Shu”t Mahar”i Ben Lev.
Kuru Chesme, 1598
Shailos and teshuvos by Rabbi Yosef ben Lev. The present sefer is the fourth volume of his teshuvos and includes as well his chiddushim on the tractates Kiddushin and Avodah Zara.
Volumes 1-3 of Shu”t Maharival were printed in Salonika and Constantinople between the years 1557-1573. The present fourth volume was printed separately in 1598 and is an extremely rare edition and unknown to some of the greatest bibliographers (not mentioned by Di Rossi, Steinschneider, Zander, Wolf and was not even registered in Ben Ya’akov’s book nor does it appear in the lists by Rabbi David Oppenheim and Chaim Michal) . Its rarity was already evident 400 years ago as it required a second printing in Venice, 1606.
The following inscription appears in the center of the title page:
“These were printed now at the behest of the righteous noblewoman who is crowned in all glory Donna Reyna, wife of the duke and great minister of Israel, Don Yosef Hanassi, here in Kuru Chesme near Constantinople.”
Donna Reyna Nassi was the daughter of the famed Jewish philanthropist Mrs Donna Gracia Nassi, a family of Spanish anusim (marranos) who returned to their Jewish roots, and the wife of Don Yosef Nassi. Following the passing of her husband, Donna Reyna founded a Hebrew printing press in her palace in Belvedere, a suburb of Constantinople. Over the course of four years, between 1593 and 1597, seven sefarim were printed in Donna Reyna’s private press. In 1597, Donna Reyna moved to Kuru Chesme which is also a suburb of Constantinople and founded a printing press there as well. Between 1597-1598 eight books were printed in the Hebrew press in Kuru Chesme.
Known as the Maharival, Rabbi Yosef ben Lev (circa 1500-1580) numbered among the last of the great Spanish Rabbanim and poskim before the expulsion. His present work of shailos and teshuvos was one of the most noteworthy teshuvos sefarim printed in the era of the Beis Yosef.
The Chida writes that ”During the generation of the Beis Yosef, there were three Rabbanim named Yosef who were worthy of compiling the Shulchan Aruch: Rabbi Yosef Karo, Rabbi Yosef ben Lev, and Rabbi Yosef Tiatchik” (Shem Hagedolim).
Kuru Chesme, 1598. First edition. Page Count: 4,  leaves.
Bibliography: Stefansky, Sifrei Yesod #293; Yaari, Constantinople #237 Deinard p. 35
Any inquiries about this lot ?
We are available also on WhatsApp >>>