Karaite Jewish Videos: Ben Gurion University Looks into Karaite Judaism

Anytime a non-Karaite source looks more deeply into Karaite Judaism, I am very pleased. Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has more educational videos on Karaite Judaism on YouTube than most any other source I’ve found. Here are some of my favorites that I feel reveal the most about Karaite Judaism to the benefit of the English speaker.

In this video, Chief Hakham Moshe Firrouz of Universal Karaite Judaism leads a Q&A with some visitors from Ben Gurion University. It starts in Hebrew with a echo-thick mic, but it don’t worry – it changes to English with no more mic at around 2 minutes.

In this video, Moshe first acts as tour guide to the university visitors to the Karaite synagogue in Beer Sheva, Israel. Then the viewer gets a taste of the traditional Karaite Jewish prayer service for the evening.

The Karaite Jewish Community of Tulsa, Oklahoma

This is part blog post, part event invitation.

The Idea

For the longest time, I have dreamt of a Karaite Jewish community forming in my hometown of Tulsa, OK. Most of the time, I live as a Karaite Jew alone in this buckle of the Bible belt without any synagogue to speak of besides my own living room or occasionally going into nature to pray and study amongst creation. This seemed like especially far-fetched dream of mine due traditional Karaite Judaism in the United States being limited to but one officially recognized Karaite Jewish synagogue in Daly City, California and handful of micro-communities flung throughout the continental United States. Even with that, the sparks of Karaite Jewish thought are being fanned by the passionate and the curious alike. It’s only recently that I’ve felt in my tishkes that the potential for a Karaite Jewish community of Tulsa, OK could be a reality – no matter how small it may be.

Why Tulsa, OK

Many tell me that I should move to city with a larger Jewish community. They suggest Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and even New York City. I don’t feel like that’s necessary or where I’m being led. At one point in time, none of these cities contained even a single Jew, yet that’s how all of these communities began. I feel like Judaism, especially Karaite Judaism, has the potential to flourish in a place even as seemingly remote and non-Jewish as Tulsa, OK. Despite the odds, Tulsa has proven to the world that it is capable of supporting a Jewish community and does so. Because of that and in combination with the slightly less typical spiritual vibe of Tulsa – a place where people are searching for a spiritual home – I believe that Karaism can have growth in Tulsa.

Not a Faith of Opposition

This is not an act in opposition to the existing Rabbinic Jewish community of Tulsa, OK. We would like to work in concert with the Rabbinic Jewish community of Tulsa to help those who are curious about any strain of Judaism be able to learn more about it and interact with those involved within it. Karaite Judaism is rather just another option, another style, of Judaism that may appeal to those who may feel like Rabbinic Judaism doesn’t jive with them. If Karaite Judaism doesn’t jive with you, I’d even recommend another Jewish community in town where you feel more at home.

For the Karaite-Curious

If you feel drawn towards the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Torah, I’d suggest that you give Karaite Judaism at least a look. The few of us that share this mindset in Tulsa are very warm and welcoming. We don’t bite! Ask as many questions as you want and we will try and supply with the very best answers we can.

The Invite: 

This coming Erev Shabbat (Friday night, just before the Sabbath commences) July 11, 2014, myself and notable Karaite Jewish personality/soon-to-be full-time Tulsan Isaac Kight will be conducting traditional Karaite Jewish Evening Prayers for Erev Shabbat. This will be the first of hopefully many gatherings of the traditional Karaite Jewish community of Tulsa, OK. The exact time and location have not been determined yet, but we’ll figure it out.

We’re you’re Jewish…
…or anything else, hit us up!

Feel free to hit me up on Facebook or email me at kenjaylane@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to get back with you very promptly. If you attempt to add me as a friend on Facebook, please first send me a message outlining your intentions (“Hey Ken, I saw your blog post about the Karaite Jewish Community of Tulsa…” etc.) so I know why you’re attempting to friend me!