Constantinople, Reuven and Nissim Ashkenazi, 1752
Rabbi Refael Moshe ben Yosef Buleh (?-1773) was one of the Chachmey Yerushalaim (the Wise Men of Jerusalem) and served as the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel (HaRishon LeZion). He was born in Thessaloniki and served as the Rabbi of Ancona, Italy, before travelling to the Holy Land and settling in Jerusalem. He would travel to Constantinople on fund-raising trips and in 1752 printed his first book there: Chayei Olam. In the preface to this work Buleh mentions that there had been an increase in people who made Alyah to Jerusalem at that time, and the matter was unsettling for the local Arab population.
The book was published by Reuven and Nissim, sons of the printer Yona ben Yaakov Ashkenazi, who ran his Hebrew printing house for 36 years following their father's death. More on the history of Ashkenazi's print house can be found in Yaari's Hebrew Printing at Constantinople (1967).
First edition; small folio (290 x 202 mm), , 109 ll. Modern half calf, over earlier boards, red morocco label to spine, English title stamped in gilt. Staining, browning, foxing and restoration to some leaves, a few small marginal tears. Old ink inscriptions to title and some of the pages.
Vinograd, (Const.) 565; Yaari 429, p.209.
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