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Gaonic Correspondence

(2,906 words)

Author(s): Outhwaite, Ben
The geʾonim throughout much of their history were remote from the majority of the Jewish population over whom they wielded spiritual and moral leadership, and they were thus accustomed to communicating through letters. While much of their earlier correspondence has come down to us in the form of collections of gaonic responsa, a form of communication characterized by its legalistic character and technical language, thanks to the discovery of the Cairo Genizah, we possess hundreds of other letters, written by the famed geʾonim of Iraq and by the lesser-known incumbents of the …