This is part blog post, part event invitation.
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.
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!
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