Category Archives: Women in Karaism

Women on the Fringes: Which Karaite Sages got it Right? (Reader Poll)

I was recently having a discussion with a fellow Karaite regarding the various stages of Karaite thought. In brief, he summarized that there were (in his estimation, as well as others) three main periods of Karaite halakhic  literature: (i) early; (ii) late; and (iii) very late. Today, I am going to use the example of women and techellet and demonstrate how each of these periods approached this issue.

In my opinion, we can trace the decline of the Karaite movement by looking at the methods these sages employed in explaining our religious conclusions, regardless of whether we agree with the ultimate conclusion itself.  At the end, you get to vote who got it right.

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Filed under Aderet Eliyahu, Aharon ben Eliyahu, Elijah Baschyatchi, Eshkol Hakofer, Judah Hadassi, Karaite Fact Cards, Karaite Press, Levi ben Yefet, Royal Attire, The Karaite Press, Women in Karaism, Yaqub al-Qirqisani

Open Orthodoxy is a Positive Step Backward

Hakham Moshe Firrouz in a recent interview with the Jewish Weekly (photo/david a.m. wilensky)

Hakham Moshe Firrouz in a recent interview with the Jewish Weekly (photo/david a.m. wilensky)

Let me begin with my usual disclaimers: I’m not a Rabbanite Jew. I don’t really take sides in the internal debates within the Rabbinic community. But, given the recent attention on the Open Orthodoxy Movement and its fervent desire to ordain female rabbis within the Orthodox Community – as well as the strong opposition by others who will not accept female rabbis, I thought I’d chime in with some Karaite thoughts.

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Filed under Moetzet Hachamim (Council of Sages), Women in Karaism

Someone Else’s Simcha and the Karaite Wedding

Chief Hakham Moshe Firrouz officiates a wedding featured in Haaretz's Someone Else's Simcha Series (Photo Source: Haaretz)

Chief Hakham Moshe Firrouz officiates a wedding featured in Haaretz’s Someone Else’s Simcha Series
(Photo Source: Haaretz)

Haaretz recently featured a Karaite Jewish wedding in its “Someone Else’s Simcha” series. I have wanted to do a post on Karaite weddings for a while – and this gives me the perfect opportunity.

The traditional Karaite Jewish wedding ceremony has several elements that are different from (and sometimes even problematic in) the Rabbinic tradition.

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Filed under Anan ben David, Weddings, Women in Karaism

Scandal Aside, Hit the Mikvehs

Disgraced Rabbi Freundel arrested on charges of voyeurism

Disgraced Rabbi Freundel arrested on charges of voyeurism

Over the last month the Rabbinic world has been rocked by the Washington, D.C. mikveh scandal, in which Orthodox Rabbi Freundel (allegedly) set up cameras in the local mikveh to record women during their ritual immersion.

Karaite Judaism does not believe that a mikveh is required for ritual purity. For us, a shower works. But I’m not here today to tell Rabbanite women to abandon the mikveh or Rabbanism altogether. Quite the opposite.

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Filed under Mikveh, Ritual Purity, Women in Karaism

The Religious Standing of Karaite Jewish Women (New Video)

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

I did not plan for this post to coincide with Women’s History Month; that’s just how the timing worked out. On February 24, 2014, I gave a talk to the Karaite Jews of America. The talk was called “She Speaks with Authority: The Religious Standing of Karaite Jewish Women from the Middle Ages through Today.”

The video appears after the jump with some notes on the talk.

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Filed under Maimonides, Women in Karaism

RIP: The Last Karaite Shochetet?

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

From my talk on the role of women in Karaite Judaism.

I haven’t been on this intense Karaite journey for too long; so I still get surprised by interesting facts on a regular basis. But during my recent talk on the religious standing of women in Karaite Judaism, I was surprised by what surprised me.

I didn’t even see it coming.
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Filed under Karaite Jews of America, Shechita, Women in Karaism

A Taste of Karaite Judaism in 30 Minutes or Less (Part 2)

Taste of Karaite Well, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is the rest of that presentation. Some more interesting stuff in here and I hope you enjoy it.

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Filed under Karaite Synagogues, Shavuot, What is Karaite Judaism, Women in Karaism, Zionism