Category Archives: Dead Sea Scrolls

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.

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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

Dead Sea Scrolls Go Live

“And we have heard from our teachers that the heretic Anan and his friends used to write down heresies and lies and hide them in the ground.
Then they would take them out and say:  This is what we found in ancient books.” – Rabbi Moses Taku*

Dead Sea Scroll Excerpts of the Book of Psalms Source: Library of Congress

Dead Sea Scroll Excerpts of the Book of Psalms
Source: Library of Congress

To much fanfare, Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority announced this week that they have made the Dead Sea Scrolls accessible online. The Dead Sea Scrolls have some implications for research into the origins and theology of Karaite Judaism. The first modern discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls occurred in late 1940s; but, by all appearances, some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the ninth century. [Editor’s Note 12:49 p.m. (pacific): See the first comment below for a reference to an even earlier discovery.]

What is interesting, from a Karaite perspective, is the clear connection between some of the writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls and some of the writings of medieval Karaites. This similarity is what prompted Rabbi Moses Taku, a thirteenth century rabbi, to relate a Rabbinic view that Karaites of the eighth century wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls and buried them for the sole purpose of later supporting the antiquity of the Karaite movement. (Of course, history has proven this view to be nonsense.)
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Filed under Daniel Lasker, Dead Sea Scrolls, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Karaite Studies: The State of the Field