How Would Count von Count Count the Omer?
For more than 40 years, Sesame Street has helped children around the world learn how to count. And as a child, I watched the famous Sesame Street character Count von Count: “One ha ha ha; Two ha ha ha; Three ha ha ha . . .”
Religious Jews everywhere are currently “Counting the Omer,” which is a fifty-day period leading up to Shavuot. But if Sesame Street were around in antiquity, Karaites and Rabbanites would still disagree about how to count to 50.
It turns out that Sesame Street can teach both Karaites and Rabbanites how to count; but we need to turn to a different source to know when to start counting.
Now that Purim is behind us, most Jews* are starting to plan for Passover, which they will be observing from the evening of March 25, 2013 through the evening of April 2, 2013.
Check out this matzah recipe used by the Egyptian Karaite community – which I promise you is better than store bought matzah. Okay; that’s not really saying much . . . but give it a shot.
Karaites celebrating Purim in March 1987
Source: Mourad El-Kodsi, Karaite Jews of Egypt (p. 307)
Last week, I received an invitation to the Karaite Jews of America’s annual Purim Party. Karaites, at least those of Egyptian descent, have some unique Purim customs.