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?”
Category Archives: Moshe Firrouz
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.
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
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.
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.
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.