Category Archives: Tefillin

Karaites are Really Bad Literalists

Babylonian TalmudSomeone recently told me that he found the Karaite Jewish approach to halakha rather nonintellectual, because Karaites only follow what the Torah says and do not search for the deeper meaning.

Oy! Karaites do not follow what the Torah “says;” we seek to follow what the Torah “means.” These two things are not always the same. Today, let’s look at some of my favorite non-literal Karaite interpretations.

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Filed under Marriages, Shechita, Tefillin

Tefillin the Blanks

Kara the Karaite and Robby the Rabbanite  sure have their differences.

Kara the Karaite and Robby the Rabbanite
sure have their differences.

When I was nine or ten, the rabbi at the conservative synagogue where I received my Jewish education asked me a simple question: “Shawn, do Karaites wear tefillin?

I knew that I had never seen a set of tefillin anywhere near my Karaite community. But instead of saying “no,” I lied and told him that Karaites did wear tefillin. (Sorry, Rabbi!)

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Filed under Kara, Kara & Robby, Robby, Tefillin