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  • Family and Society
  • The Atitude to Evil People

How to relate to Karaites


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

17 Kislev 5764
Shalom, I just found out today that a friend, a convert to Judaism who has been very helpful to me in the past, has become a karaite, along with her boyfriend. How is an ordinary, "mainstream" Jew supposed to relate to a karaite? I would appreciate it if you would be as specific as possible. Thank you very much, and Kol Tuv.
If your friend had an Orthodox conversion, then she is a Jew who no longer observes the mitzvot and who has abandoned many of the most basic principles of Jewish belief. As Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi explains at length in Sefer HaKuzari, it is impossible to be faithful to Judaism while forsaking the Oral Law. Because the divorces of Karaites are not halachically acceptable, a question arises regarding second and third generation Karaites who may be products of second-marriages that halachically would be seen as adulterous. If I understand your e-mail correctly, your friend has not arrived at this problem yet. Try to get your friend to speak to a rabbi who can explain to her why the Karaite belief is so untenable as to be hypocritical.
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