Karaites hold first conversion in 500 years

by Maskil on Aug 5, 2007

Karaite Kenesa of Trakai, Lithuania.
Image via Wikipedia

According to this Breaking News article on the JTA website, the Karaites,

A fringe Jewish sect that rejects the authority of post-biblical rabbinic law performed its first conversion in 500 years…

After a year of study, 10 adults and four minors — from locations as far afield as the Czech Republic, Australia and Canada — swore fealty to Karaite Judaism.

Mazal Tov! I take this to be an understanding on the part of Karaite Judaism that it is essential to accept (if not actively recruit) converts to replace those members lost through natural attrition.

The Karaites represent to me a surviving effort to question the authority of Rabbinic Judaism. In a pluralistic Jewish world, we should be able to accommodate this outlook as legitimate, even if we don’t necessarily agree with it.

I look forward to a time when Judaism sees itself as a family (perhaps the equivalent of the Christian faith, with any number of different churches still describing themselves as Christian) rather than as a hierarchy after the fashion of the Roman Catholic Church.

Karaites hold first conversion in 500 years

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