The KJA Siddur appears to have a number of instances of influence from the Rabbinic liturgy. Some examples of note, based on a brief perusal:

  • Page 2: The brachah on tzitzis. (The questions there being 1. what is their (non-rabbinic) source for a brachah, and 2. why is the text of a brachah --שם ומלכות, אקב"ו--virtually the same as Rabbinic brachos?)

  • Page 6: Text at the beginning of and in between every line of the Kedusha that does not quote directly from the text of the praises of the Malachim in the Navi. (The question there being that the purpose of kedushah is specifically with regard to the verses that the Malachim say--the question can, in fact, extend to the source of the Kedusha, which seems to be Rabbinic based on that Gemara.)

  • Page 7: A verse in between the verse of Shema and the following paragraph of Ve'ahavta. (If the section is quoted straight from the Torah, there should be no verse in between Shema and Ve'ahavta--it seems to be rooted in the Rabbinic liturgical structure of including Baruch Shem Kevod).

Is there a documented Rabbinic influence on Karaite liturgy, and if so, how does the Karaite community reconcile this influence in their prayer when (as I understand it) they largely reject Rabbinic influence?

  • 1
    isn't then entire idea of prayer rabbinic? Other than saying the shma, what else is required? Also, there is a motzi which uses the rabbinic formulation.
    – rosends
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 21:21
  • The idea of a set order of prayer, while Rabbinic in nature, does actually fit with the ethos of Karaite Judaism to live a Judaism that is consistent with a logical interpretation of Tanach. Since they can find sources in Tanach of consistent prayer, it logically follows that they would pray themselves, and creating a consistent structure is aligned with that thought process.
    – Yehuda
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 1:49
  • That might be, but the notion of "evening prayer" as distinct from morning or any other time is rabbinically sourced and not at all obvious. If it is based on sacrifices, then any other content besides the Shma seems illogical. The process of creating interpretations that just happen to be in line with rabbinic ones and yet are unrelated to the influence of those rabbinic systems seems suspicious.
    – rosends
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 3:08
  • @rosends sefaria.org/Daniel.6.11?lang=bi
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 6:53
  • @JoelK what three times?
    – rosends
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


I am a Karaite jew (from a Karaite family, raised in a Karaite community). I just posted a video introducing the Karaite liturgy and how it is composed. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrR6THBLhSA

To answer your specific questions - yes, the modern siddur does have certain rabbinic influences. The reason for that is that the compiler of this siddur was a Karaite Sage named Aaron ben Joseph. He was steeped in the rabbinic tradition, and you can see that he even wrote a poem for parashat Lech Lecha in which he incorporated the midrash of Abraham smashing the idols: http://abluethread.com/2015/09/08/a-place-for-rabbinic-thought-in-karaite-literature/

The Karaite community since the time of Aaron ben Joseph has accepted rabbinic influence when it is not contradicted by the Torah. (This, in my opinion, led to the weakening of the movement, not because there is anything bad about the rabbinic tradition, but because no minority movement can survive if it is just a lighter version of the majority.)


I think you may have a mistaken assumption. It seems like you are assuming that Karaites have an entirely different tradition than we do. But the reality is that Karaites broke off from Rabbinic Judaism. Karaites are not the direct descendants of the Sadduccees (anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong), but are a group of Rabbinic-ish Jews who felt "Rabbinic Judaism" had "gone too far off the path" and broke off to "do Judaism better" in the 9th century.

An example of doing "Judaism better" would be: The Calendar.

Rabbinic Judaism in the 9th century used a mathematical formula to predict months, days, holydays, years, etc and is still using this method today. But Rabbinic Judaism attests to what "the" prior method was: Eye-Witness testimony of the new moon to the Sanhedrin, and then the Sanhedrin declares the new moon. But after the Romans exiled us from Israel it was too difficult to use this Rabincally attested eye-witness method testimony and so understandably the calculation method became the method for Rabbinic Jews to use. I say that the eye-witness method was "Rabbinically attested" because the Bible doesn't mention how to calculate the new moon, and concepts like the sanhedrin are nowhere to be found. Even the word Sanhedrin is a Greek word, and we don't see any mention of a Sanhedrin type of institution until some of the Apocryphal books (which we have rejected), and even then the Sanhedrin was called a senate. So why is all this important?

It's important because in the 9th and 10th centuries it becomes possible to easily have eye witness testimony about when the new moons are, and it turns out the eye-witness testimony and the mathematical calculations don't match. So now you have a situation where you know you are celebrating holidays on the wrong days. So what do you do? Karaites decided to take Rabbinic Judaism's word on the eye-witness method and adopted it for their use. They use this method to this day, and there are still calendar conflicts between these calendar systems to this day.

Karaite Judaism admits a shared inheritance with Rabbinic Judaism, but the Karaites decided Rabbinates kept deviating from the truth unnecessarily. So don't be surprised to see not only Rabbinic influences in prayer, but in customs, ideas, translations, etc.

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