Category Archives: Karaite Rabbanite Relations

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the Karaite Marriage

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef. Source: WikiCommons:

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef.
Source: WikiCommons:

This week, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the long-time spiritual leader of the Sephardi movement, passed away. The reactions of the Jewish world have been far-ranging and I don’t intend to express any opinions on his legacy or his halacha.

But Rabbi Yosef’s passing reminded me that he has encouraged marriages between Rabbanites and Karaites so that Karaites would eventually accept the Oral Law.

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Filed under Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Kashrut, Shabbat Candles, Yaqub al-Qirqisani

Will the Calendar Kill the Karaites (Again)?

Ankori's Magnum Opus is a Must Read

Ankori’s Magnum Opus is a Must Read

Several weeks ago, I was out to dinner with a friend and we were discussing the state of the Karaite movement. “I think if we look at the history of the movement from the outside, the calendar issue is really what hurt Karaites,” my friend posited.

Because the historical Karaite calendar was based on empirical observations of the new moon and the ripeness of the barley, devout Karaites (especially those in the Diaspora) often disagreed as to when the true biblical holidays should be celebrated.

The Rabbanites historically mocked Karaites about this disunity. (Perhaps rightly.)

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Filed under Aviv, Books, Daniel al-Kumisi, Holidays, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, New Moon

The Dining Dilemma

If you opened a Karaite "kosher" restaurant, what would you call it?

If you opened a Karaite “kosher” restaurant, what would you call it?

Okay, so the title of this post is a bit misleading. For that matter, so is the comic. There really isn’t much of a dilemma when it comes to observant Jews looking for kosher places to eat. Your choices are “dairy,” “meat,” or “parve.”

And there certainly isn’t anything as bold as “Cheeseburgers and Paradise,” which in my ideal world would serve food according to the Karaite/biblical standards. B’ezrat Hashem, one day soon!

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Filed under Kara & Robby, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Kashrut

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

The Leningrad Codex: Rabbanites are Awesome (too)!

Carpet Page from Leningrad CodexSo it turns out that many medieval Rabbanites from the Land of Israel and the surrounding environs deserve a badge of interdenominational awesomeness as well.

And traces of this awesomeness run from Cairo in the early 11th century all the way to the Rabbanites of Egypt in the years following the birth of the State of Israel. Again, don’t take my word for it.
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Filed under Aleppo Codex, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Samuel ben Jacob, Zionism

Why I Support the Rabbanut

Are we headed for a Karaites of the Wall moment? (Source: Wiki Commons, Wayne McLean; Western wall in Jerusalem at night)

Are we headed for a Karaites of the Wall moment?
(Source: Wiki Commons, Wayne McLean; Western wall in Jerusalem at night)

Maybe I have Stockholm syndrome. But even as a Karaite, I can’t help but respect the Rabbanut.

The Rabbanut is organized, has a clear vision, and serves a vital role in protecting the Jewish nature – at least as the Rabbanut defines “Jewish” – of the State of Israel.

But last week, The Economist ran a troubling article about how the Rabbanut appears to have taken aim at the Karaite community. (See The Economist, Who’s  A Jew: An old religious argument once again rears its angry head, May 18, 2013, Jerusalem.)

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Filed under Karaite Press, Karaite Rabbanite Relations

Breaking News: Karaites Help Sustain Rabbanite Yeshiva

A gift from friends. And an excellent read!

A gift from friends. And an excellent read!

Whenever heated Karaite-Rabbanite polemics pop up these days, my initial reaction is to roll my eyes and sigh,”It’s not the Middle Ages anymore.”

Although such diatribes were once commonplace – and A Blue Thread has discussed some of them – I really try not to get lost in the rhetoric of yesteryear.

In that regard, I love finding information that turns these historical notions of strife upside-down.

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Filed under Dr. Rustow, Jerusalem, Karaite Rabbanite Relations, Sukkot