Category Archives: Calendar

Monday Morning Karaite: Breaking Down My Judaism Unbound Appearance

Image Credit: David Wilensky, J: the Jewish News of Northern California

Yes. I know it’s Wednesday. But what is time anymore? Today, I Monday-morning-quarterback my performance during my Judaism Unbound podcast interview. This is super meta for a Karaite. It’s like my gemara on the mishna that was the podcast.

Before I get started – HUGE shout out to Judaism Unbound for surpassing a million downloads recently!

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Filed under Abib, Calendar, Judaism Unbound, Mezuzot, Milk and Meat, Mishawites, Rabbanite Privilege, Tefillin

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Omer

I usually don’t express my Karaite state of mind publicly, but I am generally worried about the survival of the movement and its philosophy. As you can imagine, we have a massive demographic disadvantage, and despite the fact that the internet is the great equalizer, we are structurally behind our Rabbanite kin in terms of infrastructure and resources. This worry of mine isn’t “new”. I’ve had these same worries since I was in my teens.

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Filed under Calendar, Counting of the Omer, Rotem Cohen, Shavuot

A Hanukkah Gift for Rabbanites (and Karaites)

Attribution: DRosenbach at en.wikipedia

Attribution: DRosenbach at en.wikipedia

In 1979, Hadassah magazine published a story about the Karaite Jews of Cairo. Among the interesting tidbits in the piece was that the last remaining Karaites in Cairo had never celebrated Hanukkah. [1.]

Since Karaites historically did not celebrate Hanukkah, some might find it odd that I am offering a Hanukkah gift to the Jewish masses. This offer is not too good to be true.

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Filed under Calendar, Eli Shmuel, Hanukkah

New Moon, Full Moon, Karaite Moon, Local Moon (?!?)

Crescent new moon in the Land of Israel.

Crescent new moon in the Land of Israel.

We hear a lot these days of “identity politics.” Today, I explore “identity halacha” and realize that my religious Karaite identity is slowly getting turned on its head. And I’m fine with that.

For approximately 15 years, I have been a zealous advocate of using the moon in the Land of Israel to determine when to observe our holidays in the Diaspora. I set this forth in a book. I stated this in a Karaite Fact Card. And I couldn’t count how many times I stated this at the Karaite synagogue.

But over the last year, I’ve come to realize that I might have been wrong.

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Filed under Calendar, Daniel al-Kumisi, Karaite Fact Cards, Moshe Firrouz, New Moon

Sandy Koufax, Meet Rotem Cohen

The cover of one of the sections of Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper, featuring Rotem Cohen after he decided not to compete on Shavuot.

The cover of one of the sections of Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper, featuring Rotem Cohen after he decided not to compete on Shavuot.

Many are aware that Sandy Koufax, the legendary Dodgers pitcher, decided not to pitch in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.

In 2011, Rotem Cohen, an Israeli Karaite Jew, decided not to participate live in the Israeli vocal talent show A Star is Born (Hebrew: Kochav Nolad*), when one of the rounds of the competition fell on the Karaite Shavuot. His decision affected his chances to advance on the show. But Rotem doesn’t regret a thing.

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Filed under Calendar, Holidays, Karaite Press, Karaites in Israel, Shavuot

Shana Tovah: And a (Completely Made-Up) Karaite Tradition

Could One of These be A Blue Thread's Official New Year Brew?Source: *

Could One of These be A Blue Thread’s Official New Year Brew?
Source: *

L’Shanah Tovah, everyone.

As noted in our last few posts, the Jewish New Year begins with the first new moon after the barley in the Land of Israel reaches the stage of development known as Aviv.

Over the past days, several individuals have confirmed that the barley is Aviv, and we have received numerous reports that new moon was sighted in Israel on March 13, 2013. So. . . yeah; Happy New Year.

It occurs to me that we need a fun New Year’s tradition – something similar to the Rabbanite use of “apples and honey” for their Rosh Hashanah. So here is my best shot.

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Filed under Aviv, Calendar, Passover

Aviv It or Not! (Part One)

This barley is mostly at the stage of Aviv;some of the barley is fully ripe.

This barley (from a previous year’s search) is mostly at the stage of Aviv; some of the barley is fully ripe.

Last week, I mentioned that some Karaites (and other Torah observant individuals) might be celebrating Passover a month after most Jews.

If you’re not familiar with this issue, I admit it can be confusing. So before you go all “Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?” on me; let’s see if I can clear it up – at least a little.

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Filed under Aviv, Calendar