||Title: Die in einer Münchener Handschrift aufgefundene erste lateinische Uebersetzung des Maimonidischen "Führers"
A Latin translation of some of Maimonides' Moreh Nevuchim (Guide for the Perplexed). This is a reprint from Frankel-Graetzíschen Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte der Wissenschaft des Judentums, Jg. 24. It includes bibliographical references.
The first Latin translation of the Moreh has been discovered by Dr. J. Perles among the Latin MSS. of the Munich Library, Catal. Cod. latinorum bibl. regiae Monacensis, tom. i, pars iii. pag. 208 (Kaish. 36 b), 1700 (7936 b). This version is almost identical with that edited by Augustinus Justinianus, Paris, 1520, and is based on Harizi's Hebrew version of the Moreh. The name of the translator is not mentioned. In the Commentary of Moses, son of Solomon, of Salerno, on the Moreh, a Latin translation is quoted, and the quotations agree with this version. It is called by this commentator ha 'atakat ha-nozrit ("the Christian translation"), and its author, ha-ma 'atik ha-nozer (lit. "the Christian translator"). Dr. Perles is, however, of opinion that these terms do not necessarily imply that a Christian has made this translation, as the word nozer may have been used here for "Latin." He thinks that it is the result of the combined efforts of Jewish and Christian scholars connected with the court of the German Emperor Frederic II., especially as in the thirteenth century several Jewish scholars distinguished themselves by translating Oriental works into Latin. The title has been variously rendered into Latin: Director neutrorum, directorium dubitantium, director neutrorum, nutantium or dubitantium; doctor perplexorum.
R. Dr. Joseph Perles (who is also known as Perets ben Barukh Asher Perles) was 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").
R. Dr. 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, and in 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 Onkelos" 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.