Why Rabbi Rosen at the algemeiner is (Mostly) Wrong about Karaite, Persian and Reform Jews

AlgemeinerEvery once in a while someone takes an unnecessary shot at Karaites and Karaism. Sometimes these shots actually cause collateral damage to the Rabbinic community. So, even though I hate to respond to modern polemics, Rabbi Jeremy Rosen at the algemeiner, you’ve got my attention.

Rabbi Rosen starts off well-meaning enough. He asks a simple question “Who are the Karaites, and do they keep Simchat Torah?” But from there he veers wildly off course. Let’s review.

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Filed under Aleppo Codex, Cairo Codex, Eli Shmuel, Judah Hadassi, Kashrut, Patrilineal Descent, Purim, Shechita, What is Karaite Judaism

Karaite Learns “Sad” Truth About Cairo Codex; Still Rejoices

Jacob Moussa holding the Cairo Codex, surrounded by Egyptian Karaites (still living in Cairo at the time).

Jacob Moussa holding an ancient manuscript in 1977, surrounded by Egyptian Karaites (still living in Cairo at the time).

The three most well-known codices in the Jewish biblical tradition are the Cairo Codex, the Aleppo Codex, and the Leningrad Codex. At one time or another, each was in possession of the Karaite Jewish community.

The Cairo Codex is an ancient vocalized manuscript of the Nevi’im, i.e., all of books of the prophets in the Tanakh. It is commonly believed that the Cairo Codex of the Prophets was written by the Karaite Moshe ben Asher in the year 895/896. [1.]

But it turns out that this common belief is almost certainly wrong.

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Filed under Aleppo Codex, Cairo Codex, Leningrad Codex, Moshe al D'ari Synagogue

Prayer Customs of Karaite Jews (New Video – By Eli Shmuel)

Karaite Jewish LearningEli Shemuel is no longer in the U.S., but he keeps on trucking. Last night the Karaite Jews of America released another learning by Eli. This time, Eli is speaking about Karaite Jewish prayer customs.

I previously wrote a little about Karaite prayer customs here. Eli’s new video goes into more detail about removing our shoes, ritual purity, the structure of the Karaite prayer. Check out the beautiful music from the Karaite Jewish choir of Israel as well.

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Filed under Eli Shmuel, Full Prostration, Karaite Synagogues, Prayer, Ritual Purity, videos

My Most Meaningful Fast

photo (15)Well, Yom Kippur has come and gone. I’ve fasted every year since I was eight. Some years, fasting is difficult; other years, fasting is easy. But this year, fasting was particularly meaningful.

On my way home before sunset of erev Yom Kippur, I saw a homeless man sitting on a grassy knoll by the freeway exit. He was not asking for any money. And somehow I found the wrong way to do the right thing.

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Filed under Moshe Firrouz, Yom Kippur

What I Learned on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

I Heart ChabadWhere to begin? I’ve spent the better part of two weeks explaining that the holiday Jews just celebrated is not “Rosh Hashanah” – and I’ve also tirelessly explained that Karaites do not observe an additional day for our holidays.

So, I never thought I’d be writing a post about profound life lessons I learned on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah.

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Filed under Chabad, Daniel al-Kumisi, Rosh Hashanah, Yaqub al-Qirqisani, Yefet ben 'Ali, Yom Teruah

Book Review & Interview: A Delightful Compendium by Rabbi Burton Visotzky

This wonderful book is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Delightful-Compendium-Consolation-Adventure-Mediterranean/dp/1934730203/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411604936&sr=8-1&keywords=a+delightful+compendium

This wonderful book is available at Amazon:

A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with someone who was planning to start Rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary. After the meeting, he emailed me about a book called A Delightful Compendium of Consolation by Rabbi Burton Visotzky, who teaches at JTS.

A Delightful Compendium is historical fiction and traces the lives of a Karaite Jewish family as they navigate through the Middle Ages. The family members struggle to hold onto their Karaite identity as a minority in the Jewish world.

Today, I am excited to catch up with Rabbi Visotzky about his book, A Delightful Compendium.

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Filed under Books, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Kashrut, Marriages, Matrilineal Descent, Milk and Meat, Mourners of Zion

My Article at TheTorah.com

A beautiful book for the feasts of the Seventh Month, produced by the Karaite community in Israel.

A beautiful book for the feasts of the Seventh Month, produced by the Karaite community in Israel.

For those who have not yet seen it, I’ve published an article at TheTorah.com. There, I do my best to convey general, historical Karaite attitudes towards Yom Teruah.

Please check it out here and let me know what you think.

 

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Filed under Yom Teruah