Category Archives: Aaron ben Joseph

My Review of Daniel Lasker’s Book, “Karaism” (Reader Poll)

I love this book. It is a perfect overview and amazing introduction to Karaite Judaism. Even I – who has been studying Karaite Judaism formally for 20+ years (and informally my entire life) – learned a tremendous amount from this book. After the jump, you can watch my video review of the book, and you can also vote on which book I do a video review of next. I’ll also describe more parts of the book that I absolutely love – and one part that I absolutely disagree with.

Continue reading


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Aharon ben Eliyahu, Crimea, Dead Sea Scrolls, Dr. Goldstein, Dr. Rustow, Istanbul, Judah Hadassi, Karaite Prayers & Melody, Karaites In Bynzantium, Zvi Ankori

Learning 4: An Introduction to Karaite Liturgy (New Video)

During the past six months I’ve done a few online classes. They are fun, and I look forward to doing more. I finally got around to recording the one on the Karaite liturgy. You can watch that one here. I have a few more to record.

For the Karaite liturgy video, I put up a challenge to raise money for The Karaite Press. Check it out to see whether you’ll be donating $10, $20 or $30. (Of course, feel free to donate nothing. Or more.)


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Karaite Prayers & Melody, Mantra, Nir Nissim, Rotem Cohen

Reader Poll: Can You Detect a Crimean Karaite Melody?

I know. I know. It’s not even Shavuot and here I am talking about lamentations for the month of Av. But I can’t stop listening to these snippets I received from Hazzan Rotem Cohen. He recorded the introductory words of a well-known Karaite lamentation for me in two renditions: once with the Egyptian tune and once with the Crimean tune. Today, I want to see if you can identify which is which.

Continue reading


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Av, Mourning, Nir Nissim, Rotem Cohen, The Temple

Reader Poll: Does God’s Mercy Extend to the Bird’s Nest?

An excerpt of the Liturgical Poem for Ki Tetzei

Today we ask two simple questions: Does God’s mercy extend to the bird’s nest? And if so, can we acknowledge this in prayer? Right away, my observant (and studied) Rabbanite readers know exactly where this is going. For everyone else, let me start at the beginning. Continue reading


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Dr. Gabriel Wasserman, Eshkol Hakofer, Israel Maghribi, Judah Hadassi, Judeo-Arabic

My Interview with Dr. Gabriel Wasserman – Translator of “Royal Attire”

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-11-12-40-amAs you now know, I have spent much of my last year in Karaite terms getting The Karaite Press off the ground. Dr. Gabriel Wasserman (PhD, Yeshiva University) has been incredibly instrumental in that process. Not only has he given me guidance on various projects, but he himself has translated the incredibly successful publication Royal Attire: On Karaite and Rabbanite Beliefs.

Today I interview Gabriel about his experience translating Karaite works, and in honor of this interview, The Karaite Press is selling Royal Attire for 20% off for the entire month of January.

Continue reading


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Dr. Gabriel Wasserman, Karaite Press, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Royal Attire, The Karaite Press

The Karaite Jews of America’s Bold Decision to Modernize its Shabbat Service

A group of Karaites praying at a memorial service for a departed loved one.

A group of Karaites praying at a memorial service for a departed loved one.

A few weeks ago, I received a well-reasoned and thoughtful letter from a (non-historically Karaite) Jewish man who has been attending the Karaite Jewish synagogue in Daly City for a few months. He said that the Shabbat service is the best asset the KJA has, because it is more engaging than its Rabbinic counterparts. He added, though, that he hoped the KJA would find a way to make more parts of the service accessible to persons who do not speak Hebrew.

His email to me was well-timed; the KJA had just put together a committee to review its siddur and to reflect on the nature of our services. Exciting things are on the horizon.

Continue reading


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Services, Shabbat

A Place for Rabbinic Thought in Karaite Literature?

Just finished Professor Goldstein's book. An excellent read about a little known Karaite text, the Talkhis.

Just finished Professor Goldstein’s book. An excellent read about a little known Karaite text, the Talkhis.

Karaite Judaism is often described as “anti-Rabbinic.” I prefer the term “non-Rabbinic”, even though there was plenty of “anti” in the early Karaite movement.

Today, I look at something that may appear incongruous: Rabbinic thought in Karaite literature.

Continue reading


Filed under Aaron ben Joseph, Abu al-Faraj Harun, Dr. Goldstein, Rabbinic Influence, Talkhis, Yusuf ibn Nuh