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

Liking the Sound of It – An interview with a Bat Mitzvah who merged Karaite and Rabbanite Tropes

“Ariella chanted the Torah portion using Egyptian te’amim (trope) – a combination of Karaite and Rabbanite – because she likes the sound of it.” Lex Rofeberg of Judaism Unbound sent me this in a facebook message with a link to the recordings. My reaction, and I quote, was, “Holy Smokes”. Is that phrase sacrilegious? Who knows.

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Filed under Bat Mitzvah, Rabbanites singing Karaite Songs

Oud to Joy: Getting Your Start as a Karaite Oud Player

Farid al-Atrash sings Gamil Gamal

A few years ago, when David Ovadia and Maryellen Himmel-Ovadia threw the grand-reopening events for the Karaite Jews of America’s synagogue and the launching of the Karaite Jewish Cultural Center in Daly City, California, they brought in an oud player to add some joy to the festivities. I was skeptical. I thought there was no this would resonate with American born Karaites. It was, at best, a tip of the cap to the Egyptian roots of the community. Or so I thought.

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Filed under Oud

Even this Karaite Got Swindled by Firkovich

I want my two dollars!

What has two thumbs and got deceived by Firkovich? This guy! Okay. To be honest, I can’t fully or even partially blame R. Abraham ben Shemuel Firkovich, the greatest collector of manuscripts in Karaite Jewish history, for the set of events that cost me $150. But he sure is a convenient target.
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Filed under Abraham Firkovich, Maimonides, Rambam

How The Chief Cornerstone Came to Be

On Tuesday, on Election Day in the United States, I officially released The Chief Cornerstone for sale. Yes. On election day. And I did it very intentionally. You see the words “The Chief Cornerstone”, Rosh Pinna, come from Psalms 118: The stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. What does this have to do with election day?

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Filed under Hakham Toviyya Babovich, Rosh Pinna

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.)

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

Did the Karaites Censor Enough of this Rabbanite Lamentation?

I fell in love with this lamentation for the destruction of the Temple the moment I heard it. Love is complicated, though. And the history of this song is no exception. It appears in earlier Karaite sources – in a markedly different form. It was almost assuredly penned by a Rabbanite poet, but as far as I can tell has never appeared in any modern or even earlier printed Rabbanite siddurim. Oh – and the original poem calls for the destruction of non-Jewish Nations (as does the current version in the Karaite siddur, albeit more limited than in the original). Yikes.

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Filed under Censorship, Dr. Gabriel Wasserman, Echa