Perles, Moses Meir ben Eleazar

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PERLES, MOSES MEIR BEN ELEAZAR (1666–1739), rabbi and author. Perles was born in Prague. About 1708 he was in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, and in his work Megillat Sefer, he tells of the troubles which befell him in the winter of 1708, while he was in an isolated village outside Vienna: on the Sabbath of Zakhor and Purim he had neither Sefer Torah nor Scroll of Esther, and he vowed to compile a commentary on the latter if he were delivered. He reached Vienna, where he lived in the house of Samson *Wertheimer, acting as his secretary. Wertheimer supported him after he returned to Prague. Perles kept his vow and compiled his commentary entitled Megillat Sefer (Prague, 1710), which is based mainly on Rashi's commentary to Esther. In his introduction he also mentions his other works, which have remained in manuscript: Penei Ḥammah on the aggadot of the Talmud; Or Olam, sermons for the festivals; Kiryat Arba, sermons on the biblical portions read on the four special *Sabbaths before Passover; and Me'ir Netivot (which according to one view is identical with Or Olam). He died in Prague.

His sons included Aaron, who published the Seder ha-Nikkur of the Sefer ha-Ittur with the commentary Tohorat Aharon (Offenbach, 1725) containing extracts from the works of the posekim and the laws of porging in German, and Moses, who compiled Mishmeret ha-Bayit (Prague, 1739), containing in 10 mishmarot ("vigils"), sermons and ethical admonitions.


Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 725, 1981; Neubauer, Cat, 792; S. Hock and D. Kaufmann, Die Familien Prags (1892), 280–1.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]