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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Beer, Peter (Perez)

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Austrian educationalist born Feb. 19,1758, at Neubydž ow, Bohemia died Nov. 8,1838, at Prague. After having received his early training in Bible and Talmud, and— what was unusual in those days— in German and Latin, he entered, at the age of fourteen, the yeshibah at Prague, and four years later that of Presburg. When twenty-one he began his career as a teacher in a Hungarian village but the desire for study soon brought him to Vienna, where for a time he attended the university.

Peter Beer.
As a teacher in his native town, and from 1811 at the Jewish school at Prague, Beer displayed great activity in reforming the methods of instruction. By a well-arranged system of teaching Hebrew, Bible, and religion, he, like his contemporary Herz Homberg, fostered the spirit of progress which during the reign of Emperor Joseph II., and through the impulse given by Moses Mendelssohn, had been kindled among the Jews of Austria. As an advocate of radical reform in religious matters Beer was considerably in advance of his time.

Beer was the author of several pedagogical works which were used in Jewish schools for many years. The principal ones were: (1) "Toledot Yisrael" (The Generations of Israel), a Biblical history in Hebrew and German, Prague, 1796 Vienna, 1810,1815 and revised editions, Vienna, 1843,1854 Prague, 1875 the Hebrew text with translation into Russian by B. Segall, Warsaw, 1870 4th ed., Odessa, 1881 5th ed., with additions by S. J. Abramowitsch, Odessa, 1883 by Abraham Solonowitsch, 3d ed., Warsaw, 1881 with translation into Polish by Simon Dankowicz, Warsaw, 1862. (2) The "Toledot Yisrael" (vol. ii.), post-Biblical history, appeared at Vienna in 1808, reprinted in "Musar Hasekel" ("Ḳ iryat Sefer," ii.) by Baruch Schö nfeld, Prague, 1831. (3) "Dat Yisrael" (Statute of Israel), religious text-book, Prague, 1809-10. (4) "Emet we-Emunah" (Truth and Faithfulness), elementary religious manual, Prague, 1810. (5) "Handbuch der Mosaischen Religion fü r Studierende," Prague, 1818.

Besides these school-books he wrote: (6) "Gebetbuch fü r Gebildete Frauenzimmer Mosaischer Religion," Prague, 1815 3d ed., Vienna, 1845 (7) "Gebete der Israeliten auf das Ganze Jahr. In Gemeinschaft mit Joseph Jakob Ballin Bearbeitet," Aurich, 1818 (8) "Geschichte, Lehren, und Meinungen Aller Bestandenen und noch Bestehenden Religiö sen Sekten der Juden und der Geheimlehre oder Kabbala," two parts, Brü nn, 1822-23 (9) "Handwö rterbuch der Deutschen Sprache," two vols., Vienna, 1827 (10) "Reminiscenzen, Bezü glich auf Reorganisation des Oeffentlichen Gottesdienstes bei den Israeliten," Prague, 1837 (11) "Ein Wort an Rabbinats- und Predigtamts-Candidaten," in "Zeitung des Judenthums," 1839, pp. 496 et seq. (12) "Leben und Wirken des Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, Gewö hnlich Rambam, auch Maimonides Genannt, Prodrom, und Einladung zur Subscription auf eine Deutsche Uebersetzung des More Nebochim. Nebst einem Probebogen," Prague, 1834. This translation was not published, probably in consequence of Joseph Derenbourg's criticism in Geiger's "Jü d. Zeit." (1835), 1:97-123,210-224,414-427. Another criticism by I. Bukofzer, "Maimonides im Kampf mit Seinem Neuesten Biographen Peter Beer," appeared at Berlin in 1844.

An autobiography of Beer was published at Prague in 1839, extracts of which are given in "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1839, p. 101. Some of his Hebrew poems appeared in the "Meassef" and "Bikkure ha-' Ittim," and several essays in the "Sulamith" and "Jedidja."

Bibliography : Jost, Gesch. der Israeliten , 9:102,143,151 Fü rst, Bibliotheca Judaica , 1:97 Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. Colossians 784 Zeitlin, Bibl. Hebr. Post-Mendels . pp. 16,348.S. S. Man.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Beer, Peter (Perez)'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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