January 13, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #607790PatriMember
Are the Karaites an offshoot of the Tzedukis?January 13, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #919810akupermaParticipant
Perhaps. Everyone’s historical traditions (their’s and our’s) say they are not, but the similarities in religious doctrines suggest some connection or influence. Absent a “time machine” no one can know for sure (not that it matters all that much, unless you are into arguing fine points of history).January 13, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #919811
They recently opened a Karite Shul near San Francisco. They were ruled jewish, There are about 45,000 todayJanuary 13, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #919812
Karaim came several centuries after Tzedukim.January 13, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #919813
Who ruled them Jewish?January 14, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am #919814HaLeiViParticipant
What about the Baysusim? Are they any different at all ideologically?January 14, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am #919815
The Rambam, Rav Ovadiah Yoseph and Eliahu Bakshi-DoronJanuary 14, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am #919816
DY: Why would they not be Jewish? Or why should they be any different than the Jewish status of Reform Jews (who do not descend from reform converts.)January 14, 2013 1:28 am at 1:28 am #919817
They are considered Jewish, yet Karaites go by patrilineal descent, which is obviously not how we define Jewishness.January 14, 2013 1:46 am at 1:46 am #919818akupermaParticipant
NO ONE has ever claimed that the Karites are not Jewish. That is not an issue (though many Karites are accused of having convinced the the pre-1917 Russians, and then the Nazis, that they weren’t descended from the ancient Jews and therefore shouldn’t be persecuted). However they have always been considered Jews by mainstream Jews, albeit apikoresim.
If the gittim are not proper, they might be considered mamzerim (assuming their marriages were legal) – some have suggested they be considered goyim since it solves the issue of being mazerim.January 14, 2013 2:10 am at 2:10 am #919819shmoelMember
If they go by patrilineal descent, their claims to being Jewish cannot be relied upon as their Jewish status claims may be based (somewhere up the lineage) on a gentile mother and Jewish father.January 14, 2013 2:11 am at 2:11 am #919820danielaParticipant
Their status is different than Reform Jews. They have a mesorah and it is wrong, so, they are sofek mamzerim and we stay away from them. There are many in Israel too, they fled Egypt in previous decades, and in Israel they don’t always talk about their Karaite descent. It’s something to be aware of.January 14, 2013 2:38 am at 2:38 am #919821
I also seem to recall that they do their Kidushin in a way that is halachicly valid but their gittin they do halachicly invalid, thus resulting in possible mamzer status as daniela pointed out. And since they’ve been doing as such for nearly a thousand years, there is no way to verify one of them isn’t a mamzer.January 14, 2013 2:50 am at 2:50 am #919822lesschumrasParticipant
While they both rejected Torah she’beal peh, the tzrdukkim disappeard after the churban, the karaites arose in the 700’s. At one time they accounted for nearly 40% of all Jews until Saadya Gaon published a critique that started their decline. One version of their origin holds that Anan Ben David was in line to the be the next Exilarch. While brilliant he was also unstable so the rabbanim elected his brother. In anger, Anan started karaismJanuary 14, 2013 3:01 am at 3:01 am #919823
Rav Ovadiah Yosef says they are jewish and its permitted to marry them.January 14, 2013 4:34 am at 4:34 am #919825
The same Wikipedia article (if that’s where you got your info from) also states that others do not consider them Jewish.
If they believe in patrilineal descent, it’s easy to understand how someone could question their status.January 14, 2013 5:10 am at 5:10 am #919826
Karaites use a patrilineal system (since matrilineality was instituted by Hazal in Masechet Kiddushin) to determine status, which leads me to wonder why some kind of tevilah or hatafah isn’t necessary.January 14, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am #919827
I first heard about modern Karaties in a book about The founding of Israel. I had heard of them of course in school but thought they disappeared.
In the book it talked about the founding of the state of Israel and how many jews from Sephardic countries wanted to emigrate there. The Karaties came from Sephardic countries and also wanted to emigrate. And the book also discussed other Safek jews like the Bnei Israel and later the Ethiopians. With the law of return the issue of who is a jew is not only a halachic one , but a political one as only jews can immigrate to the state of israel.
The Book said that rabbis at the time decided that Karaties where jewish but the issue of marriage , divorce and manzer was an issue and never answered it (It never mentioned Patralineal decent).
For those who say some dont consider them jewish, there are those who dont consider many AMERICAN jews jewish, especially those that came before WW II. In order to marry in Israel you need to prove you are jewish. Most american jews who came before WW II cannot prove this to easily. Think about it, How do you prove you are jewish, Other than you were told you are, you dont have any other physical proof. Even proving your maternal grandmothers maiden last name sounding jewish hasnt been enough proof (Thats about the best proof most people have)
At least the Russian jews had either a Jewish Star or Zhid stamped in their passports so they had some proof.January 14, 2013 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm #919828danielaParticipant
I believe I heard we do not suspect them (in general) of being nonjewish because they married among each others since many generations. Even if someone had been improperly converted or had a nonjewish mother, we assume those people eventually left the fold. Those who remain are mixed into the community and they all have a presumption of being jewish. Of course this does not apply to a Karaite with a known nonjewish mother or maternal grandmother.January 14, 2013 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #919829
On the other hand, we believe that those who come to a shul, let’s say, have a chazaka of being Jewishness. Rambam says we only investigate status when marriage is involved.January 14, 2013 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #919830golferParticipant
ZahavasD, “Zhid” or a Jewish star on a Russian passport unfortunately proves nothing. The Russian authorities considered someone a Jew based on a Jewish last name, which usually came from the person’s father.January 14, 2013 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #919831
I believe, like Hakham Uziel, and R’ Chaim Amsalem, and the Rambam, in Pe’er haDor #211, that the tragic phenomenon of intermarriage constitutes a hora’at sha’ah, as Jewish unity and the cohesion of the state of Israel is threatened. We need to utilize conversion as a means of averting a crisis, which we are on the verge of, sadly.
A situation where people who speak Hebrew, go in the army, eat matzah on Pesah, and fast on Yom Kippur can’t marry others who are on the same wavelength religiously, demands a response from the Rabbanut.January 14, 2013 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #919832
Absolutely not. We cannot use so-called “conversions” as a magic wand to declare non-Jews to be Jewish, as it would have no halachic effect and their status remains as Gentiles.January 14, 2013 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #919833
We assume people to be Jewish based on chazakah; a family known to be Jewish is assumed to actually be Jewish. Tat presumption, though, becomes suspect when there are known factors to question it. We no longer assume, unfortunately, that someone coming from non-Orthodox movements is definitely Jewish, because they define Jewishness differently than we do. I would think that this includes the Karaites too, unless, as daniela implies, we still assume that the majority are halachically Jewish, and any specific indivial is presumed to be from the majority.January 15, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am #919834benignumanParticipant
The Karaim and Tzedukim are different. The Karaim reject Torah shel bal peh wherever it conflicts with what they read as pshat in posuk (which is almost always).
The Tz’dukim didn’t reject all of Torah shel bal peh, they rejected the authority of the Sanhedrin and the Perushim in expounding on Torah shel bal peh. There were large parts of Torah shel bal peh they accepted as evidenced by the arguments they have with Chazal in Menachos and other places. Tzedukim also had a very different view of schar v’onesh.
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