Rabbi David Kamenetzy explains the importance of “Kushta Reish” and how it impacted the Jewish library.

Kushta Raish = Any book printed in kushta before 1540. Kushta Reish are books that were printed in constinople between the years 1500- 1540.
Kushta = constinople
Raish = The hebrew date and period when these books were printed.Following the closure of Hebrew printing presses in Italy and Spain in the late 15th century, Hebrew book printing relocated primarily to Constantinople, which is present-day Istanbul.

The first Hebrew press was founded by Spanish exiles who wandered to Turkey and established the first press in the Middle East. During this post-incunable period, the Constantinople press was the global center for the printing of sifrei kodesh.

Many Spanish exiles carried with them priceless Hebrew manuscripts of foundational works of Chazal as Midrashim, Rishonim as the Rif with the commentaries of the Ran and Nimukei Yosef and the works of the Ramban ,Teshuvos HaRashba, Kad Hakemach, Menoras Hamaor, and many others.

All these, among other landmark Torah works, were printed for the very first time in Constantinople, and their printing would ultimately ensure the survival of these sacred manuscripts throughout the ages.

As the sefarim in Kushta were originally printed in limited editions, very few copies have survived over the years, making this books extremely rare and most sought after by collectors and libraries.
This Catalog presents an utmost rare collection of kushta Raish books – please see appropriate lots.

Ben Hamelech V’hanazir. Constantinople, 1518 – View Lot 11

Derech Emunah. Constantinople, 1522 – View Lot 15

Magen Dovid. Constantinople, 1517 – View Lot 33

Mashra Kitrin. Constantinople, 1510 – View Lot 58

Dinei D’Gramei L’HaRamban. Constantinople, 1515 – View Lot 85