Do Karaite Jewish hold of the 39 melachos? I've tried to get information about it and I couldn't find. I found that they deny 39 melachos, but it doesn't say to me if they have more melachos or less.

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    The Karaites are famous for being too strict about some things that rabbinic Jews allowed, most notably leaving candles lit, leaving hot food up, and allowing for eruvs. (Maimonides says "any adult Jew who believes in eruvs" can effect one; he was excluding Karaites with that last phrase.) I'm not aware of things the Oral Law prohibited on Sabbath that the Karaites permitted, but I'm not very familiar with Karaites.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 16:26
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    @Shalom do they hold of the 39 melachos?
    – robev
    Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 16:55
  • Here is written by Magen Avroham that they practice Shabbath: הקראים שומרים שבת, לכן מיילדים אותם בשבת (מג"א סי' ש"ל ד'). daat.ac.il/encyclopedia/value.asp?id1=2319 Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


I am a Karaite Jew (studied in and raised in the Karaite tradition). No, historically, the Karaites had no concept of the 39 melachot. In short, melacha is a word that is not defined in the Torah. The general karaite view is that words that are not defined are common words and are words that were known at the time of the torah. So, melacha - being a "common" word (not a defined term) would not have a specific, highly technical meaning of 39 forbidden categories of action.

you can read more about shabbat below.



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