Talk:Abraham Firkovich

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NPOV dispute (especially but not only Abraham Firkovich#Forgeries section)[edit]

This article needs to have various slurs (e.g. entitling a section as "Forgeries" is very POV) removed. The fringe theories of one school of related academics on Firkovich needs to be put into a "Critics" section if indeed there is any need at all for such comments in an article like this one (being that the published opinions of Nazi critics would not be deemed appropriate let alone tolerated on any article about a Jew, so-too the opinion of Karaite Jewish authors on Karaylar is inappropriate given that Karaite Jews consider Karaylar to be "bastards"). The details of this dispute have been outlines in the underlying topic areas. Kaz 00:47, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

This article as it is is based on the 1906 Jewish Encyclopaedia article on Abraham Firkovich, which is a public domain reliable source. If you have alternative reliable sources about details in the article, these improvmente/change suggestions can be discussed here, based on agreed reliable sources. Mainstream historical researchers such as Abraham Geiger and others are directly cited in the article as arguing that some of Firkovich's own sources for his ethnical arguments were possible forgeries. warshytalk 13:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

The first thing I said below, even before you added all the tags, is that the first mention of Karaylar has to be wikilinked, and that link then has to be then discussed and cleared up. Meaning that we will have to refer that page too. But even after putting all your tags, you come here and make bulk changes, remove content, introduce new non-neutral content, all in buld and you expect that to stand? No, it will not stand, as I will revert it back to 1906, which is the only reliable source referenced so far. After that we can start again, word by work, sentence by sentence, as I said already three times. Not in bulk as you did again, whithout even bothering to identify yourself. warshytalk 18:08, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I haven't made any recent changes apart from adding the tags and I only did that because you won't allow anyone to touch "your baby" as I can see that you got yourself into an edit war. You have your fringe ideas, and just because there are more people in your group than there are in this minority nation you think that your opinion is more valid. That is called academic imperialism my friend. The opinion of the minority nation in question should never be swept under the table. In any normal society it should always be given precedence even if the minority nation is verging on extinction. In fact in such cases more weight is usually given to what they have to say about themselves in the interests of preserving their story. Then after that it is ok to present what other nations have to say about the nation in question. Firkovich is one of our own. There may only be about 2000 of us left alive in this world but of course we will fight tooth and nail to defend our people from ad hominem attacks like the one you promote here. Jewish opinion on Firkovich matters not. Karaylar opinion on him is what matters most. Kaz 19:10, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Khazars vs. Israelite tribes[edit]

To the anonymous editor who is trying to make this correction and add information based on an apparently reliable source he names. I don't know the source but the change and the new information being provided seem interesting and also relevant. If you're willing to put a link to the source here, in the same manner it would be added to the article, I am definitely willing to look at it and accept your suggested correction and new info based on it. Maybe you're also willing to name yourself? Thanks, warshytalk 13:31, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

ADDENDUM - I don't know Dan Shapira or the book you mention and I don't think he is currently mentioned as a source in the main WP Karaism article. But maybe, after discussion here, we can also add him as a possible reliable source there too. warshytalk 15:50, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Yep, I just saw his book mentioned there in the "Further Reading" section. Maybe you can add the link to the book online here. Thanks, warshytalk 15:56, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Karaylar changes will have to be discussed here first[edit]

Any insertion of new sectarian content into this page will have to be discussed here, point by point, sentence by sentence. Otherwise it is just going to be undone. warshytalk 23:01, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

It seems you are saying that (despite the wiki neutral POV policies) that removal of weasle words and heavy POV needs to be discussed, but in fact the real discussion should be whether there is any need to put in such comments in the first place. However judging by your unilateral reversion of every recent edit, it looks like there will be no fruitful discussion here until a completely neutral editor will come along to mediate. I know everything about this topic as I am a Karaylar, but that also puts me at a disadvantage because I am likely to get too emotional and not be able to see beyond my own POV. But the advantage is, I can see very clearly the slanderous POV in the article already. Sadly with a population of just a few thousand and no real publications in English (very few of us even speak English) I do not see how to rectify the situation well, especially since the only people who have taken an interest in us are people who have had an agenda to disprove our legitimacy as a nation. Luckily for the Jews, people other than Nazis wrote about them so there is plenty of material from non-Jewish point of view concerning Jews. Unfortunate for us Karaylar that the so-called "scientific" literature about us all comes from the nation with the deepest hatred for our existence.Kaz 08:37, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

There is no slander against any sect in the article as it stands. The only slander may be against the subject of the article, but this is a matter of historical debate, and any assertion here will have to be backed up by reliable sources. warshytalk 11:49, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I already outlined the issues clearly, and that this will need mediation because of your apparent bias. Kaz 12:48, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Also, the term Karaylar has to be wikilinked in first appearance.[edit]

Also, in your suggested "blank" change from Karaite to Karaylar there is no wikilink at all to the term "karaylar". That would be the first step. And then we can go paragraph by paragraph on your suggested changes. warshytalk 15:12, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Avraham had no interest in Karaite Jews, he was only interested in uncovering evidence supporting the Karaylar traditions of our origins before the Khazar period. With the astonishing diplomacy of a saint he procured many Jewish (Rabbinical and Karaite Jewish) documents pertaining to Mosaic missionary activities and migrations to the Bosporan kingdom. I did not do a blank change of Karaite to Karaylar, I simply joined all references which are obviously to Karaite Jews together with Jews, and the remaining references given the context can only be about Karaylar, since Karaite Jews would never have accepted a Khazar "mamzer" (as the Karaite Jewish teachers Jeshuan ben Yehudah and Jacob ben Reuben of Byzanteum put it) like our great leader Firkovich. Basically, we (Karaylar-Karaites) and they (Karaite Jews) simply hate each other. Have you not read this article? Naturally, being written by yet another confused Jewish scholar it makes a few mistakes in making out that we Karaylar removed ourselves from the Jewish nation recently, forgetting that even Anan ben David who was converted to our sect of Islam by Abu Hanifa back in the 8th century AD was already a believer in Jesus. But basically it hits the nail on the head, i.e. Karaylar are simply not Jews. I draw your attention in that article to what Firkovich said: “Karaites view Christ and Mohammed as prophets.”" (Green 1978a p.286 quoting Firkowicz p.2) so which type of Karaites do you think dear Firkovich is interested in, Karaite Jews or Karaylar? (-who are not actually Karaites at all but Keraits an ancient Tatar tribe accidentally confused with Karaites by sloppy or overenthusiastic authors). I would like to know your thoughts. Kaz 20:12, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
You are correct about one basic fact: Karaylar are Kerait, a Turkic sect, they are not Karaite and not Jewish at all. About their alleged Khazar "origins," the whole debate about the Khazar historical existence and historical role is not yet decided one way or another. So there is no need to mix them at all. Karaites are of Jewish descent. This other sect you claim are Muslims in their faith or religion, has really nothing to do with Karaites or Judaism. But one thing is declaring yourself not a Karaite. You can declare yourself to be whatever you want. The other thing is claiming to be the "real" Karaites, and claiming not only on the one hand Khazar origins (whose existence from a historical perpective is not even established fact), but also, on the other hand, relationship to Anan ben David, who seceded from Rabbinic Judaism but did not convert to Islam. Can you produce a reliable source that argues that he converted to Islam? The proper way to proceed, in terms of improving Wikipedia articles, would be to first work on adding reliable sources and improving and rewriting the whole Karaylar entry and its associated links. Once that area is solidly established upon reliable sources, then other entries, such as this one, can also point to it on some aside notes. warshytalk 12:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Firkovich and the Muslims[edit]

Studying a little better the Khazar history, I now see where the brewing religious polemic in this page is coming from. There is a historical confusion between two types of Karaites, and Firkovich himself is at the root of this confusion. Karaites in general of the brand supposedly started by Anan ben David are historically linked and identified with Jews, being a stream that seceded from Rabbinic Judaism. However, in the Southern part of the Russian Empire in the 19th century, in the Ukraine and Crimea, the Karaites were already mostly Muslims in their actual religion. In addition to this religious division, for political reasons that had to do with minority rights within the Russian Empire, Firkovich wanted to completely, finally dissociate the Karaites from the Jews. That is why he sought to claim that ethnically "Karaites" descended from the Khazars, not from the Jews. And he in the end succeeded in convincing the imperial authorites to grant Karaites in Russia a separate, independent and autonomous status as a minority, a privileged status, since Karaites did not have to serve in the imperial army as Jews had. Firkovich himself was not a Muslim, as were not most of the Karaites in Lithuania, which was the historical intellectual center of Karaite life. However, by seeking to completely dissociate himself and the Karaites in Russia from the Jews, and by insisting on the ethnic roots based on the historical Khazars for the Karaites, he ended up associating himself with the Southern part of the Karaite population in Russia, who were mostly Muslims. These are the Karaylars, whose representative here, Mr. "Kaz" is now again trying to claim for Muslims the mantle of the true Karaites. warshytalk 23:37, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Peace and blessings be upon you brother, I think you are starting to see the point, however, you still have a strong Jewish POV on this. You see you are still saying Firkovich was a Jew who wanted to disassociate us from the Jews, but this is not true at all. We know that without the Jews there would be no Noachides and then our religion would never have begun. But you should know that we have lost many of our number who have converted to orthodox Judaism because the so-called "Bashyazi" Sevel ha Yerushah of our clergy is basically Shammuti Torah Shebeal Peh as recorded in the Rabbinical Talmud (which when studied seems to pull the clerics into Hillelite Halakhah) meanwhile the Karaite Jews reject ALL the oral traditions. This is a general trend among those of us who have a clerical vocation (only the clerics are required to live according to Torah), but none of us converted to Karaite Judaism which did not accept converts until the Israeli state Universal Karaite Judaism started to after Mordechai Alfandari died. Even Firkovich was influenced by Rabbinical Jews in later life, but he was a true and faithful Karaylar until the day he died and did not convert to Rabbinical Judaism. For us it is important to maintain the balance with clergy being closer to Jews, and laity being closer to Muslims. The problem is encyclopaedias like this one have always confounded the issue on Karaylar-Keraits/Karaits/Karayids with Jewish-Karaites, so that now it is too late to refer to us as Keraits/Karaits/Karayids instead of Karaites. Too much has been written about us using the word Karaite rather than Keraits/Karaits/Karayids. By the way to my knowledge it is only English which seems to have this problem where Karaite has developed two antithetical meanings. Polish wikipedia does not have the same problem. The Karaylar-Keraits/Karaits/Karayids were an isolated Nestorian group who still observed the laws of Moses unlike the rest of the Assyrian Church of the East which had adopted the reforms of Babai the (not-so) "great" (though it depends on one's religion I suppose). Abu Hanifa did indeed convert Anan ben David to our religion because while being Torah observant, we readily accepted the Quran, and that is where our ethnic name derived from. Nowadays, the word Kerait/Karait/Karayid is purely ethnic and comes from our Kara Tatar ancestors, there is an article about the wider family on wikipedia too under Qaraei. Anan ben David was a Torah observant believer in Jesus and Muhammad (salallahu aleihi wasalam) as all sources on him agree. Later on however, Jews in Babylon who rejected the Talmud rallied around his group simply as a way to establish themselves as an alternative sect of Judaism. In time they rejected Jesus and Muhammad (salallahu aleihi wasalam) and restored a Sadducee-type form of Judaism which everyone today knows as Karaite Judaism. Because of our common ground with Anan ben David, Karayid Tatars for a long time kept informed about Karaite Jews, until they started to call us Bastards (e.g. Jeshua ben Judah and Jacob ben Reuben of Byzanteum) which was looooong before the 19th century. Of course not generally being allowed to write about our religion it was not until Firkovich had to do it that the confusion between us was settled once and for all. For us he is probably our greatest teacher, and it is not fair that this article presents him from a misunderstanding Jewish perspective in such a dismal light, rather than as the Karaylar national HERO that he is. Kaz 03:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
P.S. You won't find a single Lithuanian or Polish "Karaite" (Karaimlar) who is circumcised and keeps the Torah. The only Torah observant clerical Karaimi (like me) are among the Karaylar of Crimea. It is in Crimea that the Karaylar clergy have often been converted to become Krymchak orthodox Jews. I just want to help you realise what is really going on so you don't develop a misunderstanding.Kaz 04:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Basically, you are saying you are a "Torah observant cleric" of some ethnic religious sect who actually believes is Jesus and Muhammad as their profets. Basically a Muslim ethnic sect who apparently call themselves 'Karaimi'. That's a rather peculiar and weird religious "mix." But you are welcome to believe whatever you want to believe, of course. I myself have no religion and no religious beliefs. But that is another matter alltogether, about which there can be no argument here. As far as history is concerned, and history of the Karaites in particular, all we need here are arguments that come from reliable secondary sources. warshytalk 13:57, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I think you now know what Karaimi are! :) "peculiar and weird" is another outsider's point of view, but for those of us on the inside, there is nothing unusual about it, it is everyone else who seems to be astray not us. But we don't want to put that in any article, we just want an objective report without any attack or slander. So how about removing the disgusting ad-hominem POV in this article then? You try it based on only what is written in the article with an actual source you will find there is not much that can be said. But certainly the Jewish academic opinion on Firkovich needs to be put into a sub-section of its own at least. Kaz 15:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

If I may ask, just for my own curiosity, if you believe in Muhammad as a very faithfull Muslim, as you seem to be (and on Jesus too on top of that), why do you need to be "Torah observant" at all (whatever that means...). Neither Muhammad nor Jesus, I think, were "Torah observant" in that sense of the expression. Certainly not Muhammad. But that (even though I think it would grant the epiteth "peculiar and weird") is certainly beyond the historical point of this article. What precisely is the "disgusting ad-hominem POV in this article" you are referring to? warshytalk 16:33, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Remember Karaimi do not fall under the Sunni or Shiah schools of Islam. It all begins and ends with Torah and none of the prophets abrogated anything from Torah (any that did were false prophets). Email me and I will provide you with fully detailed answers complete with references from the holy scriptures for you to check out for yourself. But briefly have a look at what Christ says in Matthew 5:17-20 and 23:2-3, you will see it is better to believe the scriptures than so-called believers. As for Muhammad salallahu aleihi wasalam, he was the walking talking Koran which says again and again to believe in the Torah, to study the Torah and even be Rabbanim, to rule by the Torah, not to throw the Torah behind your backs, not to forget the Torah, simply too many references to choose just one, but try 5:44. Hence the common Islamic maxim "The Law of Moses is the Sunnah of the Prophet". P.S. I recommend you read and understand the original languages as Karaimi must when studying the scriptures, never trust a translation. I hope that answers your questions but if it does not then as I say, please email me and lets get back to the point in hand now.
Take a close look at the differences between my last edit on the article and the hostile POV version which you reverted to here and you will see that there is a nice way and a nasty way to say anything.Kaz 17:49, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Faithfull Muslims and followers of Muhammad, from Khazar ethnic descent, who also believe in "Torah." Be my guest. I believe, when you say "Torah" you are referring to Hebrew Scripture as it is represented in the Moscow Masoretic Text wich was, by the way, donated to the Russian archives by Firkovich himself. That is the only religious text I read or study, and only in versions that follow the Firkovich manuscripts themselves.[ In this lifetime I don't believe I will ever read the Christian Gospel in Greek, or the Koran in Arabic.] Never mind. As to the point at hand, your generic allusions do not help me at all. I understand that current Western historical research has cast some suspicions on some of Firkovich's ethnic "discoveries," and that obviouly you are interested in clearing his name completely, as he appears to be some "saint" of your sect. In any case, as I said, we can go line by line and word by word in changing and improving whatever needs to be changed and/or improved, as long as you provide a reliable secondary source/reference for any suggested change or improvement. warshytalk 19:05, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

"Faithfull Muslims and followers of Muhammad, from Khazar ethnic descent, who also believe in "Torah." Be my guest. " Thank you, so you agree we can now allow the article to present Firkovich in this light over the unnecessarily critical POV it currently has? I want you to start, as past experience has taught me that whatever I put in will be reverted by you. Line by line, word by word as you like. If you don't then I guess we will just have to delete every statement currently in the article which does not have a reference. Which will reduce it to a stub of course. And then VFD it. Kaz 20:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I think you might like this Kaz 15:43, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Firkovich's own ethnic roots[edit]

No, I don't. And this is not a reliable source. But why not start with Firkovich's own ethnic origins, his own ethnic roots? The article states:

He was born in Lutsk, Volhynia, then lived in Lithuania, and finally settled in Çufut Qale, Crimea.

If you know some Jewish history and you read through his wanderings, his political activities, and his career, you can see he had himself no drop of Turkic, Crimean, or Muslim ancestry in his blood at his origins. He was originally an European Russia Karaite (with close ties to European Russia Jews in Volhynia and Lithuania), who spoke Yiddish as a child, and learned Hebrew, and later Russian (and other languages too). After associating himself with Sima Babovich, settling in the Crimea, and becoming the political leader of the Crimean 'Karaites', the story changes, of course. And when you look at their admirable political success in legally separating themselves from the Jews in the imperial halls of Russian power in St. Petersburg, then the whole historical mess and confusion between Karaites and Muslim Crimean Karaites starts to make a lot more sense. warshytalk 16:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

That constitutes original research. You have no source. All you do is prove your ignorant and biased POV which should be removed from the article. But which you keep shoving back in every time anyone tries to remove it. Even though you have no sources. Kaz 20:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Proper discussion tags[edit]

I did not put/add a letter of editing into the article as it is so far. All I did was restore content that was removed without discussion. What I wrote above is not in the article, it is in the talk page, where improvements to the article should be discussed. It was a first response to the outside biased non-reliable source you yourself recommended for my reading. My sources so far are this WP article itself and the 1906 Jewish Encyclopaedia article on the public domain on which it is based. This is a recognized public domain reliable source on which many WP articles are also based. Buy I will be following up with other sources soon. As for all the tags you put in the article, they don't bother me at all. Quite the contrary, since it was you that started changing content without discussion. I have said from the beginning that I am willing to discuss any change/improvement to the article sentence by sentence here. So all the tags you put just do exactly that: no content will be changed except content that is discussed here first and upon which some type of consensus is reached. As for the "fringe theories" tag, here is an example of the "pot calling the kettle black" if I have ever seen one. Your theories about the ethnic descent of Karaites, based on Firkovich's own theories, are the fringe theories as far as current historical research is concerned. But, no ptoblem either. All these matters will be properly discussed and cleared out in due time, based on existing reliable secondary sources on the subject. warshytalk 13:49, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

No one would use a Nazi encyclopedia as a reliable source about a Jew, so why should anyone accept a Jewish encyclopedia as a reliable source about a Karaylar "bastard" as they call us? (talk) 23:48, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

The opinion of the mionority in question can not be considered fringe but must be presented honestly. The opinion of a hostile majority will always be considered fringe if it is contrary to the opinion of the minority itself. (talk) 19:41, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't know anything about any bastards. Certainly, Firkovich's activities and life had deep ramifications into Jewish history, and his work was seriously analyzed by Jewish scholars. Their historical research, including Heinrich Graetz's work on the history of the Karaites is reflected in the content of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopaedia. Your sect are Muslims, as you said, and as such they cannot be Karaites. This is because Karaites are an independent stream that is connected to Hebrew Scripture, but they are certainly not Muslims in their declared religion. Insofar as they would have a declared "religion" that religion would have to be Karaism. Certainly not Islam. If their declared religion was Islam, as yours is, they would not be Karaites. They would simply be Muslims, as you are and want to be. warshytalk 18:50, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
You are just a troll. Not a Jew not a Karaylar. Not even knowledgeable on the subject. You are just a trouble maker. We are not Sunni or Shia Muslims just because we must follow the name of Muhammad by saying salallahu aleihi wasalam as a sign of respect as was the practice of Firkovich. You really know nothing about us. (talk) 19:34, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Slanderous accusations[edit]

Now that I have caught up a bit on the updated Wikipedia definitions of slurs being used above here, I must say I take very serious offense at the slanderous accusation being thrown at me above. But opportunities to redress this obnoxious grievance will come, I believe, at the right time and the right Wikipedia forum. Unless, that is, you forthwith erase this slander above and apologize for the ignominy right away, right here in this page.

As for what we know (me and you as two individuals) or don't know about Firkovich, I will just ask you a couple of simple, straighforward questions. The article states that these are Firkovich's major works:

- Masah u-Meribah
- Abne Zikkaron
- Khotam Toknit
- Mibkhar Yesharim
- Evel Kavod
- Bene Reshef

Have you ever seen any of these books or manuscripts? If you ever saw them, would you be able to read them? Can you give me here the correct meaning, according to your own understanding, of each of these titles? Thank you. warshytalk 15:57, 29 August 2012 (UTC)


"no few therein forgery Firkovich attribute," what does this mean? Is it an edit gone wrong? (talk) 22:17, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

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