218 reputation
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bio website ABlueThread.com
location San Francisco, CA
age 35
visits member for 1 year, 10 months
seen 1 hour ago

I am a Karaite Jew, born to an Egyptian Karaite Jewish family. I have been very involved in Jewish education - having taught Hebrew school at a conservative Rabbanite Synagogue in San Diego; Jewish Communal issues - having served on the board of the directors of BBYO, Inc.; and Karaite Judaism - having founded the Karaite Jewish University and co-authored a book on Karaite Judaism (As it is Written).

I have also spoken to several audiences (including the Library of Congress and the Association of Jewish Libraries) about Karaite Judaism.

I'm actually here just to learn more about Rabbanite Judaism and offer insights from a Karaite Jew where it seems fitting.


Oct
23
comment How do Karaites shecht?
@Shoket, do you want to close this out? It looks like you are not going to get another answer here.
Oct
13
awarded  Yearling
Sep
30
comment How do Karaites shecht?
@user6591 The origins of Karaism as a formal movement actually do not matter to me. I believe it to be the closest form of Judaism to the one prescribed in the Torah. I believe that all of Israel was once "Karaite" (i.e., non-Talmudic) and that the Talmud is a later addition to the Jewish tradition. (In many ways the Talmud is a spectacularly wonderful addition.) But I don't focus much on these issues - because they are a matter of faith. No amount of proof-texting would convince a devout Rabbanite that the Oral Law is an addition. And same thing for Karaites.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
@user6591 I guess I would say that Karaites as we understand them today are a coalition of non-rabbinic movements that existed in the middle ages. Some non-rabbinic movements got absorbed into the Rabbanites. Some got absorbed into what became the Karaites. I do not know how likely it is that we can trace the origins of all these movements. (And some may not have even been formal "movements", they might just have been enclaves of Jews that practiced a non-rabbinic form of Judaism.)
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
There are many things that were continued from pre-revelation times. The setting of the months based on the new moon is one of them. There is no direct verse that says our months are dependent on the new moon. Karaites believe (generally) that the Israelites were setting their months by the new moon, and Hashem maintained that practice in the written torah. So, I don't think that this qualifies as an oral law of any sort, but the concept explains why the Torah does not command the new moon.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
Karaites don't accept the Rabbinic concept of an Oral Law. We do not believe there is an unrecorded series of revelations that explain the written law. Karaites agree that prior to the revelation Hashem instructed man orally. How much of this is an oral law (lower case) is up for debate. The only example I can think of is shechita, where some later karaites believed that God instructed Abraham.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
BTW, I would not say that Karaites are "revisionists" in any sense of the word. There were many Jewish groups ("cults) during the second temple. The Pharisees were just one. For the most part, the Rabbinic tradition is an extension of the Pharisaic tradition. But other traditions might have survived and formed the basis of other Jewish movements.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
As background. This is a fundamental point in Karaite Judaism. There are some words/concepts known from culture - these words are called "shem shel lashon" There are other words/concepts known through revelation (either at Sinai or before) - these are called "Shem shel Torah." The question with Shechita is which one is it.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
My view (and tat of the person in the video) is that Shechita was known prior to the giving of the Torah. The question is "how was it known." The minority opinion above suggests that Hashem gave Abraham instructions. The other view is that Shechita developed naturally as a method of slaughter; we already knew what it was at the time of the revelation.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
Yes; I reject the minority opinion.
Sep
29
comment How do Karaites shecht?
Majority opinion: This refers to a few lines previously, in which we are commanded to spill the blood on the ground. Minority Opinion: Before the Torah was written, there was an oral law. (This is not controversial, as interactions between Hashem and man prior to the revelation were oral.) And one of those oral commandments was that Hashem told Abraham how to slaughter for the akeidah. So, the as I commanded you, refers to this teaching. (I reject this opinion, btw; and I don't think it existed in Karaite literature prior to the 14th century; I'll research this.) Not sure of other opinions.
Sep
29
answered How do Karaites shecht?
May
13
accepted New Moon Based on Sighting Outside of the Land of Israel
May
13
comment What if somebody says the Shem Hameforash?
Just two weeks ago an Orthodox Rabbi argued that "God" had become a loaded term - because no one knows what the other person is intending to convey by it. There was a custom of some Karaites of 1000 years ago to actually pronounce the name. wp.me/p2MerI-lk
Apr
9
answered Who was the first person to be referred to by acronym?
Mar
29
comment Why do we call the Festival of Matzos “Passover”?
Great question (esp.re pre Temple era). The standard translation of the Elephantine Letter seems to suggest that in 419 BCE, basically the time of Nehemiah, people spoke about them distinctly. kchanson.com/ancdocs/westsem/passover.html When I'm speaking about exegesis, I always use "Pesach" to refer to the "Passover Sacrifice." When I am speaking colloquially, I am less concerned about the difference. But I recently did a blog post on "Passover" and felt compelled to drop a footnote explaining the difference. wp.me/p2MerI-ij
Mar
25
comment Selling to a gentile on Yom Tov — Same by a Jew?
Is this to imply that it is okay to sell on Shabbat (or any day marked a sabbath) as long as the actual payment is done after Shabbat? Just trying to understand the context. Thank you.
Mar
25
comment Selling to a gentile on Yom Tov — Same by a Jew?
This is a fascinating question.
Mar
19
comment What was daily life like for Jewish women living in al-Andalus in the 10th/11th centuries?
@monicaCellio, the author of the aforementioned Jerusalem Post Article seems to be an expert about women in Spain. You can check out her works here. schechter.edu/staffmember.aspx?id=23&sm=1a&dept=sijs
Mar
18
comment What was daily life like for Jewish women living in al-Andalus in the 10th/11th centuries?
@MonicaCellio The Jerusalem Post ran an interesting article about some Karaite women from Toledo who settled in Ramle and excommunicated a couple who had recently adopted Karaite Judaism. The article has some cultural references of interest to your question. I comment on the article at my blog: wp.me/p2MerI-ht and the article can be read here. jpost.com/Jewish-World/Judaism/…