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Brit-Am Foreword.
by Yair Davidiy.
A new so-called Karaite Movement has received a degree of support from certain Ephraimites.
Brit-Am gets asked questions about this all the time. It irritates us since we doubt its veracity and do not like anti-Jewish movements.
We have evidence that it is a cloak for the propagation of anti-Jewish sentiements and doctrine. Type who seem to have anti-Jewish inclinations are attracted to it.

The Brit-Am Movement of the Ten Tribes is concerned with Researching who the Ten Tribes are; Revealing the Information to as many as possible especially those to whom it pertains; Working for the Reconciliation of Joseph with Judah.
These are the Three Rs of Brit-Am:
Revelation (i.e. striving for Recognition of the truths Revealed).

We generally avoid Religious matters and inter-faith discussions. Our subscribers and supporters belong to many religions. The Brit-Am policy is not to get involved in specific religious considerations. We do however advocate Bible Learning and ourselves teach Scripture. We also urge a return to Biblical Values.
The new pseudo-Karaites (as presented by a group of American enthusiasts) are a new religion in the guise of an old faith. For some reason they seem to be concentrating much of their propagation efforts on members of the Ephraimite Movement or else "Ephraimites" feel an affinity with them and are adopting their doctrines. Normally this would not concern us. Brit-Am however recognizes that the Ten Tribes are now to be found amongst western peoples. The Ephraimite Movement in its own way does the same and many Ephraimites do take an interest in Brit-Am. A certain degree of mutual involvement has therefore resulted. We may not like the Karaite doctrines but normally would not say anything about them. By analogy, I do not indulge in smoking tobacco. At one stage I was a heavy smoker but stopped some decades ago. I am against cigarette smoking but am not about to actively campaign against it. The same applies to hashish. I hate all drug-consumption including hashish. In the past however I inadvertently did become associated with people who had other views on the subject and we saw from up front its negative effects. To my mind the Karaites should be in a similar category i.e. something we personally detest and would avoid involvement with but when it is shoved in our faces will react against.
Against our will this Karaite matter is being pushed onto us.
We have written about this elsewhere.

King David and the Oral Law.
Loyalty to David is Required: Ruth and the Oral Tradition.

In Defence of the Oral Tradition.

The Karaite Allies Threat to Brit-Am and the Brit-Am Answer

The Karaites historically were a sect that broke away from Judaism. They denied the Oral Law and invented their own rules. A few thousand of their descendants now live in the State of Israel. They do not however really practise their religion, do not accept converts from outside, and generally keep to themselves.

Recently an American Jew set up with a few of his friends a new Karaite religion. They are not really Karaites but rather pseudo-Karaites but they are the ones we are dealing with.

They are also anti-Jewish.

In addition to being against the Jews they are also antagonist to the belief that the Ten Tribes are now to be found amongst Western Peoples.

Mark Robinson, an Ephraimite supporter of the Pseudo-Karaites sent us a letter saying that the Rabbinical ancestors [i.e. the German Jews or the Irish Ones?] of Yair crucified the Christian Messiah!
NJF-20. New Joseph Forum.
#1. Letter no.1. Et tu Brutus?
How the Rabbinical Ancestors of Yair Davidiy Crucified the Karaite Messiah of Gentile Peoples by Mark A. Robinson.
#2. Letter no.2. Why Yair Davidiy Should Not Be Offended by Letter no.1! by Mark A. Robinson.
#3. Rabbi Avraham Feld on the Karaites.

Our friend Mark also informed us that the Christian Messiah was really killed for not washing his hands before meals! Apparently the Pharisee-Rabbis were quite irate at this lack of basic hygiene!
We all know about how strict Jewish doctors and dentists may be about their professional ablutions (and are pleased that such is the case) but stringing someone up on a tree for lack of compliance with cleaning regulations seems a bit too much!
Jesus is being presented as a kind of Karaite who was killed by the Rabbis!
Apparently the Pseudo-K-Guru has a teaching along those lines?
Similar tales about the Ks have reached us from elsewhere and we have even seen an article confirming the existence of this tendency.
Will wonders never cease!
When will the film come out?
Ironically, it may be that the particular "Sanhedrin"-court that acording to the NT put JC to death historically was dominated at the time by Sadducees who were the idelogical precursors (or one of them) of the Karaite Movement!
But who cares?
The Pseudo-Ks certainly do not!
Just for the record however,
In the NT,
The Christian Messiah and his followers is presented as not getting on with the Jewish establishment in general. They seem to have had a love/hate relationship with the Pharisees who parallel the Rabbis and Orthodox Sages of our own time. If anything they were however closer to the Pharisees than to anyone else.
Whatever the case, we are not about to get involved in a discussion of such matters.
The Karaite Allies Threat to Brit-Am and the Brit-Am Answer.

Rabbi Avraham Feld agrees with Brit-Am concerning the Karaites. The Karaites are a menace or at least a pest. Rabbi Feld has personal acquaintance with the pseudo-Karaite buddies.

In the article below Rabbi Feld gives us some background concerning the Karaites in History.

Based on the evidence of Rabbi Feld and our own impressions we understand that these new American-Jewish afficianados of Karaism do not know what they are doing and do not practice Karaism. They live secular life-styles.
The day may come when some (at least) of them may regret their Karaite associations so we have refrained (at least for the time being) from discussing their personae.
The Karaite Blight!

by Rabbi Avraham Feld.

Brit-Am Foreword by Yair Davidiy.
The Need for Oral Law.
The Karaite History of False Posturing and Baiting the Jews.
The Karaites Invent Their Own Oral law by imitating the Rabbis and Copying from the Talmud!
Karaite Religious Characteristics.
The Oral Tradition is Necessary to Understand the Written Law and Everything Else.

The Need for Oral Law.
 Ever since the action (and what it symbolised) of  the Nachash (Serpent) there has been a spirit of rebellion against what is obviously HaShem's words, and the pious representatives of his unbroken transmission of those words. Numerous times the Torah says to the Rabbinic leadership [Moses, Aaron, the Elders, Jehoshua, Kelev, Itamar, the Judges, the Prophets etc. ] to keep and guard that  very selfsame Torah [i.e. Ex. 22:2, Lev. 19:3, Deut. 5:8 ].

Now you know that Hebrew, like ancient Egyptian and Chinese, is pictorial.  The holy letters have  a graphic dimension. This is in addition to the sounds, vowels, numerical value and consonants. The sounds and pictures described by our holy letters go together  like, 
'Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage and I'm telling you brother you can't have one without the other'. 
Now the  very pictorial representation  of the  Biblical word Guard is a picture of a simple handmade corral or fence. A field fence made of inter connected branches, sticks  and thorns and thistles. Our Torah leadership are comparable to Shepherds who need to fence their beloved sheep in, 'from fear in the  [ dangerous ]  night' [Song of Songs 3:7 -8 ] .

Thus the  very concrete, physical black ink of the shape of the letters cry out for our leadership to  protect and tangibly guard the Torah. That's not adding, that's just protecting. No Rabbi anywhere calls a protective measure a Torah law. They are  merely placing a hedge of roses around to save the Torah laws from being carelessly trampled.  It is a Biblical directive to make fences. The Torah commands us in no uncertain terms to keep whatever protective degrees those in authority deem necessary. The  fence made by the Shepherd is man made for a specific purpose, utilizing the Shepherds intelligence, creativity and wisdom. Now you can see, touch, feel and hear the deep Biblical basis  for the following Mishna; Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the Elders; the elders to the Prophets: and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly [through analysis we learn that they learned the Torah many times].  They  said three [ main guiding  principles ] things ;

Be exact [deliberate] in judgment  [ fair, honest, careful and just ], build up many students, [develop to an independent level ], and make a fence for the Torah.' Enact provisions and cautionary rules to safeguard against transgression' [ArtScroll Siddur pg. 545 ].

You know, Dearest Reader and Friend that a Torah Scroll or book is called  a Safer in Hebrew.
So to answer the question Why  did the Rabbis make a fence around the Torah?
The answer is: To make a 'Safer Torah'!

 Texts for your consideration:

Gen. 49:10:   'The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto ...'

'that the L-ord's law may be in your mouth' [ Exodus 13;9 ]: This is literally the Oral Torah.

 'These are the statutes and  judgements and Torahs [ the Hebrew says  Torahs , in the plural , one oral and one written  ]  Lev, 26;46
 Deuteronomy 17;8 -12 and unto the judge that shall be in those days, [ we only have the Sages of our present days or times ]

 If the prophet calls  Judah the bow and Ephraim the arrow (Zechariah 9:13), it means that Judah by necessity needs to be intuitive, creative and active in explaining the Torah  just as an archer must be.

In Exodus 20;22 it says 'G-d spoke from heaven' and Deut. 4;36 'out of heaven HE made thee to hear ...'
These are but a few simple examples of how  G-d communicated  his Torah orally!
The written torah is similar to the magnificent skeleton of the human body. The Oral Torah fills in and out the body,  giving skin, eyes, body systems, hair-coloring, personality etc.  Together they make the Hebrew people with the  Bible the longest living faith.

 Remember in the Book of Numbers, Korach and disgruntled company attacked the authority of Moses, Aaron and the Elders. Well Dear, that was not the last attack but merely one of the first attacks upon the Biblically mandated spiritual leadership of the covenantal faith community.

The Karaite schism likewise has  character traits of that same old rebellious serpent and Korach and company. Korach was brooding, filled with jealousy and hate for not getting a promotion in the priesthood. His supporters, Dothan and  Aviran had similar complaints. They were the first-born but had been skipped over for promotion.

Because of the sin of the Golden Calf fiasco [ only the Tribe of Levi was completely clean of it ] Dothan and  Aviran had gone down many levels. Still they felt they deserved an upgrade and hated, despised and nursed envy and jealousy against the Torah leadership of that time.

The Karaite History of False Posturing and Baiting the Jews.
 Likewise the essential founder of the Karaite movement, Anan (ca. 750 CE) had lost the position of Exilarch [leader of nthe Jews in Iraq etc] to his younger brother Hananiah. This petty envy and jealousy led to open confrontation, instead of accepting the majority decision of the Geonin [the undisputed spiritual leadership of the nation ]. Anan and company opposed the decision and fomented rebellion.
[They founded the Karaite Religion in opposition to that of the Jews.] Ten Tribers and Hebrew roots folk should know that the Karaites immediately declared themselves a new religion and were so recognized by the Muslim Shiite Caliph as a new separate religious faith and people. Many of them are actually non-Jews and are proud of it.

They were defined by Saadiah Goan as total apostates and heretics and not as another misguided sect. They agreed that they were different and often sought from Gentile powers recognition as a new \old religion completely distinct from Torah Judaism, with many elements of Replacement Theology! For a few  examples we have the following:
In  1795 they convinced the anti-Jewish  Empress [of Russia] Catherine II to drop the double tax that Jews had to pay and were allowed to buy land. Because they were not really Jewish, even though they have the real 'Jewish' tradition , the Jews were likened to imposters.
In 1827, they [ in Crimea ] were exempted from army service by the sick Jew-hating  Czar Nicholas I and then exempted in Lithuania. At the same time  Jewish  kids even as young as eight, nine, ten  were forcibly inducted for periods of 20 and 25 years. Unbelievable  horrors were being suffered by the Jewish Kehillah. All the while the  Karaites bad mouthed us and so proved their hatred towards  the nation of Israel, that these murderous despots felt so comfortable with them thus granting them favors.  They claimed to have great qualities while the general Jews were full of the worst character deficiencies.

 They were successful on even causing the forced exile of a holy, good and ancient Jewish community of Troki and gaining sole rights of living there.
By 1840 they were officially called  "Russian -Karaites" with no reference to their former status  as  ' Jewish- Karaites '.  These kind of antics helped them become landowners and wealthy while  the Jews were only allowed to be artisans and peddlers.
In 1840 the Karaites became  equal to Muslims in the law of the land. Also independent Church status was accorded them. The Karaites always did things to promote estrangement from the  Jewish nation and prove to  Gentile powers how non-Jewish they really were.
During WWII their attitudes 'vacillated  between indifference to the Jewish cause and in some cases  of actual collaboration with the Germans[ Nazis ] (ibid Encyclopedia Judaica pg. 776). The Einsatzgruppen [German Killing Squads sent to exterminate Jews] gave them positions of trust, authority and favor. The Nazi Ministry of Interior said that the Karaites were not Jewish but had a different  racial psychology   [ "The Phases of Jewish History", Devorah Pub. 2005 , pg. 148]. The point is they always had the wrong spirit and the enemies of our people were quick to spot it and therefore felt  and treated them as allies against Eternal Israel, the Jewish people. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend", the Arabic saying goes. Amongst the Gentiles, the very worst enemies of Torah and those charged with keeping and transmitting it, saw in the Karaites, friends in their wars against Am Yisroel [the Jewish people].
[Sources: The Ben Zvi Institute of the Former President of Israel was very helpful with a wealth of documents as was Hebrew U's Givat Ram Campus Library.]

The Karaite take on history has largely been recognized as 'unhistorical, fanciful, [and based on] biased Karaite sources'.
[Encyclopedia Judaica Jerusalem ,vol.10pg. 766, The Rise of the Karaite Sect , Barron, and many other sources ].

Karaite Religious Characteristics.
Karaism was also influenced by Islam i.e. Abu-Hanifah, the founder of the Muslim school of Hanafite jurisprudence.

 The same Encyclopedia Judaica article [ pg 763 ] and many other sources point out:
The sect was the result of a combination of factors; the amalgamation of various heterodox trends in Babylonian-Persian Jewry; the tremendous religious, political, and economic fermentations in the entire East, resulting from the Arab conquests and collision of Islam with world religions; social and economic grievances of the poorer classes of Jewry, particularly those who had migrated to the sparsely settled frontier provinces of the Caliphate [who were] thereby rural and out of touch with the centers of Torah learning and authority.
The Karaite sect aborbed such Jewish sects as the Isawites [adherents of Abu Isa-al Isfahani] and Yudghanites, who were influenced by East- Islamic tendencies and small remnants of Boethusians.
'Innumerable groups' were formed amongst the Karaites. It became impossible to find two Karaites who held the same opinion on all religious issues' as explained  by Al Kirkisani  [founder of a Karaite sect ]. Ishmael of the Ukbarte sect was violently against Anan and his followers and denounced him as "a fool and ass" ibid. pg,766 . You have Karaite leaders at one point calling Anan the first wise man then later in their careers (I guess after feeling rebellious, even against their own leadership), calling him the first of fools, i.e. Daniel b. Moses al-Qumisi first Karaite scholar to live in Jerusalem! ibib pg.768 .

The Karaites Invent Their Own Oral Law by Copying from the Talmud!
As usual despite their claim to reject Oral Torah they needed to invent their own whenever they wished to implement anything on a practical action-doing level. Without a central recognized leadership it all became a do your own thing game in line with the rebellious attitudes of its founders. Without the Sages their observance led to anti-Biblical,  absurd restrictions, anarchy. Karaism became a stepping stone for Jews to completely leave the faith and fold, assimilation, intermarriage and finally extinction [The Phases of Jewish History ibib. Pg. 146 ].

Here dear reader for your interest are some offbeat non-biblical positions the Karaite take:
They only have 8 accents of musical notation on the haftorah readings, they disregard the other markings [ accents, cantillation notes ]. They  just swallow, gobble up or draw the rest of the text in an un-natural way into the 8 motives.  By the way there existed no way to transmit sounds, pronunciations, vowels and melodies without an advanced Oral Torah transmission system!!!!
[ Dr. S. Hoffman, in: Leshonnenu 22  [1948] pages 264 to 265 ]

   In attempts to create uniformity of observance they based themselves on exegetical methods they had previously bitterly condemned!
[The Phases of Jewish History, the Karaite Schism].

  A very crucial Karaite wise-guy, Judah HaDassi, used  80 hermeneutical rules, the best ones coming right out of the Talmud  [ Eshkol hakofer . nos. 114, 168-73 ].  Anan and company wrongly translated a term in Leviticus 11:19 as chicken and thereby listed it with impure, non-kosher birds. Their further twisting and perversion of texts leading to forbidding marriage between even the most distance relatives, complicated circumcision, while forgetting some of its crucial aspects, made ritual purity between  husband and wife much more rigid and severe, prohibited kindling light even before Sabbath and yet insisted on even extinguishing it on the Sabbath. This is nuts at best, rebellious, psychologically dysfunctional, hateful of self and family  ties at worst. Regarding Sabbath they even have themselves divided up between opposing camps of good\light verses evil\darkness! [Z. Cahan, the Halakah of the Karaites , 1936]

 As mentioned earlier they could not function without any Oral Torah, so like the Catholic Church fathers and the Protestant church Elders they needed to invent  oral explanations.  Their own collection of traditions is called in a kind of negative way a yoke of inheritance, full of things not found in the TaNach ! The book of Precepts is an outstanding example of their own mishmash of self produced oral interpretations.

 Very important to keep in mind is an inescapable fact: Namely many of their greatest leaders and founders, in their moments of truth, were forced to conclude how together, organized and reliable the Talmud is in general !!!! They, for example conceded that the prohibition not to "boil a kid in its mother's milk" should be understood as relating to forbidding any meat cooked with milk [in accordance with regular Jewish Law].

 The Mishawayh al-Ukbari sect of Karaites, although gone has left its impact, held simply put that in all debates, disputes and uncertainties they were to always follow the Jewish  Rabbis. In other words they agreed on the logic and correctness of keeping the festivals in harmony with the rest of historic Jews and Judaism!  Now get this, this principle included, as just stated, their confused  New Year and Calendar issues! If in doubt, go to the Sages [Judges] who will be in your days Deut. 17 !!!

Benjamin b. Moses Nahawendi of Persia is likened to the fathers of the movement; Anan ,  Josiah, and Saul. Benjamin created a doctrine that has been in use for all sects right up to present times.  the point is  he told his students to rely upon the Rabbis in every case that the  Bible is unclear to them !!! [ L. Nemoy, Karaite Anthology, 1952 ]. Along these lines, one of the greatest Karaite wisemen and guides of all time Elijah Bashyazi  took a kinder, more respectful  legal attitude towards the Sages then these new  guys, Johnny-come-lately, self proclaimed recent Karaites. To para-phrase the Chacam Bashyazi: The overwhelming majority of Mishnah  and Talmud is true  and  faithfully gives over the words, utterances and sayings of our Biblical fathers,  "our people" must study it. It is an obligation and we need to study it with respect.

Moving along in this study, the [Pseudo-Karaites] write off many open practical commandments, even those very well documented by history and archeology, as merely symbolic ideas i.e. Tzizit and Tefillin.

 Hebrew roots people  will with a little fast facts recognize the familiar spirit of rebellion in this sect with its nasty gossip and slander of historic Am Yisroel (the Jewish People). Even a glance at the NT will yield  boatloads of Oral Torah  totally accepted by the main players. [The NT criticizes those who flaunt the wearing of tsitsot and tefillin [phylacteries] but does not say that the wearing of them is wrong in itself.]

The ethical call not to wear Tsitsot and Teffilin in a show-off way is very normal.  It is a Rabbinical  kind of censure. The Sages were always pushing and pulling the  nation on to higher levels. Greater humility and service is what it is all about.  No mention is made, at all in the NT, that these ritual holy objects were inventions of the Rabbis of that time [as the Karaites now claim]. All the ritual objects were assumed by the NT to be  from the time of the Revelation at Sinai etc.  No one ever yelled at the Apostles,  their Teacher, or friends for keeping the wrong dates of Festivals! [They kept the accepted Pharisee-Rabbinical dates.] Nor did they attack any regular Jewish Pharisees for corrupting festival times or for plain making up things. Nor did the very critical Church Fathers attack the Jews for making up a non-Biblical Calendar. Just the opposite,  they were instructed in the NT not to change anything of the Sages, they are the living olive tree, just let it be a  Tree. 

What does "..not a dot or tittle" mean? They are all little lines, notes, decorations etc, written in the Written Torah, completely  100%  according to the ancient Oral Torah's directives!!! Whatever the heck the NT is saying, only makes sense with an Oral Torah explanation and understanding. Besides  after trying to trick the Nazarene, the Sadducees, who rejected Oral Law, helped Nazi-like Rome. They  were the members of the puppet anti-Rabbinic court that sentenced the Nazarene illegally. Later they  were basically wiped out by loyal Jews in the Revolt against Rome. They [the Sadducees] were told  in the NT that they are ignorant (being assimilated pro-Roman), and  that they do not know the power of Hashem!!!!

 In brief this article is presented as a public service to the many up and coming 10 Israel, as well as Hebrew Restoration folk, forwarned is forearmed.

The Oral Tradition is Necessary to Understand the Written Law and Everything Else.
 Once, a non-Jew asked the great and saintly Shamai: "How many Torahs do you have'" "Two" he answered. "One Oral and one Written, as it says, # These are the statutes and judgments and laws [Hebrew: "Torot" or "Toros" i.e. the plural of Torah], which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses # [Leviticus 26:46]. The  non-Jewish fellow said, "I believe you concerning the Written but not in regards to the Oral Law. Convert me on condition that you teach me only the Written Law.  Shamai became indignant and sent him away.  The man then went to the equally great and saintly Hillel who accepted him for the conversion program. On the first day Hillel taught the person the alphabet: Aleph, beth, gimmel, dalet, etc. On the second day Hillel reversed the letters. The prospective convert disagreed and said: "Yesterday you taught me a DIFFERENT sequence." Hillel answered, "My  son, you are relying on me anyway so rely on me concerning the Oral Torah too."

In other words we would not know how to pronounce the Hebrew Alphabet if not for the Oral Torah. Similarly, in order to understand the Written Torah we have to rely on Oral Torah. Without such a practice, even the Written Torah would not be understandable. Check this out,

'You shall keep that which I have entrusted you to guard' Leviticus 18:30.

  We the manna eaters, the children of our great ancestors, have never lost contact with HaShem, His Torah or our spiritual leadership. They, likened to angels, who so lovingly have passed it on in each generation. From Sinai to desert drama and trauma on through all our trials and tribulations, through the blood, sweat and tears, glory and joys we have always had a living, dynamic relationship with our righteous remnant the giants of mind and  spirit, our Sages .

Other articles by Rabbi Avraham Feld:

Little Sister". The Oral Law
by Rabbi Avraham Feld.

Response to Islam"

See Also:

King David and the Oral Law.
Loyalty to David is Required: Ruth and the Oral Tradition.

Collective Responsibility and Rabbinical Authority.

In Defence of the Oral Tradition.

The Karaite Allies Threat to Brit-Am and the Brit-Am Answer

More Brit-Am Rabbinical Sources

Ten Lost Tribes and Biblical Philosophy by Avigdor.