Category Archives: Moshe Firrouz

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

Karaite Shechita: No Pregnant Animals Were Slaughtered For This Post

A Karaite Shochet's First Meal: Goat Pizza.  (Photo Courtesy of T. Wheeler.)

A Karaite Shochet’s First Meal: Goat Pizza.
(Photo Courtesy of T. Wheeler.)

By now, we all know that Karaites and Rabbanites have different traditions regarding kashrut (e.g.milk and meat and alyah). But the historical Karaite practice of slaughter (Hebrew: shechita) is also different from the Rabbinic practice.

Today, I catch up with Travis Wheeler, a Karaite schochet, and Eli Shmuel, a young Israeli Karaite, about the Karaite halakhic tradition regarding slaughter. Continue reading


Filed under Eli Shmuel, Kashrut, Milk and Meat, Moshe Firrouz, Shechita, Travis Wheeler

“Get” with the Program

Were any Karaite Divorce Documents were Found in the Cairo Geniza?

Were any Karaite Divorce Documents Found in the Cairo Geniza?

I’ll start by expressing the same shock that most of the Jewish community felt last week upon learning of the arrests of three NY Orthodox rabbis. According to sources in the linked article, these rabbis, ran a ring in which “Orthodox wives seeking divorce ma[de] payments to the rabbis—-in some cases up to $100,000.” Apparently, the rabbis “then facilitated the divorce, often through violent means, with the rabbis hiring thugs to beat the Orthodox Jewish husbands into” agreeing to grant their wives a religious divorce document, commonly called a “get.”

The Karaite halakha actually makes an occurrence like this virtually impossible.

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Filed under Divorce & Get, Karaite Studies: The State of the Field, Moshe Firrouz

Phil Ivey’s Big Blind



Did Phil Ivey put a stumbling block in front of a blind man to the tune of $12 million?

Over the past few days the internet has been buzzing about whether “[a]ccomplished gambler and noted professional poker player Phil Ivey” should be paid his gambling winnings after a manufacturing defect allowed him (allegedly) to “read” the back of cards at a London casino. (See Larry Brown, Phil Ivey Reportedly Read Back of Cards to Win $11.9 Million at Casino.)

Ivey contends he did not violate any laws; but I wonder whether his actions violated the Torah.

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Filed under Business Ethics, Karaite Jews of America, Moshe Firrouz

Karaite Studies: The State of the Field (Part II)

Presentaion of Karaite CommunityThis is the second (and, for now, final) post related to the Karaite Studies:  The State of the Field workshop held in Israel in early 2012.

In this post, we’re picking up where we left off by summarizing and annotating the second half of a question-and-answer session between Rabbi Moshe Firrouz, the Chief Rabbi of the Karaite Council of Sages, and various attendees at the workshop. Based on the number of views, the post on the first half of the question-and-answer session was a hit, and YouTube has a video of the entire session.

A little background is necessary before jumping into this post.  A lot questions relate to ritual purity. Karaites generally concern themselves with ritual purity more so than Rabbanites because the traditional Karaite view is that one may not enter a holy place (such as, in the Karaite tradition, the sanctuary of a synagogue) while ritually impure. We’ll discuss this issue in more detail in a later post. Other topics in this post relate to Karaite butcher shops, mikvehs, fertility, and even the permissibility of pets.

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Filed under Crimea, Daniel Lasker, Fertility, Free Will, Full Prostration, Head Coverings, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Marriages, Menstruation, Mikveh, Moetzet Hachamim (Council of Sages), Moshe Firrouz, Mourning, Pets, Prayer, Ritual Purity, Sacrifice, Secular Karaism, What is Karaite Judaism, Women in Karaism