Chapter

Karaite Halakhah

Michael Corinaldi

in An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262626
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682360 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262626.003.0009
Karaite Halakhah

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The Karaite sect was initiated in Baghdad in the eighth century by Anan Ben David, who explicitly expressed opposition towards the Geonim's halakhic authority. While the Hebrew term for ‘Karaites’ – Ba' ale Mikra – can be translated to mean the ‘People of the Scriptures’, the sect ‘Karaites’ asserts how the Divine Law can be sourced and understood only through the Scripture. Also, the sect promotes, in the talmudic-rabbin sense, the rejection of the Oral Law. This chapter examines the evolution of Karaite thought, from periods as early as the eighth and ninth centuries, to the present day. This chapter identifies the codifiers who have greatly contributed to such thought, explore how the Karaite centre has been moved in order to further the establishment of a religious community that abided by the State of Israel's laws, and relevant issues for the Karaite Halakhah such as intermarriage relations and divorce.

Keywords: Karaite sect; Geonim; Scripture; intermarriage relations; divorce

Chapter.  7870 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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