Category Archives: Hametz

Amazing Matzah, Truly Bitter Herbs and Other Passover Customs of Karaite Jews (New Video)

Library PresentationLast week, I gave a talk to the Jewish Community Library of San Francisco on the Passover customs of Karaite Jews.  The talk was recorded, and I’ve edited the portions that deal specifically with the Passover Seder and Hag HaMatzot.  Check it out after the jump.

The presentation includes a snippet of an interview with an Egyptian Karaite who has an incredibly unique Passover memory. And if you missed this week’s Washington Post article on Karaite Jewish Passover foods, here you go.

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Filed under Hametz, Passover, videos

Really, I’m Flattered, But . . .

Real-Life Karaites Pray Here.

Real-Life Karaites Pray Here!

It seems like whenever an orthodox rabbi wants to win a halakhic debate he compares his opponents (or their position) to Karaites (or Karaism). To be honest, these comparisons are sometimes the best publicity Karaites can get. I can name dozens of Karaites whose first introduction to Karaite Judaism was through a rabbi who criticized them for holding Karaite beliefs.

But there’s something deeper and more troubling going on with these comparisons.

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Filed under ben Asher, Hametz, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Talmud

Should Jews Stop “Wining” on Passover?

Should we all refuse wine on Passover? Source:

Should we all refuse wine on Passover?

As most Jews prepare their four cups of wine for their first and second seders, I ask whether Jews should even consume wine on Passover in the first place.

Most Karaites of Egyptian descent believe that wine is forbidden on Passover. These Karaites have pure, unadulterated raisin juice with their seders. (Editor’s Note: I previously had written grape juice; but I’ve since learned it is authentically made with raisin juice.)

But historically there was a debate amongst Karaites themselves as to whether wine constitutes hametz. If wine is hametz, it should be avoided during Passover.

Today, I do my best to lay out the contours of the debate.

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Filed under Aderet Eliyahu, Elijah Baschyatchi, Hametz, Passover