Talk:Karaite Judaism/Archive 1

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Karaite Judaism Page

What should we add to this page? I'm thinking about adding information on "Tefillin", the New Moon Sightings, as practiced (or not practiced) in Karaism. Any thoughts from anyone?

Why is the section on Ben Asher an identical copy to the main article bearing his name? JFW | T@lk 20:59, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
I would guess that it was copied from this page. I don't know. --Yoshiah ap 07:17, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Nah. Just describe the practices as they are practiced. (In other words, there is no need to talk about tefillin.) --Ami hertz 22:30, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

famous Karaites and Yehudi Menuhin

In his autobiography, "Unfinished Journey", the late violinist and music educator Yehudi Menuhin claims Karaite descent on his mother's side.

Thanks for the information. Do you know what he affiliated with? (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Karaite?)--Yoshiah ap 23:20, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)


This article doesn't have any dates, could we have some? For example dates of foundation of the sect, and major events in it's history. Births and deaths of major figures and so on.

I'll see about getting some dates of significant leaders in Karaite history, however Karaism really didn't have a "founding". Some of us are descendants of the ancient Saducees. The common misunderstanding was that we were founded by Anan ben David, but he wasn't a Karaite. He used PaRDes, while Karaites only use Peshat. I could gather dates of when Anan ben David convinced the Muslim authorities to allow Jews to practice Non-Rabbinic Judaism. Would that work? --Yoshiah ap 21:27, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Anan ben David

"his own followers" was changed to "non-orthodox jews" because there were other groups that benefited his actions who were around at that time. The Isunians and the Yudganites, which existed before Anan, benifitted from his actions though they were not affiliated with him. Groups that came into existence after Anan, such as the Mishawites and the Ramlites similarly beniffited from Anan's actions.

While many believe that the Ananites merged with other groups to form Karaite Judaism, I've never seen a historian who suggested that Ananism merged with Rabbinic Judaism. Jayjg 14:44, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I've heard the suggestion before - but there's also a possiblity that they assimilated into other sects (like the ones mentioned above). To make it NPOV to any of the possiblities, I changed it to " which later assimilated into other existing sects, or perhaps dispersed altogether.", which would be accurate either way. Is that alright with you?--Josiah 02:40, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No, because it is pretty widely (though not universally) believed that the Ananites were either a founding part of Karaism, or merged with other groups to form Karaism, but there is no historian that I am aware of who suggest that the Ananite movement merged with Rabbinic Judaism. If you have evidence of a historical school that believes the latter happened, please bring it forward.
I understand your desire to distance Karaism from Anan, but this stems from your own religious beliefs, which are not even those of all Karaites. Just as it would be inappropriate to write an article on Orthodox Judaism purely from the perspective of (say) a Modern Orthodox Jew, so to it is inappropriate to write and article about Karaism purely from your particular perspective. Jayjg 16:43, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hi, I don't disagree that some of the Ananites merged into Karaism. However, I disagree with the idea that's the *only* place they merged into. Would you re-word it so that it doesn't imply that all ananites are the modern day Karaites?--Josiah 17:12, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think it already says that, when it says they may have merged with Karaism, or dispersed, doesn't it? Jayjg 21:48, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps it's because of my POV, but when I read "which later assimilated into Karaism, or perhaps dispersed altogether." it registers "either they became karaites or simply died out", eliminating the possiblity of the other sects that existed in those time periods. That's why I had "which later assimilated into other sects".--Josiah 06:08, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
How about "which later assimilated into Karaism or other non-Rabbinic sects, or perhaps dispersed altogether". Jayjg 16:23, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
In all of your edits, you have explicitly dis-counted the possiblity that any of the Ananites returned to Rabbinical/Orthodox Judaism. Is there anything wrong with this, especially since they used PaRDeS? Ya'acov Al-Kirkisana wrote that, with exception to the Oral Tora, The Redemption of the Firstborn, and something else (I'm not reading from his writings, but grabbing my memory), that all of their beliefs could be traced to Rabbinical Lore. For these reasons, I believe "which later assimilated into sects, or perhaps dispersed altogether" would be more accurate.--Josiah 01:40, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I have not discounted the possibility, but I have simply never seen any evidence for it, not any historians who suggest that it happened. Perhaps they merged with Muslims; perhaps they converted to Christianity. Perhaps they migrated to North America and created the legends the Mormons now follow. I suppose anything is possible, but the fact remains that there are many historians who say Anan founded Karaism, or that his followers merged with other groups to form Karaism. There are none that I am aware of who say his followers merged with his foes, the Rabbinic Jews. Al-Kirkisani's views on the Ananites are one valuable source, but not particularly more reliable than the Rabbinic sources on Anan and his followers, particularly as al-Kirkisani was hardly less hostile to the Ananites than the Rabbis were. al-Kirkisani's views on Anan's methods of Biblical interpretation are interesting, but with the rejection of Oral Torah the Ananites had far more in common with later Karaites than with Rabbinic Jews. In any event, one cannot create history based on al-Kirkisani's view that Anan used Rabbinic Biblical methods of interpretation. Also, I think it is unreasonable to ignore or suppress the view that the Ananites were an important part of Karaism, particularly as so many historians and Karaites believe he was. Jayjg 02:51, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Al-Kirkisani was not the only one who shared that view. However, I took down the article on my site about Anan because I needed to reword my position on him, and the "origins" of Karaism. I changed it into "other groups" - is that ok?--Josiah 23:50, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No, because it (again) deliberately leaves out Karaism, which is where most scholars and Karaites believe the Ananites ended up. Jayjg 15:37, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Your latest edit works for me.--Josiah 20:02, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Karaite Judaism and Jesus

What do Karaites believe about Jesus?

Hi, in Etz Hayim by Aaron ben Eliyahu, Aaron wrote that "At the time of the second Temple when the authority of the Greeks ruled the people of Israel, the former, as a result of their contact with the Jews, their religion and its true teachings, upon the advent of Jesus the son of Mary, immediately adopted his false teachings in order not to accept the faith of Israel, thus demonstrating their envy and hatred." Ya'acov Al-Kirkisani wrote that (paraphrasing from memory) "some say that Jesus was a good man, and was one of the first to reject the Rabbinite Traditions". I'd directly quote it, but the writings I have of his are currently packed. (I'm getting ready to move)--Josiah 23:42, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Misconceptions section possibly confusing

The section about common misconceptions regarding Karaism confused me at first. It features a bulleted list, not of the misconceptions themselves, but their denials. When I read "Karaites do not wear tefillin", I could not tell whether this was itself a misconception, and that Karaites did wear tefillin, or whether the misconception was that they did when in fact they don't. It was only when I got down to the misconception about belief in Jesus that I figured out the intended reading, because I was pretty sure that a group like the Karaites would not believe in Jesus. But my ignorance on the subject had me on the fence up to that point.

I suggest a wording something like this, before the bulleted list:

"There are many common misconceptions about Karaite beliefs and practices. For example, it has been incorrectly asserted that Karaites venerate Jesus. But in fact:"

On second thought, this suggestion is not the masterpiece of clarity I was hoping for. But something should be inserted to make it clear that the bulleted statements are not themselves misconceptions, but rather authoritative assertions intended to counter misconceptions. I have no doubt some skilful encyclopedist will have exactly the correct phrasing at the ready.

I've re-worded it; hope it's clearer now. Jayjg 02:57, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)