Sunday, August 29, 2010
The following paper examines a previously-unpublished Geniza document: a record of a Rabbanite court in Fustat (Old Cairo), Egypt, dated August 2, 1078, in which two Qaraite sisters attempt to claim the inheritance left to them by their deceased cousin. In presenting this document, the study attempts to accomplish three general aims. First, the study brings to light the original Geniza document by offering a transcription and annotated translation of its contents. Second, it attempts to place the document in its, historical, social and legal contexts. Finally, in comparing the details of the proceedings of this case with the discussions on inheritance law found in legal manuals in the Rabbanite, Qaraite and Islamic traditions, it is hoped that the study might elucidate the dynamics between the written law with its arbitration, the way in which the neighboring communities interacted, as well as how and whether their interpretation was influenced by such exchange.