, about which he gives very valuable (though not always correct) information in the preface to his "Megillat Sefer." Similar information is found also on the fly-leaf of the manuscript of "Naḥalat Abot," a commentary on Pirḳe Abot, now in the Bodleian Library. This work was written either by Perles' great-grandfather Eleazar or by the latter's father-in-law, Isaac ben Jekuthiel ha-Kohen, who was a rival of Löw ben Bezaleel.

  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 76;
  • Steinschneider. Cat. Bodl. col. 1981;
  • Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 294;
  • Hock-Kaufmann, Die Familien Prags. pp. 280-281, Presburg, 1892;
  • Neubauer, Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS. No. 358.
D.Rosalie Perles:

German writer and philanthropist; born at Breslau Dec. 2, 1839; daughter of S. B. Schefftel; married Joseph Perles June 2, 1863. While in Munich she engaged in philanthropic work, as leader of the women's societies there. Having lost both her husband and her elder son in 1894, she went in 1899 to live with her younger son at Königsberg, where she has taken up literary work. She is a regular contributor to "Jewish Comment" (articles on Germany), and has also written for The Jewish Encyclopedia, "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums," "Im Deutschen Reich," and "Ost und West." She is the author of "Ein Moderner Erlöser des Judentums" (Königsberg, 1901), and has edited a volume of her husband's sermons, with a preface.

Images of pages