Don’t Sweep Our Leg: Karaites *are* Part of the Diverse Jewish Experience

There are a million times when it’s clear that Karaite voices are beyond the scope of what a Jewish educator is asking for. And I get that. If I am teaching Rabbinic Judaism, I am not likely to want to bring a bunch of Karaite sources. But if you send out a note asking for – and I quote – “diverse Torah reading voices and traditions”, please do not respond that Karaites are not within the bounds of what you are asking for.

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s been a while since I’ve been grumpy Karaite. But my claws are out. My claws are out not *only* because of the response I got, which I will show you below, but also because the responder didn’t even spell Karaite correctly.

KARATE!!! KARATE!!! I’m guessing autocorrect caught them.

To be clear, I’d rather wrestle with God than grapple with my Jewish brothers and sisters. Yet, here I am.

Here is the correspondence, because I am using this as a learning opportunity (not at all to put someone on blast). I assume there was no bad intent here, but it is still a valuable opportunity for us all to learn how to interact with each other.

The Initial Call for Diverse Voices:

My Offer to Provide Karaite Sources:


And here is the Karate Chop of a response:

Imagine the response I would have gotten if I had offered Yughdanite recordings. Or, heaven forbid, Mishiwite recordings.

No one will sweep my leg. No one. To paraphrase, the great Rowdy Roddy Piper, “I came here for two reasons: To Chew Bubble Gum and to Crane Kick. And I’m all out of bubble gum.”

At least I can take comfort in this beautiful story, where a young woman learned Karaite recordings simply because she wanted to learn about cool Jewish cantorial styles.



Filed under Karaite Prayers & Melody, Karaite Rabbanite Relations

7 Responses to Don’t Sweep Our Leg: Karaites *are* Part of the Diverse Jewish Experience

  1. Keren De Torno

    Dear Requestor for Diverse Torah Readings,
    Please review what you have stated you were asking for and seeking.


    The quality or condition of being diverse. The condition of having or including people from different ethnicities and social backgrounds.
    A variety or assortment.

    toda rabah
    A Diverse Karaite

  2. Amir

    Thank you for your blog! I am a rabbanite Jew who very much enjoys learning new things from your writings, and look forward to new posts. Karaite or Rabbanite, we are all one people.

  3. Ana Lopes

    Hi, Shawn!
    Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that the “Karate” was just a typo.
    But his lack of interest is notorious.

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