The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

The Court of Justice as an Interreligious Meeting Place

The late-geonic monographs that address the duties of a judge constitute the jurisprudential apex of legal-halakhic monographs. In previous research, I established the basis for the discovery of remnants from a variety of works of this jurisprudential genre. These scattered passages are representatives of lost works that were written in an intellectual milieu that deeply engaged their Muslim environment. This paper supplies several examples of content-related parallels and structural equivalents between Genizah remnants of this newly discovered branch of Judaeo-Arabic literature and contemporaneous Muslim works. Examining textual proximities and the possible ideological juxtaposition and affinity of court proceedings, philosophical (majlis) and literary (adab al-qāḍī and adab al-muftī) contexts, I explore several characteristics that distinguished adab al-qāḍī, or the judges’ duties genre (ḥovot ha-dayyanim) as an instance of the cross-pollination of ideas. These include questions such as the ethical character of the judge, the perception of the adjudicational process, and the comprehensiveness of civil procedure.