Amazing Matzah, Truly Bitter Herbs and Other Passover Customs of Karaite Jews (New Video)

Library PresentationLast week, I gave a talk to the Jewish Community Library of San Francisco on the Passover customs of Karaite Jews.  The talk was recorded, and I’ve edited the portions that deal specifically with the Passover Seder and Hag HaMatzot.  Check it out after the jump.

The presentation includes a snippet of an interview with an Egyptian Karaite who has an incredibly unique Passover memory. And if you missed this week’s Washington Post article on Karaite Jewish Passover foods, here you go.

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Filed under Hametz, Passover, videos

Shavuot: I’m #upforthecount

Up for the Count's Trendy Logo.

Up for the Count’s Trendy Logo.

What is the world coming to!? The Karaite Jews of America has launched an initiative using . . . hashtags.

This morning, the KJA announced that it wants to help Karaites (of all varieties) count the omer in accordance with the biblical timing. The KJA’s program is called “Up For The Count” and the organization is asking everyone who participates to use the hashtag #upforthecount.

The program has a cool logo, is ambitious, and most importantly is a practical resource.

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Filed under Counting of the Omer, Karaite Jews of America, Shavuot

Not All Jews Can Observe Passover Free From Oppression

From Yediot Aharanot: Questions and Answers with Hakham Rashi Moshe Firrouz about the recent ban on Karaite slaughter.

From Yediot Aharanot: Questions and Answers with Hakham Rashi Moshe Firrouz about the recent ban on Karaite slaughter.

Those who follow the blog regularly know that I have tremendous respect for the Rabbinic tradition.  (See here and here.) Heck, I have even professed my “support” for the Rabbanut.

But, at some point, you just have to call a foul on the Israeli religious authorities and ask your fellow Jews a simple question: “What kind of Jewish world do you want to live in?”

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Filed under Eli Shmuel, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Karaites in Israel, Kashrut, Moshe Firrouz, Shechita, Uncategorized

TribeFest and The Wisdom of Techellet

The Karaite Jews of America's Booth at JFNA's TribeFest.

The Karaite Jews of America’s Booth at JFNA’s TribeFest.

Eli Shmuel and I are here in New Orleans at the Jewish Federation of North America’s TribeFest 2014 – which is awesome so far. Over Shabbat, Eli and I were discussing whether we (Karaites, Rabbanites, others) know the true color of techellet

And the conversation led me to one of the most profound realizations of my young life.

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Filed under Eli Shmuel, JFNA TribeFest, Moshe Firrouz, Techellet

The Religious Standing of Karaite Jewish Women (New Video)

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

I did not plan for this post to coincide with Women’s History Month; that’s just how the timing worked out. On February 24, 2014, I gave a talk to the Karaite Jews of America. The talk was called “She Speaks with Authority: The Religious Standing of Karaite Jewish Women from the Middle Ages through Today.”

The video appears after the jump with some notes on the talk.

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Filed under Maimonides, Women in Karaism

RIP: The Last Karaite Shochetet?

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

I haven’t been on this intense Karaite journey for too long; so I still get surprised by interesting facts on a regular basis. But during my recent talk on the religious standing of women in Karaite Judaism, I was surprised by what surprised me.

I didn’t even see it coming.
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Filed under Karaite Jews of America, Shechita, Women in Karaism

The Karaite Jewish Renaissance in Israel (New Video)

Eli Shmuel crushes it in his talk about the future of Karaites in Israel.

Eli Shmuel crushes it in his talk about the future of Karaites in Israel.

On Sunday, February 23, 2014, Eli Shmuel gave a 15 minute talk to the Karaite Jews of America on the rejuvenation of the Karaite Jewish movement in Israel. It’s been just over a year since I pondered whether 2013 would be a Karaite tipping point and or whether Karaite Judaism would even survive another generation.

So let’s hear what Eli has to say about the issue . . .

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Filed under Eli Shmuel, State of the Movement, videos