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Karaites are members of a Jewish sect that separated from rabbinic Judaism around 800 CE. Their faith is often referred to as Karaism, or 'Karaite Judaism.

Karaism developed under the leadership of Anan ben David, Benyamin al-Nahawendi, and Daniel al-Qumisi (See Leon Nemoy, Karaite Anthology, Introduction).

Karaism relies solely on the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) as the basis for religious law. They reject the authority of the Jewish oral law, and as such in most cases they do not rely on the Mishna and Talmud, or any of the rabbinic works that stem from the Talmud.

Table of contents
1 Karaite calendar
2 In the State of Israel
3 History of Karaism
4 Further reading
5 External links

Karaite calendar

Karaites rely on observations of the Moon to begin their months, and on observations of barley (called the Aviv) to begin their years, as deduced from statements in the Torah (Aviv is both marker for the first month of the Biblical Hebrew calendar, and the next-to-last stage in the growth of barley, which it was in during the plague of hail shortly before the first Passover). Before quick worldwide communication was available, Karaites in the Diaspora used a variety of methods to determine the calendar, including observation and calculation.

In the State of Israel

The state of Israel formally recognizes all Karaites as Jews, while not all Karaites, particularly those from Eastern Europe, formally recognize themselves as Jews. Rather, they consider themselves ethnically Turkic (See Philip Miller, Karaite Separatism in 19th Century Russia).

History of Karaism

See also: Judaism

Further reading

External links