Bohemian rabbi and author; died after Sept. 9, 1701. He was a native of Prague and a scion of the Eibenschütz or Eybeschütz family; but in accordance witha custom common in those days he adopted the family name of his wife, Bella, daughter of Jacob Perlhefter, also of Prague. Perlhefter and his wife, who were both highly cultured, lived in Vienna until the expulsion of the Jews from that city in 1670. He then went to Altorf, where he was befriended by Wageniseil, the well-known anti-Jewish author, to whom he taught Hebrew. Bella Perlhefter later joined her husband in Altorf, whither she was called to instruct Wagenseil's daughter in dancing and music.

Perlhefter was called from Altorf to become rabbi of Mantua, Italy, where his father had occupied a similar position. He remained there for six years, but was forced to leave the city on account of a quarrel concerning the pseudo-Messiah Mordecai of Eisenstadt, one of the scattered followers of Shabbethai Ẓebi. It seems that Perlhefter at first believed in Mordecai and helped to bring him to Mantua; but later, when he discovered and attempted to expose the deceptions practised by the impostor, the latter had already gained so many friends and adherents that Perlhefter was compelled to abandon his position in Mantua. After living for some time in Ottensoos, the Perlhefters returned to Prague, where Issachar Bär ultimately succeeded to the position of dayyan and scribe, which his grandfather Moses had held in the same community.

Perlhefter was the author of: "Ohel Yissakar," on the laws of "sheḥiṭah," with a Judæo-German translation (Wilhemsdorf, 1670); "Ma'aseh Ḥoshen u. Ḳeṭret" (Prague, 1686; 2d ed. Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1703), on Jewish archeology, extracted from "Portaleone's "Shilṭe ha-Gibborim"; "Ba'er Heṭeb" (Prague, 1699), on Targum Sheni to the Book of Esther. An ethical work by him in Judæo-German, "Be'er Sheba'," dedicated to his wife, is preserved in manuscript.

  • Hock-Kaufmann, Die Familien Prags, p. 279, Presburg, 1892;
  • idem, Die Letzte Vertreibung der Juden aus Wien, pp. 189, 201 et seq.;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. No. 5285.
S. P. Wi.
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