Women, Blue Fringes and the Further Need to Revive Early Karaite Literature

Look at those blue fringes

Look at those blue fringes! But why aren’t the women wearing them?

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how Azriel Kowtek shared her passion for blue fringes and tying tzitzit with several of us who attended the KJA’s shavuot gathering. Last week, I wrote about the importance of reviving Karaite literature. And this past Shabbat, Rabbanite Jews read the Torah portion related to the commandment to wear blue fringes. [1.]

In the Rabbinic tradition, women are not required to wear blue fringes. Let’s see what the early Karaite literature says on the topic.

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June 15, 2015 · 6:00 am

The Fall of the Karaite Movement (w/ Manuscript Photos)

Some of the rare Karaite literature that has actually seen the light of day.

Some of the rare Karaite literature that has actually seen the light of day.

B’ezrat Hashem, this November I’ll be speaking at a synagogue in Maryland. The topic for this talk is Karaite Judaism: The Rise and Fall of a Movement. Although most of what I speak about is uplifting, Karaite Jews need to come face to face with why the movement fell – and to some extent failed.

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Filed under Jacob ben Reuben, Lithuania, Salmon ben Yeruham, Yefet ben 'Ali

Biblical Prophecy (Almost) Fulfilled on Shavuot

The Karaite Jews of America gave these goodies away to attendees at this year's Shavuot celebration.

The Karaite Jews of America gave these goodies away to attendees at this year’s Shavuot celebration.

For the past few months, the Karaite Jews of America has been busy planning its Shavuot extravaganza. This is the first time the KJA has done something like this; so no one knew quite what to expect.

With 87% of precincts reporting, we can say with certainty that the event was an unqualified success. It was so successful that something peculiar happened to suggest that the final redemption may be near.

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Filed under Karaite Jews of America, Shavuot

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz of ‘Jew in the City’ is Welcome in My Tent

There is a rabbinic tradition that Abraham and Sarah were so welcoming that they would leave their tent open on all four sides in order to welcome strangers. [1.] So it always amuses me when Rabbanite Jews discuss which Jewish thoughts are not welcome in their modern tent.

Just this week, Rabbi Jack Abramowitz wrote a very good and thought provoking piece on who is “in the tent.” And today, I invite him into my tent, even though he won’t welcome me into his.

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Filed under Karaite Press, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Ortho-Curious

The Decline of Central Authority

Three presidentsWhen I was in my early 20s, I was working for Alpha Epsilon Pi, whose aim is to develop leadership for the Jewish community. I was lamenting to a friend how my generation feels a bit distant from our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., and how I would completely change the State of the Union to be more in touch with the people.

I proposed letting Michael Buffer introduce the President, and having a half-time show of sorts before the response from the opposing political party. My friend told me it was a horrible idea because it would further erode any respect we have for our elected officials.

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Filed under Ortho-Curious, State of the Movement

The KJA’s Omer App is a Game Changer

The Karaite Jews of America wants to revolutionize the Karaite experience. This app is just one of its latest projects.

The Karaite Jews of America wants to revolutionize the Karaite experience. This app is just one of its latest projects.

The Karaite Jews of America has brought a two-thousand-year-old debate to the center of the digital world. Over the past few weeks, the KJA has published – for free - its KJA Omer App (for both iPhone and Android), helping Jews count the omer in accordance with the biblical timing and the Karaite tradition. Today, I explain why the KJA’s app is far more important than the omer.

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Filed under Mikdash Me'at, Shavuot, Technology

The Passover Episode (w/ New Video)

These two win Passover this year.

These two win Passover this year.

Sometimes it feels as though Karaites get more press around Passover than the rest of the year combined. For good reason, Karaite Passover customs are distinct from the Rabbinic majority. Today, I provide a new video on Karaite Matzah, discuss some historical notes, and provide links to some online resources.

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Filed under Passover