Perles

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PERLES

PERLES , family of scholars and writers. joseph perles (1835–1894), born in Baja, Hungary, studied at the Breslau Jewish Theological Seminary and at the University of Breslau. He served as preacher of the Bruedergemeinde of Posen (Poznan) during 1862–71, and then as rabbi of the Jewish community of Munich, rejecting offers to succeed A. *Geiger in Berlin and to lecture at the newly founded *Landesrabbinerschule in Budapest. Perles, a faithful and outstanding pupil of the Breslau seminary, was among its first graduates, and his interests extended over a wide area of Jewish scholarship. Ancient versions of the Bible was one of his fields; his dissertation was on the Syriac version, Meletemata Peschitthoniana (1859), and he edited his father-in-law's (S.B. Schefftel) Be'urei Onkelos (1888). His work in medieval literature and Bible exegesis was extensive. Perles' main scholarly contribution was to Hebrew and Aramaic lexicography and philology, to which he devoted such studies as Zur rabbinischen Sprach-und Sagenkunde (1873), which sheds light on the aggadic sources of the Thousand and One Nights; Beitraege zur Geschichte der hebraeischen und aramaeischen Studien (1884); and Beitraege zur rabbinischen Sprach-und Alterthumskunde (1893). Perles' sons were max (1867–1894), a noted oculist, and felix (1874–1933), rabbi and scholar. Felix was drawn into the Zionist movement in Vienna and in 1899 he became rabbi at Koenigsberg. Like his father, Felix Perles had wide scholarly interests: Bible criticism, Hebrew and Aramaic lexicography, apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature, medieval Hebrew poetry, liturgy, Jewish dialects, and abbreviations. His best-known works are his critique of W. Bousset's Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (1903), and the collection of essays, Juedische Skizzen (1912, 19202). Joseph Perles' wife, rosalie (1839–1932), was a writer and journalist for a number of German-Jewish papers and periodicals. She wrote a preface to a volume of her husband's sermons – edited by their son Felix (1896) – and published some lectures. Her Aphorismen appeared posthumously in 1932.

bibliography:

joseph perles: W. Bacher, in: jqr, 7 (1894/95), 1–23 (where an almost complete bibliography is given in the footnotes). felix perles: Hedwig Perles, in: mgwj, 81 (1937), 369–92 (bibliography, reprinted).

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