Dec 11, 2012

The Karaite Tradition

While Jews celebrate Hanukah worldwide, no menorahs will be lit in  Karaite Synagogues. Although they only number 50,000 followers worldwide, their tradition goes back to 8th century Babylonia, and perhaps much earlier. The Karaites reject The Oral Law, also known as Rabbinic Judaism, as formulated over centuries by Jewish scholars, in a compilation known as the Talmud.  Karaites believe that only the Torah, or the Five Books of Moses, is G-d's word to be followed. Because the miracle of Hanukah would not occur until over a thousand years after Moses received the law on Mt. Sinai, it is not in the Torah, or Karaite liturgy.  After World War 2, the Egyptian community of Karaites, then the largest remaining, migrated to Israel, where there are now 30,000.

photograph of Karaite Synagogue in Turkey

2 comments:

John said...

Was Jesus a karaite?

Anonymous said...

We use all of TaNaKh in deriving our Halakhah, not just the first five books.