Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Karaite Pessach

JTA has an interesting feature on the way the American Karaite community celebrates Pessach:
Unlike at a rabbinic celebration... the Karaite seder does not include four cups of wine — or any alcoholic beverage, for that matter.
“We don’t allow anything that has fermented,” explains Neria Haroeh, grandson of one of chief hakhamim, or spiritual leaders, of the Karaite community in Israel.
“How do you make wine? You take grapes and let them ferment. The process is forbidden on Pesach,” he says.
Karaites do not have a seder plate, an afikomen or charoset. They do have maror made of lemon peel, bitter lettuce and an assortment of other bitter herbs, which together look like a salad.
I guess you need a more simple Seder if you're eating in the dark...


Neria H. said...

Nehemia Gordon's view is not common at all in the Karaite comunities.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haroeh, please don't contort the facts.

Gordon's view seems to prevail in the non-traditional European and North American Qaraite Jewish communities. The latter comprise at least half of North America's Qaraite Jewish population.