What is a Karaite Jew

In this video, I share with Bob O'Dell from Root Source, about my struggles with my Orthodox upbringing, the ironic way I was introduced to Karaism, and my father's reaction to me taking my faith in this direction. Please share your comments below.

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What is a Karaite Jew
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Nehemia Gordon's Teachings on the Name of God

Show Notes:
The Karaite Korner

  • Jeff says:

    Converted in my heart 18 years ago to karaite israelism. I’m the only one around Rocky Mount, N.C. that I know of. Everybody’s comments encourage me. Thanks.

  • Doug says:

    I belong to a reform shule but strongly disagree with my fellow members over the validity or the tanakh, or whether Moshe existed among other ideas. In fact there are many aspects that make me cringe and at times I feel offended. The struggle is real. The more I hear Nehemiah speak the more identify with karaism.

  • Beverley says:

    I have BA in Biblical study, what best karaite Biblical study books or YouTube or classes

  • Liz says:

    My parents only celebrate holidays they we t me to a chabad wcboolmand I .myself had questions oral law andpryed For an answer and that is when I found Karite . I live in northwest .NebRaska .I am the only Jew left in this part of the state. I follow Karite .Jewdi sd m

  • Kitty Corbett says:

    Many have written of their mental torment and social isolation as they seek true worship of the one true God, YHVH. Who are they trying to please, God or man? They might spare themselves much pain by reference to Ecclesiastes 12:13 The sum of the matter…Revere God and keep His commandments.

  • Shalom.

    I am Chandrababukale living in India state of andhrapradesh. I am fallowing judasim.

    Please send details. Chuftkale.details

  • trish392016 says:

    Is the term karaite jew is biblically correct ‘ and if so where this derive from?

  • Pete says:

    Hi Nehemia, long story but in short:
    We are busy converting to Orthodox Judaism at this moment.
    We did try to convert to Karait but it doesn’t seem possible outside the US or perhaps Israel. We are in South Africa. Some advice or input on conversion to Karait please? Also – is it acceptable. Eg: Can you make aliyah?

    • Dalton Pryon says:

      Pete, you don’t need to go through some man-made organisation in order to “convert” to Judaism. The Scripture says that all we need is so join ourselves to Yehovah, not to have someone else join us to Him (Isaiah 56:1-5). Hope this helps. Shalom.

  • cecille12 says:

    I absolutely loved this video! I always learn something new from Nehemia and his interviews. Now we can watch him and soak in his whole being when he shares. Thank You Heavenly Father, YHWH Elohim for Nehemia proclaiming on the wall! I hope to always support him in different ways! Prayer is my most precious drink offering to our God of Israel! Precious beyond words!

  • Robert Barko says:

    Greetings Nehemiah, we have a new Rabbi coming to our town and this information will be a good basis for understanding and insight into origins and the Karaite movement. I had another question, do Karaite’s have wedding ceremonies on Sabbath?

  • David says:

    I left Christianity about 8 years ago, my wife didn’t, and that initially that put a huge strain on our relationship. My brother once confronted me and asked “are saying that all those great christian theologians are wrong?”. I just looked at him and said: “there was no way I can answer for them, all I can tell you is that I think I was wrong.”.

    When the days of remembrence come around. There are no family gatherings, now elaborate celebrations, or big meals. Nope, its just me, sometimes I make a sandwich and spend the day reading about and remembering those things God has done.

    There was a time too when the pastor of my wifes church would try to convince me to come back to the flock. But I am better armed with biblical knowledge to defend my position now. Unfortunately because of that, even he gave up and honestly I do miss our conversations.

  • Mike L says:

    Sola scriptura (Latin: by Scripture alone) is a Christian theological doctrine which holds that the Christian Scriptures are the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.

    The Most famous paradigm of this in Christianity is Martin Luther, who as a Catholic monk reading the scriptures was enlightened by the Holy Spirit that men’s salvation is by faith in YHWH alone and no other teachings in the churches.

  • Chris says:

    My story is different too from most I’ve heard. I wanted to just follow the Old Testament. I realized this when I was age 10 and the Gideons handed me a little New Testament with psalms and proverbs. If it was okay for some Christians to just read and follow the New Testament, I reasoned it was okay for me to just follow the Old Testament. A few years later I discovered Judaism and by age fourteen I was practicing it on my own. But I did have some disappointments from the reality that so many Jews seemed not care what the Bible said including the Orthodox or more traditional Jews, who were never able to separate themselves from the oral tradition. I identified early on with secular agnostic Zionist pioneers who knew and revered the Tanakh (think Paul Newman in Exodus) sometimes more than their kippah covered co-religionists. Since there are not many Jews where I live, I have often formed connections with messianic type people, which eventually led my parents to find themselves as messianic and we still get along wonderfully.

    I have known of Nehemia since 2004/2005 when I saw him on Zola Levitt. That interview changed my life. When he spoke against the traditions not in the Bible it was a hard thing for me. I had wanted to be that very kind of person when I was growing up, a follower of Tanakh, but I didn’t know those people existed. I originally thought following the Tanakh was what Judaism was all about, or that it was the closest thing to it. By the time I saw the interview on Zola, I had been living a ‘normal’ Jewish life for several years but had not yet been able to convert and I honestly didn’t want to feel more different and isolated as I had all my life. I was a senior in high school the first time it aired and then it aired again the week before I went to college. While my struggle would continue for the next ten years, my not diving in fully into Orthodox Judaism was the result of that interview. For the first time in my life I knew that there was someone out there who was Jewish and who loved the G-d of Israel and who was guided not by halacha but by the words of the Scriptures.

    I kept living a Jewish life mostly among Christians and Messianics and kept those thoughts I had all those years ago in my heart for some years now. I was finally able to convert which I did really so I would feel like I generally belonged somewhere and because I feel like the Jewish people are my people. About a year ago I was offered the opportunity to leave my area of 99.99% non-Jews and go and live in an area of Hasidism and join them. I almost did this just so I could be surrounded by Jewish people living according to their beliefs and I knew I could assimilate among them. But I know that I believe in the Tanakh above all else, so I have remained where I am. I am still pretty traditional. I do light Shabbat candles but I know that I eventually won’t be able to utter the traditional blessing. I wear a kippah when I pray and I have mezuzot on the doors in my home. I participate with my very small, very diverse local Jewish congregation (where our Torah study group is made up almost entirely of converts not one of which is similar to the other-Kabbalistic loving Orthodox converts next to Reform converts next to my messianic parents next to me). I know that the easy way is not for me. The L-rd gave me faith in the Tanakh at an early age and so I have tried to find in traditional Judaism a way to express that faith. Yet I cannot suppress what I know to be true. There is a beautiful torah written by men, wise men in fact. There is a beautiful Torah written by G-d ( I still cannot write the full name). I must follow His Torah above all else. I am not a Karaite. I was one once long ago when I was a child before I even knew the word ‘Judaism.’ But I’ve learned how to fit in with the Jewish world and learned certain customs and interpretations and it will take some time to work out this personal salvation. It is only in the last year I’ve begun to ask myself how I got to this place. Why did I become Jewish in the first place? Was it the holidays and customs and rituals (all of which I still love)? No, I became Jewish because I believed in G-d and His Holy Text. I am one of the am haaretz, and a Zionist through and through. I love the mesorah as non-binding tradition but not as divinely inspired. I appreciate the way the rabbis interpreted the texts over the last 2,000 years of exile, and yet part of me wonders if they hadn’t reinterpreted things, then maybe the Jewish people would have felt obliged to restore their sovereignty in the Land much sooner.

    I am thankful to be Jewish and thankful for Nehemia who all those years ago showed me there were people out there like myself.

  • Mona says:

    Most definitely I have taken a different path in faith from what I was raised as. To this day, my family is still unsure of what I’m following, even sitting with them and explaining it to them. I think that they still seem to think that I’ve rejected Jesus, and put myself under the law.

    • Gail says:

      Karaites do not accept the NT and do not believe that Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah. A Karaite Jew only accepts the Hebrew Tanakh as it’s only source of scripture. True Karaites like Nehemia, reject Jesus and believe we are all under the Law. As it is written-the Commandments are forever, despite what Paul says.

      • Mona says:

        I know what the Karaites believe, but the point I was trying to make initially, and perhaps didn’t explain fully, was that the commandment of Yeshua in John 14:15

  • Nehemia ,Ik kom uit het traditie Christendom , maar op mijn 35ste jaar begon ik een onderzoek naar wat is waarheid , zo ben ik voor 30 jaar lang alle sabbatten gaan houden zowel alle jaarlijkse feesten en de voedselwetten , maar bleef een Christen , tot dat mijn ogen werden geopend dat er maar EEN GOD IS DIE GEEN ZOON HEEFT IN DE ZIN VAN HET CHRISTENDOM,Dat de God van Israel God is in niemand anders , gevolg alleen komen te staan maar dat is te begrijpen ook , ik werd dus een afvallige,en besmet , maar zou nooit meer terug willen naar mijn ouder staat,
    Vr Groet ,
    Grietje Middelkamp

  • Erin says:

    I was raised to hold on to my ‘Lutheran’ faith and in adult life, after many ill experiences I came out of it and sought to see what others taught. When this was exhausted I still had no clarity so I began on my own, believe to be lead by The Spirit to do this’ I began seeing the Bible in a different understanding and felt so hungry to be taught by One True Master, YHWH. At that time I did not realize He had a name, this happened by trying the language and understand the letter[s] meaning. I found in Jeremiah/YirmeYahu “our [then, the people were told] fathers had inherited lies [one place] and “our hearts [humans, like Adam and Eve] are desperately wicked who can know it”. Confirming I also was being deceived in following any religion…
    Long story, journey, in this study and learning from a 1395 Bible of Wycliffe, link http://www.sbible.ru/wyc/wycle.htm. The belief shown was due to letter changes through human thinking while evolving in time, There was no letter j and if YHWH never changes, nor repents, it has to be we are dangerously headed for disaster UNLESS we seek to know Him daily and repent from our own ways…
    I join with you on the wall [in prayer by support] eager to grow into the branch of the 2 sticks HE/YHWH joins by power though the Ruach haQodesh.

    Many have told me it sounds like I am a Messianic follower. The stand I take is I am only seeking Truth and conviction to be changed by my ABBA, join with others to fellowship and study to learn, as a child would do to please her Father.

    Thank you ABBA for laying on Nehemiah’s heart the plan which NEVER changes and I ask you to train us all up in the way to go from toady and forward, eternal timing, My ahavah is totally coming to you to always keep a watchful eye over us all in these days to come.

    May YHWH Elohim bless you, keep you and grant all Hi Peace/Shalom!

  • It not only amazes me on the knowledge and wisdom that Nehemia has been blessed with but how he fills in the details to back up and explains in a simple way for people who don’t know.

    • Anne Gauchet says:

      Up to a point. As with all of us, it takes a lifetime to be transformed by our Father Yahuah, if we let Him…
      He guides us, answers our questions, puts people across our path.
      He will let Himself be found by those who seek Him.
      We cannot fault His faithfulness.