During the fourteenth century, the Jewish community in Perpignan and the Jewish court in the city led by Rabbi Solomon Shalom sent a number of legal queries to Rabbi Nissim ben Reuben Gerondi (d. 1376) in Barcelona. The questions concern disputes between the city's Jewish confraternities, the binding authority of contracts and agreements made between Jews, and men who vanished from Perpignan leaving their wives behind. The present article is devoted to a close reading of Rabbi Nissim's responsa, with the intention of uncovering some of the social dynamics among the Jewish social elite of fourteenth-century Perpignan and the various ways in which the Jewish legal system served that elite in pursuing and resolving its conflicts.
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