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Title says it all. Who were the Magharians? It seems like they were some group of Pre-Christianity Jews or something like that that lived in caves?

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Where is that name used? – Shalom Sep 9 '11 at 14:07
I've seen it in various papers that I've read about Jewish History – Reb Chaim HaQoton Sep 9 '11 at 14:10
What did those papers say about them? Any context you provide in your question will only help people answer it. – msh210 Sep 9 '11 at 15:08
do you mean the mugrabi? – Chalutzhanal Sep 12 '11 at 3:29
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Any of many groups that lived in or used caves could be given the name Magharians (from Arabic).

The tenth century (CE) Karaite Jacob Qirqisani described them as a pre-Christian group with distinctive views about angels, creation and biblical anthropomorphisms.

According to Muslim scholar al-Biruni (973-1048) they used a lunar calendar and observed Rosh ha-Shanah and Passover only on a Wednesday.

In modern times, there have been some suggestions that those using the Dead Sea Scrolls and the caves at Qumran may have been Magharians, theough there are several other theories.

A couple of links: 1 and 2

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Henry, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for the informative answer! I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Sep 11 '11 at 2:08

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