103 reputation
6
bio website ABlueThread.com
location San Francisco, CA
age 34
visits member for 1 year, 3 months
seen Feb 7 at 6:22

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.


Feb
4
comment What was daily life like for Jewish women living in al-Andalus in the 10th/11th centuries?
According to Sefer ha-Qabbalah, the Karaite community of 12th century Spain had a female leader whom they referred to as al-Mu'allima (Arabic for the teacher). Sefer ha-Qabbalah was written by Abraham ibn Daud, an ardent Rabbinite who sought to advance the view that Rabbanism is the only true form of Judaism and Karaism is heresy. I wrote about this at my blog below. wp.me/p2MerI-3p
Feb
4
awarded  Supporter
Feb
4
comment Candles on Purim?
I note that Karaites have historically lit candles on Purim. wp.me/p2MerI-du
Feb
4
asked Candles on Purim?
Feb
4
awarded  Commentator
Feb
4
comment New Moon Based on Sighting Outside of the Land of Israel
@DoubleAA "I would have to do more research regarding the Ramban's general position on Diaspora-based declarations of the new moon." This is actually the answer I am interested in. Are there any other sources you suggest I look into? Thank you for your other thoughts.
Jan
31
comment New Moon Based on Sighting Outside of the Land of Israel
Thank you. I recently learned (much to my surprise) that some Karaite religious leaders in Israel (apparently) hold the view that nothing in the Peshat mandates that the new moon be the new moon sighted in Israel. According to this view, one could declare the new month based on the sighting in Egypt. (But I haven't spoken to them directly to test the limits of this view.) On one hand, we in the diaspora observe our Sabbath based on the local sunset. On the other hand, even Karaites in the Diaspora recognize that the Abib/Aviv must be found in the Land of Israel in order to begin the new year.
Jan
31
comment New Moon Based on Sighting Outside of the Land of Israel
Is the following statement intended to suggest that if all those other conditions were met, in theory the new moon could be declared from the sighting of the new moon in Spain? ("The Ramban there argues on this, but all agree that while the formal declaration of a new month could happen in theory outside of Israel, it rarely did. Israel is clearly the focal point of the whole operation.")
Jan
31
awarded  Student
Jan
31
asked New Moon Based on Sighting Outside of the Land of Israel
Jan
31
comment How do Karaites pray?
And if anyone wants to see my blog post on this you can see a pic of Karaites praying and hear a traditional Karaite prayer - one not from the Tanakh. wp.me/p2MerI-9D
Jan
28
comment If a Beis Din Makes a Mistake When Calculating Kiddush HaChodesh, Does it Count?
Very interesting questions and answers. As a Karaite, I grew up observing the mo'adim in accordance with the sighting of the new moon in Israel - even when this differed from the Rabbanite calculation. It was a formative part of my Jewish identity. I even wrote about it today at my blog (ABlueThread.com). On a separate note, I have always, wondered about the "trustworthiness" of witnesses.
Jan
24
comment Please explain the idea of the Chair of Elijah in synagogue
Thank you. I'm new here so I'm still trying to figure out when something is an "answer" and when something is a comment. I guess I should have added: I have never heard of the "Chair of Elijah" but perhaps you are referring to Moses's Seat.
Jan
24
answered Please explain the idea of the Chair of Elijah in synagogue
Jan
22
comment Why did Avraham wait to have a bris?
But by this logic, Avraham would not have celebrated the Sabbath, because that was a covenant/pact. (Exodus 31:16)
Jan
22
comment Why did Avraham wait to have a bris?
very interesting question and responses. As a Karaite, I do not hold by the tradition that the forefathers knew of/followed the commandments. But these responses have all helped me understand various nuances with respect to Rabbinic theology.
Jan
18
awarded  Autobiographer
Jan
18
comment Would a Karaite be required to undergo conversion?
@shemmy, the community in Albany has ranged 7-12 members, but there is no syngagogue (which was the focus of the statement about there being one synagogue in the United States). The community prays in the home of one of the founders of the community (perhaps the founder). I hope one day to be able to say that there are significant numbers of karaite synagogues throughout the United States. Sadly, though, there is just one.
Jan
17
comment How do Karaites pray?
Oops. Many prayers indeed come from the Tanakh. Several have been composed by poets/sages. I'm actually working on a brief post for my blog on one of those composed passages. As for the structure, let's use the Saturday morning service as an example. There is definitely an opening, in which the congregation humbles itself the words ("Who am I but dust and ashes?" Gen. 18:27). Then it builds up to a mini-crescendo as we recite the song of the sea. (Exodus 15:1.) There is a full crescendo towards the end when we recite Ana Adonai Hoshia'na. Then we do the Torah service. And then we eat!
Jan
17
answered Would a Karaite be required to undergo conversion?