About

A Blue Thread is a first-of-its-kind blog commenting on topics of interest to the Jewish community from a Karaite perspective. A Blue Thread leverages the resources of the entire Karaite Jewish community to become your go-to site to learn about Karaite Judaism, its rich culture and its contributions to Judaism as we understand it today.

For all Jews – secular or religious, Karaite or Rabbanite, male or female – we welcome you to the latest thread in the tapestry of Karaite Judaism.

 

[Comment Policy: I reserve the right to delete any and all comments inconsistent with the positive, welcoming and Jewish nature of the blog.]

61 Responses to About

  1. Bill

    Enjoy your site, very informative..

  2. I am blessed by your site. I would like to know more about you and your background. From the site, it sounds like you grew up in a Karaite home. For us that seek to follow YHVH without compromise it is refreshing to read your blog.

    Todah Rabah!

  3. I would like to see a blog entry on conversion, both from born Jews and from non-Jews to Karaite Judaism.

    Thanks!

    • Frank Wassermann

      My journey has taken me from being a luke-warm Christian to study the scriptures. I realised that Paul is a false Apostle and I rejected his writings. I then moved closer to Messianic Judaism till my study of the scriptures proved that Jesus is not the Messiah. I now know that the true religion is Judaism and I want to convert to Karaite Judaism. If you can, please put me in contact with a Karaite synagogue in Israel with whom I can discuss conversion. I will be very happy to travel to Israel from Australia to convert.
      Shalom
      Frank Wassermann

      • As far as I know, you actually cannot convert in Israel. This is a problem with Israeli law. You have to convert abroad – unless my understanding is wrong or the law has changed.

      • Yo-man

        Frank, Shawn is correct about converting in Israel. Unfortunately Karaim are barely existent outside of Israel but if you want to be Jewish and recognized by the State of Israel as such then you could convert to any form of Judaism and afterwards practice as a Karaite. I know of others who have done this themselves.

      • Y'Didyah

        Frank,

        Check out this link. http://kjuonline.com/home.htm It provides courses which lead to conversion to Karasim.

        Shalom

    • Lionel

      Izbthcldwll, from what I’ve studied, and from a purely biblical perspective (which btw is what Karaite Judaism prides itself on), all that is required to become a Karaite Jew is a vow to worship YHUH and Him alone, to acquire the proper knowledge of and obedience to His covenant, and a vow to join one’s self to the people of Israel such as the case with Ruth the Moabitess. The current situation, however, requires the Karaite leadership to properly vet new converts through education at the karaite university along with a beit din so that they truly understand what they are getting into. Since no one has the divine authority to determine who is and who isn’t a jew, it can be argued that the current conversion process is not biblical and is therefore up for debate.

  4. Maurice.pessah

    Shawn,

    Excellent work! Our community is very blessed to have someone with your
    dedication and knowledge.

    Regards,

    Maurice Pessah

  5. I have been studying Torah for 3 years now and living as strictly as possible by its rules. For the longest time I thought I was not finding something that should be apparent. I kept seeing all these other Jews follow rules, customs, and rituals that I did not find in the Torah. And, quite a bit of it being a ridiculous double standard and contradiction (i.e. The ultra-orthodox having wives wear wigs so they aren’t alluring yet allow them to style it so it is alluring??), but then I finally figure out I’m a Karaite!!

    I have been searching around, and it appears there are virtually no places to gather in the USA except in Daly City. And, it appears that the Karaite University is not taking applicants for education or conversion.. Any suggestions on my next step? It would be quite appealing to meet some like-minded Jews, as I find discussing Judaism with non-Karaite
    as hypocritical as discussing it with Christians.

    I am doing my best to make a trip to Israel later this year (just got my passport photo done)
    so hopefully by then I will have more info about converting, etc.

    Thank you for all you do,
    Ches Misso

    • Hi Ches, I am going to remove this comment for not conforming to the positive and welcoming tone of the blog. Feel free to email me directly if you have questions. (I don’t want this deletion to dissuade you from finding your path. I just don’t believe it is hypocritical to discuss this Tanakh with Rabbanites or scholars or christians.)

  6. 119lightsmylife

    Before,coming to this site,I have been searching…I know now…been following the Torah…keeping Shabbat and trying to observe HIS mitsvots.We would really like to know more about “becoming a Karite” is it possible for a gentile to be a Karite ??

    • Hi, thank you for your note. Karaites are Jews, and Karaite Judaism is a type of Jewish movement (or as some would say Jewish “sect”). In my humble opinion, I do not believe it is proper for non-Jews to call themselves Karaites. If you are interested in living a Torah-observant lifestyle, there are many organizations that can help you. There are even organizations of non-Jews who wish to keep Torah. By all means, drop me a note if you have any questions. (Shawn@abluethread.com).

      • As a Jew who agrees with you that Karaites are Jews, I still have to note that it seems like the great majority of people who call themselves Karaites are Gentiles! I don’t really understand???

        • The “dry bones” of Ezekiel’s vision are, according to Orthodox Judaism, the children of Ephraim who died in battle because of their arrogance, leaving without provision and battling while hungry in Sefer HaYashar.
          If this were a prophecy, could there be people who had seemed to be dead (people who were dead in their arrogance at one time), who would be looking for (hungry for) the Torah to breathe life into them?
          If the patrilineal descent line were Torah-derived, and yet the last several hundred years have followed only a matrilineal descent line, where is the Torah-observant Israelite? Could there be Hebrews / Eberites (those who “crossed over”) who are now hungry to follow Torah?

      • Sarah

        Perhaps one who adheres to Hebrew Scriptsure could properly be called a Karaite (Scripturalist). And the distinction of Karaite Jew could be reserved for Jews.

    • As I can tell a Gentile is a Gentile and a Jew is a Jew but when a Gentile Converts he is no longer a Gentile but a Jew so the above stays true. It doesn’t matter what brand of Judaism you belong to you are separated from the nations as Jew but as a Gentile you are still part of the nations not bad or good but that is the way things are.

  7. Dear Shawn Lichaa,
    I just enjoyed your film on your faith. I am Egyptian as you and have 1000 Questions and would like to exchange information. Maybe you’d like to contact me.
    yours,
    Marwan

  8. Robert

    Greetings…I wanted to know when the Shmita year or sabbatical years starts for Karaites is it at Yom Teruah or the 1 st month when we do Pesach???

  9. Frank Wassermann

    Thank you for answering. I will have to search far and wide as there are no Karaites in Australia that I know of.
    Shalom
    Frank

    • Dave

      I think that there is a congregation in the US (Daly City, California, I think:) I believe that they accept converts and carry out conversions, I have no connection with them but I have read this in a few places

    • Hi Frank, I’m in Australia and believe along similar lines to you. Shalom.

      Nice site, the Blue Thread!

  10. Paula

    Very informative site. Is there a Karaite community in San Diego?

  11. Very interesting website. I am sad to hear that the community in San Diego is small and aging. I see this trend in general with Rabbinic synagogues as well.

    How many members are in the schul? Do you have daily services? Do Kaarites care about making Minyan or is that strictly rabbinical?

    If you need any artwork done for shirts, posters, website, etc………it’s free for you. Just let me know. I am an artist and know other artists as well. You wouldn’t have to pay anything. Just let me know the file format, art requirements etc…..

    A question. How do you decide what is a metaphor? Why do you not use teffilfin and mezzuzahs?

    • Hi Yitzchak,

      Thank you so very much for this wonderful offer. I would love some assistance. We decide a metaphor based on the context. With respect to tefillen and mezuzot, we think the context and language is clear that the torah is discussing something figurative. Look up the word “kesher” and see that it mostly has a figurative meaning. There are other reasons as well.

      Shawn

  12. Dale Anderson

    I’m studying Hebrew and Torah. Is there a Karsrite individual or synagogue near Pittsburgh, PA. I’m very interested in becoming a Kararite.

  13. Jacob

    Since Karaites have been following patrilineal descent and Rabbanites have been following matrilineal descent for almost two thousand years, it follows without fail from simple logic that a sizable proportion of Karaites must not be Jewish from the point of view of Rabbanite halakha and conversely that a sizable proportion of Rabbanites must not be Jewish from the point of view of Karaite halakha. It is amusing (but hardly surprising) that this bare unquestionable fact is simply ignored on all sides. It’s called politics.

    • Most Jews married other Jews for at least the last 1200 years. I do not know what the situation was like prior to that; but your point is generally correct.

    • Zachary Valkemirer

      My understanding is that in Karaite Judaism both one’s mother and one’s father must be Karaites in order to be considered a Karaite. If my understanding is right, all Karaites are Jews according to Rabbinic Judaism.

      • This is not correct. Israelite lineage is through the father in the biblical and the karaite tradition. Having said that, until this last 40 years or so, the Karaites lived in places where there was no intermarriage.

  14. Taufiq

    I found your website from youtube. I’m from Jakarta, Indonesia. I found similarities in what we both believe in. I was born and raised in a moslem family which believe in Al Quran and Hadith (kind of oral law in Islam), but later I converted to Quran only. The same thing that you do in Karaites. Most of the Islamic laws was based on ‘Ulama’ teaching. But as yours, I didn’t consider it as main law. I responsible to find out by myself the interpretation of the scripture (Quran). I watched your presentation in Youtube and become familiar with your explanation. Just like looking at myself on the mirror. My belief is minority as well and entirely different with the moslem vast majority. My interpretation of the scripture is flexible, some of them need to be interpreted literally, and I know when to interpret another verses metaphorically. By doing that, I do believe that God has sent messengers to convey his messages to all mankind. We dont have to be 100% the same but at least we go to the same direction. I’ve been looking community just like yours who follow only the scripture from the God and I’m very happy to see that you are there. And I do believe that the same teaching must be exist in the others belief such as christianity who denied the divinity of Jesus and only follow their scripture. We are in the same monotheism foundation.

  15. M

    What is the karite practice with regard to shaving with a razor or otherwise

  16. Caleb

    Well since 2007 there are two Karaites in Australia I have given my details to them
    But no one knows by the sound of this
    Frank Wassermann

  17. Bianca

    Dear Shawn,

    Thank you so much for being a source of information. Is there a Karaite community in the United Kingdom?

    Regards,
    Bianca

  18. A Karaite Cousin

    Nice Blog! I am from Maryland and was looking up the dates for Passover and came across your blog.

    Thanks for having this and keeping the knowledge and pride my parents and many other older people that came for religious freedom to the US.

  19. Felipe Gutierrez

    I live about an hour and a half Daly city and we met once at Bnai Israel…I came with my son…ive been going there off and on with my son Malaki for almost 2 years…and im very serious about converting can you please contact me I will not waste your time…this is my whole life and I want to be offially part of Israel and live for Gods truth…ive been keeping Torah the best I can for about 4 years now according to karaite customs…and Have been studying hebrew for about 4 years…still learning…please help me.

  20. Derrick

    Is there anywhere that makes tekhelet cord that is thick and durable like the rabbinites but is not dyed with unkosher sea snail?

  21. Hadar Salaam

    Can you please email me asap I just some with the rabbi of B’nai Israel in Daley City he said that it would be good to convers with you, please email me and I can email you my phone number thank you- Shalom

  22. Zachary Valkemirer

    Greetings,

    In a Karaite text, I have found mention of someone who was “appointed to be the mitpalel.” Of course the last word means ‘one [specifically, male] who prays’, but this must be the name of a specific functionary. Do you have any information on the duties of such a person?

    Thank you for your attention to this matter — and all the best in the new year.

  23. Zachary Valkemirer

    Is there any word in the Karaite language meaning ‘rabbi’s wife’? I am not asking for a word-for-word translation of ‘rabbi’s wife’ or ‘wife of a rabbi’, but, if it exists, a single word having that meaning, thus a word analogous to Hebrew rabanit and Yidish rebetsn.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter — and all the best in the new year.

  24. Ayyub Abdul-Rahim

    I believe and fallow Karaite Judaism I wish to convert but I dont know any other Jewish people except for my step father. But I am open minded to any thing pertaining to Judaism

  25. Grace

    I have been on a long journey to find the truth about God and what I can believe/have faith in. My journey started when I was 12 and I challenged the catholic church, then practically every faith after that. None of it sounded right to me. I had no confidence that what I was being told/taught was true, it just didn’t sound right at all. My journey lead me to the root of it all, the Torah and the Tanach. I never believed Jesus was the Messiah. He was so contradicting and this world didn’t get any better. Plus the things that were written about him were weird so I stopped looking to Christianity, it was all the same. I then looked into Judaism. I found myself closely relating to the Orthodox faith, however, confused with the oral law, it seemed to make my learning more complex and difficult, then in my studying judaism I found out about Karaite Judaism. I live in Milwaukee, WI and there are, not to my knowledge, any Karaites here, so no synagogues and no support for my growth or fellowship. Any advice?

  26. Hello,
    I’m trying to demonstrate the presence of Karaite Jews in Sicily during Middle Age. I have no more than some weak hypothesis (Moshe Idel says “there is no evidence about Karaite Jews in Sicily”), but I think thei came with the Byzantine commander Ghioghios Maniakes.
    Can you help me?
    Please contact me at fondazionem@gmail.com
    Thank you

    Davide C. Crimi

  27. Hello,
    I’m trying to demonstrate the presence of Karaite Jews in Sicily during Middle Age. I have no more than some weak hypothesis (Moshe Idel says “there is no evidence about Karaite Jews in Sicily”), but I think they came with the Byzantine commander Ghioghios Maniakes.
    Can you help me?
    Please contact me at fondazionem@gmail.com
    Thank you

    Davide C. Crimi

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  29. TAAVI YUSUF

    I love your site. Thank you so much for your time and effort… I know it can be a daunting task, maintaining a website, much less having the time to respond to everyone that appears. But, from reading just this one thread, you have done an excellent job. Much gratitude from everyone.

    I converted to Judaism almost 18 years ago. Within the first couple of years of my conversion, I quickly came to discover that I had problems within what we call Rabbinical Judaism. I could never wrap my mind around why we needed the Oral Law of the Rabbinate on top of the perfectly Written Law of G-d. After many years of wrestling with it and within it, I stepped away for a time. I became a non-practicing Jew who began to explore other religious faiths (Christianity, Islam) to see how they dealt with their Holy Writings.

    It was in Islam that I discovered Quranism, or Quran-only. Which, by strange coincidence, led me to Karaite Judaism. I had never heard of this branch of the Jewish tree that followed only the Tanakh. I was extremely excited… until I saw how small a group they really were. I mean, where I currently live, being Jewish is an oddity of it’s own–but to be Karaite, well that would just be unheard of. Here in the deep South of the US, we have a large Reform community, a dwindling Conservative shul and a non-existent Orthodox presence.

    But, if I read correctly, in your opinion, any Jew who wanted to follow in the ways and practices of the Karaite Jews would be more than welcomed to and could also consider themselves a Karaite? Even without having a community? I would be a loner amongst loners.

    When and if you have time I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Shalom and Shanah Tovah,
    Taavi

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