Friday, February 12, 2016

On the Karaites

THE KARAITES ARE ALIVE AND WELL: Karaite Jews: The readers of Hebrew scriptures (EKREM BUĞRA EKINCI, Daily Sabah).
The Karaim are a Jewish community that completely reject the Talmud oral law and only recognize the Torah. They continue their existence in different regions, including Lithuania and Turkey, and it is rumored that Istanbul's Karaköy neighborhood is named after them
The article has lots of interesting historical background. I am not a specialist on the Karaites and I can't vouch for the specifics, but overall it looks accurate to me.

Past posts on the Karaites are collected here and links.

CORRECTION: Reader Eric Cohen writes in response:
Without being an expert, I wouldn't trust the Daily Sabah column on the Karaites, based on its identification of Saadia Gaon as a Karaite. He was, as described, a pioneer in the scientific study of Hebrew. He was also one of the most vehement opponents of Karaism,and would likely be horrified by this identification.
Quite right. How did I miss that one? Comes of trying to do too many things at once this morning. For more on Saadia Gaon, see, for example, here. Very grateful for the correction.