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INQUIRY INTO THE SOURCES OF KARAITE 
HALAKAH 

By Bernard Revel, Marietta, Ohio 

The causes of the Karaite schism and its early history 
are veiled in- obscurity, as indeed are all the movements 
that originated in the Jewish world during the time be- 
tween the conclusion of the Talmud Babli and the appear- 
ance of Saadia Gaon. 

From the meager contemporary sources it would seem 
that from the second third of the eighth century until 
the downfall of the Gaonate (1038) the whole intellectual 
activity of Babylonian Jewry centered about the two 
Academies and their heads, the Geonim. Of the early 
Gaonic period the Jewish literature that has reached us 
from Babylonia is mainly halakic in character, e. g. 
Halakot Gedolot, Sheeltot, and works on liturgy, which 
afford us an insight into the religious life of the people. 
From them, however, we glean very little information 
about the inner life of the Jews in Babylonia before the 
rise of Karaism ; hence the difficulty of fully understanding 
the causes which brought about the rise of the only Jewish 
sect that has had a long existence and has affected the 
course of Jewish history by the opposition it has aroused. 

The study of sects always has a peculiar interest. 
During the thirties of the last century, the Karaites them- 
selves made accessible to the scholarly world the works of 

517 



5l8 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

some of their latter-day authorities, and with the publica- 
tion of Simhah Pinsker's epoch-making work "Likkute 
Kadmoniyyot" (i860) the attention of Jewish scholarship 
was turned to Karaism and its literature. Pinsker, 
blinded by his discovery of an important phase in the de- 
velopment of Judaism, invented a pan-Karaite theory, ac- 
cording to which the Karaites are to be looked upon as 
the source of all intellectual achievement of mediaeval 
Judaism (Likkute, I, 4, 32). The Masorah is a product 
mainly of theirs, and it is among them that we are to look 
for the beginnings of Hebrew grammar, lexicography, 
poetry, and sound biblical exegesis. The Rabbanites, since 
Saadia Gaon, were merely imitators of the Karaites. Pins- 
ker believed that every Jewish scholar, prior to the eleventh 
century, who busied himself with the study of Bible alone, 
was a Karaite, and he transformed, accordingly, more 
than one Rabbanite into a Karaite. 

The question of the origin of Karaism, its causes and 
early development is still awaiting solution. That Karaism 
is not the result of Anan's desire to revenge himself on 
Babylonian official Jewry, need not be said. Karaite liter- 
ature affords us no data ; there is a marked lack of histori- 
cal sense among them. They have no tradition as to their 
origin, and their opinions are conflicting (comp. Pinsker, 
Likkute, II, 98). The belief that Karaism is but an echo 
of a a similar movement during this period in the Islamic 
world is now generally given up owing to the advance 
made in the knowledge of the inner development of Islam 
and, particularly, the nature of the Shiite heterodoxy 
(see I. Friedlaender, JQR., 1910, 185 ff.). 

This question is bound up with the problem of the 
origin of the Karaite halakah which is of vital importance 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEI, 519 

for the understanding the history of Tradition ; as Geiger 
(ZDMG., XVI (1862), 716) says, it was always the dif- 
ferences in practice, not in dogma, that caused and sus- 
tained divisions in Israel. This is particularly true of the 
Karaites who differ in nothing but religious practices from 
the rest of Israel. 

The solution offered by Geiger that the Karaites are 
the descendants of the Sadducees and their halakah Sad- 
ducean, is accepted with some modification by many 
scholars (comp. Poznanski, RBJ., XLIV (1901), 169). 
On the other hand, the eclectic nature of the Karaite 
halakah was recognized by several scholars (comp. S. L, 
Rapoport in Kerem Chemed, V (1841), 204 ff., and in 
Kaempf's Nichtandalusische Poesie, 240; P. Frankl, Brsch 
u. Gruber, sec. II, vol. 33, 12; Harkavy, in Gratz' Ge- 
schichte, V. 4 , 482 ff. ; id., Jahrbuch f. jud. Geschichte u. Lit- 
eratur, II (1899), 116 ff., and elsewhere). No attempt was, 
however, made to explain the bulk of the Karaitic halakah, 
on these lines. I have therefore undertaken the work of 
tracing the individual Karaite laws to their respective 
sources, which will, at the same time, be the first exposition 
of the Karaite laws in general — prefacing it by an examin- 
ation of the Sadducean-Karaitic theory. The term "Kar- 
aite halakah" is used here as a convenient one, though, as 
Kirkisani has unwillingly shown — and any Karaite code 
testifies to it — the laws on which all Karaites agree are 
few. The Karaite laws are discussed here not according 
to subject matter, but such as have common source are 
grouped together. I begin with Philo, as the relation of 
Karaite halakah to that of Philo has remained, to my 
knowledge, hitherto unnoticed. This relation, if estab- 
lished, may prove helpful in the understanding of other 



520 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

points in the inner history of Judaism during the first 
centuries of Islam. 

For the halakah of Philo, I have used the work of 
Dr. B. Ritter, "Philo und die Halacha, eine vergleichende 
Studie," from which most of the citations from Philo in 
this treatise are taken. Other Philonian laws, not treated 
by Ritter, are discussed here, but only as they bear on the 
Karaite halakah. 

Not all the early Karaites claimed antiquity for their 
schism. This is evident from the reply of Salman b. 
Yeruham to Saadia's mention of their late origin (Pins- 
ker, II, 19) .* Another contemporary of Saadia, Abu Jusuf 
Yakub al-Kirkisani, the most reliable historian among the 
Karaites, gives a date for what he calls the Rabbanite 
dissension : Jeroboam, to make permanent the power he had 
usurped and to prevent the Israelites owing allegiance to 
the house of David, divided the nation by sowing the seed 
of dissension, perverted the Law, and changed the calendar 
(I Kings 12, 32). The followers of Jeroboam in later times 
are called Rabbanites. Those who remained faithful to 
the original laws were the ancestors of the Karaites. 4 This 
fanciful explanation found no credence even among the 
Karaites. 3 

niayinn >tya.DK . n»»np on o<j»»n <niann'Bnn Kipa 'tya Tio»a 
B'iPiBj py pa onSin pm hid»d o'enipa n'wai rhtm-, romp, also Salman 

b. Yerubam's commentary on Ps. 96, 1 (Winter a. Wfinsche, JUdiscke 
Literatur, II, 80). See, however, Harkavy in Gratz, Geschichte, V 4 , 472. 
That not all the Karaite contemporaries of Saadia claimed antiquity (or their 
sect is evident also from Saadia's fourth answer in his. polemical work against 
Ibn Sakawethi. 'See JQR„ XIII, 664; ffipn, I, 67. 

2 Comp. Poznanski, RBJ., XEIV (1902), 162 ff. 

3 It was, however, taken up again by the twelfth century Karaite, l?l' as 
b. Abraham, in his D'Kipm D'J3in 'pV?n (Pinsker, II, 100 «.). He 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEE 521 

The Karaites felt keenly the need of some account 
of their origin that would silence the reproach of the Rab- 
banites and found in the event recorded in the Baraita 
(Kiddushin 660; see Josephus Ant., XIII, 13, 5) a basis for 
claim of ancient origin for their sect. As stated in that 
narrative, the disagreement between John Hyrcanus and 
the teachers of the Law resulted in the extermination of 
the latter, excepting Simeon b. Shatah. As a consequence, 
ignorance of the Law prevailed until Simeon appeared and 
reinstated it. 

numb mwn n« "vrnni nop ja pj»B> sac tv ownens nbwn rpm 
Simeon, say the Karaites, being at that time the sole author- 
ity, introduced many innovations upon his return and 
changed the true interpretation of the Law. To enforce 
these new laws, he invented the fiction that besides the 
Written there is also an Oral Law given to Moses on Sinai 
and handed down from generation to generation, and that 
the laws proclaimed by him went back to this real tradition. 

The people followed him blindly. But some of them, 
knowing the false basis of these changes, rejected them and 
adhered to the ancient Tradition in all its purity; those 
were the Karaites. 4 

adds that those who remained faithful to the original faith migrated *I3J?D 
013 *iruS and only few of them, because of their attachment to the 
Temple, remained in Jerusalem. Vet, as Pinsker (II, 98; remarks, Elias 
himself put little confidence in this myth. For the origin of this legend, 
see A. Epstein Eldad ha-dani (Pressburg 1891), p. 1. For later Karaites 
repeating this story, see Poznanski, /. c, p. 163; comp. ZfhB., Ill, 92 (end) 
and 93, for the view of a tenth century Karaite (comp. ib., 90 and 172 ff.). 

4 As a striking instance of the purely mythological character of the 
Karaite beliefs about their origin and past, I shall illustrate the three strata 
in the development of the last mentioned Karaite theory of their origin. 
Sahl b. Masliah (tenth century) asserts that Karaism goes back to the 
time of the second Temple, but connects it with no specific event (Pinsker, 
II, 35). This is still the opinion of Aaron b. Elias (fourteenth century) 



522 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

On the other hand, most of the Mediaeval Jewish 
scholars seem to agree that Karaism was due to a revival 
of the Sadducees (Abraham Ibn Daud) or that Sadducean 
elements are prominent in it (Saadia, Judah Halevi). 
SaadiaGaon (891-942) was the first to meet the Karaites in 
open battle" and refute their claims for recognition. He 
states that Karaism is of recent origin (Pinsker, II, 19) and 
that Anan's breaking with Tradition was due entirely to 

in Introduction to his mifl 1D3, 4». EHas b. Moses Bashyazi a century 
later connects the schism with the name of Simeon b. Shatah and exclaims: 

in« oyh ub u»n mruv D'osnn imso itm not? p wob> n«n» i» 

(intr. to wbx miK, Goslow 1834, 30.). He is followed by his disciple 
Kaleb Afendopolo in his nilOKD iV)B>y (quoted in '31113 W, Wien 1830, 
ga). The sixteenth century Karaite prodigy Moses b. EHas Bashyazi (born 
1554 and said to have died 1572) amplified this tale by asserting in his 
DTtam HOB (quoted in 13110 111, 96 ff.) that Judah b. Tabbai, who 
had also survived the king's wrath, opposed the innovations introduced by 
Simeon b. Shatah as also his fiction of an oral law. Judah attracted to his 
banner all those who remained faithful to ancient traditions. Simeon and 
Judah each became the head of a school, thus dividing the Jews into two 
factions. Simeon was succeeded by Abtalion, Abtalion by Hillel who sys- 
tematized the new laws based on the fiction of the Oral Law. Judah b. Tabbai 
was followed by Shetnaiah, and Shemaiah by Shammai; those two being the 
great Karaite teachers from whom the line of succession was never interrupted. 
Already Jepheth b. Said asserted that Shammai was the teacher of the 
Karaites (Pinsker, II, 186; comp. ib.,1, 6); see also Luzzatto, 1011013, 
III (1838), 223; Geiger, ib., IV, 12; Gottlober, D'Kipil nil'jirft nip3, 
Wilna 1865, 5 ff. How foreign this idea was to the early Karaites, is seen 
from what Salman b. Yeruham says of Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel (ZfhB., 

iv, 117): dm»j>» ns 'n royin. 

* We know of two Rabbanites who combated Karaism before Saadia: the 
Gaon Natronai b. Hilai (D10J? 31 110, 38a) and the Gaon Hai b. David 
(Harkavy, Studien «. Mittheilungen, V, 108, n. 2; comp. Bornstein, 1BD 
H*6«pND DinJ^> Sai'ft, Warsaw 1904, 158, n. 2, who believes this Gaon 
to have been Hai b. Nahshon). For anti-Karaite legislation by Jehudai 
Gaon see I» Ginzberg, Geohica, I, n 1, n. 2. For Saadia's anti-Karaite 
writings, see Poznanski, JQR., X, 238 ff., and additions, ib., XX, 232 ff. 



KARAITE HAtAKAH — REVEl, 523 

personal motives (ib., 103)." Yet he adds that the remnants 
of Zadok and Boethus joined Anan (/. c). About two 
centuries later, a time which was decisive in the battle be- 
tween traditional Judaism and the Karaites,' the three 
great lights of Toledo, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Ezra, 
and Abraham Ibn Daud, each strove to check the Karaite 
propaganda in Spain 8 carried on at that time with great zeal 
by Ibn al-Taras, the disciple of Jeshua b. Judah, and they 
all assert that Karaism is an offshoot of Sadduceeism. 
Judah Halevi declares that the Karaite schism arose in the 
time of John Hyrcanus. The Karaites, says he, are 
superior to the Sadducees in questions of dogma, but agree 
with them in important religious questions. 9 Abraham Ibn 
Ezra also identifies them with the Sadducees. In his com- 
mentaries on the Bible, which are strongly anti-Karaitic, 
he usually styles them 10 D'pnv . More emphatic is Ab- 
raham Ibn Daud in his Sefer Hakkabalah, where he says 
that "after the destruction of the Temple the Sadducees 
dwindled to almost nothing until Anan appeared and 
strengthened them." 11 Likewise, Maimonides, commenting 

* That Saadia is meant by fpn 1B>K 03m pSl , see Pinsker, p. 98; 
comp. Poznanski, JQR., X, 242. 

' Comp. Frankl, MGWJ., XXI (1882), 3 ft. 

* Spain was from early Gaonic times infected with Karaism; comp. 
Ginzberg, /. c, I, 123, note 1; Frankl. MGWJ., 1888, 6 ff.; and Poznanski, 
JQR., XVI, 768-9. Against the view of Hirschfeld (JQR., XIII, 225 ff.) 
that some relation existed between the Karaites and the Zahi rites in Spain, 
see Goldziher, RBJ., XWII (1901), 6-7. 

* Kuzari, III, 65. Judah Halevi's view is shared by Abrabanel, 
M3H rhm, and S. Duran, ni2« ]iO on Abot 1, 3, and II, 210; 310. 

10 Neubauer, Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles, I, 64,. The variant D'3'0 
does not affect the meaning of the statement. 

11 Introduction to his Commentaries on the Bible; Lev. 3, 9; 23, 17, 40. 
As to the relation of Ibn Ezra to the Karaites, see J. S. Reggio, "1*18" WISH, 
I (Wien J834), 42 ff.; see also D. Rosin, MGWJ., XUII, 76-7. 



524. THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

(Abot i, 3) on the dissension of Zadok and Boethus, adds; 
"In Egypt they are called Karaites, while in the Talmud 
they are named Sadducees and Boethusians." 12 

Elias b. Moses Bashyazi, a fifteenth century Karaite, 
tells us, in the introduction to his irr^N m*iN , 30, that it 
is the opinion of all the Rabbanite scholars that the 
Karaite schism goes back to Zadok and Boethus. 

Much confidence, however, was not placed in this 
testimony of the Mediaeval Rabbanites, that the Karaites 
descended from the Sadducees, as it is evident that the 
Rabbanites were often actuated by the desire to stamp 
their opponents in the eyes of the people as descendants 
of that hated sect which denied divine Providence and re- 
surrection. 13 In the middle of the last century Abraham 

12 See his commentary on Hullin i, 3. On the views of Maim, on 
the Karaites, see 1»Sa Tmi 1 ) Sai'H 1BD (Budapest 1905), Hungarian 
part, 164-170; see also the other authors mentioned by Poznanski, RBJ., ib., 
170, to which may be added Estori ha-Pharhi !"HB1 "1(163, end of ch. J 
(ed. Luncz, p. 61); David Abi Zimra, Responsa, IV, resp. 219; Meiri on 
Abot 1, 3. See also Responsum No. 34 in the Gaonic collection fiaiBTI '"IJ?lf: 



Din»a H'pSn D'jix'nn j» am. 

M Comp. David Messer Leon (published by Schechter), REJ., XXIV, 
126. See Weiss, l>B>ini "IH in, IV, S3- Joseph al-Basir is the only 
one among the Karaites who identifies the Karaites with the Sadducees 
(Poznanski, 2. c, p. 170). Kirkisani states that the Sadducees revealed part 
of the truth and that there were no Sadducees in his days (ch. 18, p. 317). 
Jepheth b. All (Poz., ib., 171-2) and Hadassi (Alphabeta 97, 98) speaks of the 
Sadducees with contempt. The statement by Jacob b. Reuben (Pinsker, II, 
84) that the Karaites are the descendants of the Sadducees was, therefore, 
taken by him from Joseph al Basir's "lKXaflDttSj* BSfia and not from Jepheth 
b. Ali, as Harkavy (Gratz, Geschichte, V 4 , 474) suggests. Nor is Harkavy 
(J. c.) right in his assertion that Elias b. Abraham shared this view. See 
above note 3. Comp. also Pinsker, I, n-12. The later Karaites claimed that 
the imputation that they were in some way related to the Sadducees was due 
to the hatred the Rabbanites bore them. See Kaleb Afendopolo, quoted in, 
'3T1D 111. 2ft. 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEL 525 

Geiger attempted to prove historically the descent of the 
Karaites from the Sadducees," and this view constitutes an 
essential part of his epoch-making theory concerning the 
internal development of post-exilic Judaism and the history 
of Jewish sects. His view is accepted by Holdheim." 
Furst," Harkavy," Chwolson," and others. A general sur- 
vey of Geiger's theory" will help us better to understand 
the questions involved. 

From the earliest times, says Geiger, two distinct, or, 
rather, antagonistic currents were at work shaping the his- 
tory of Judaism. The dualism revealed itself in olden 
times in the divided nationality of Ephraim (or Joseph) 
and Judah. Ephraim constituted a worldly kingdom, in 
constant contact with the neighboring nations and, there- 
fore, in need of a sacrificial and ceremonial religion and a 
powerful priesthood to protect it from the surrounding 
heathen influences. Judah, on the other hand, constituted 
a kingdom politically insignificant, compact and isolated, 
and less susceptible to foreign influences, with one national 
sanctuary and a less developed priesthood.* 1 Judah escaped 
the fate of Ephraim and awoke to new life in the sixth 

14 Des Judenthum «. s. Geschichte, II, 55 ff.; Jud. Zeitchrift, VIII, 
227-233; Nachgelassene Schriften, II, 135 &.; Urschrift, index, *. v. "Kara!- 
ten"; and elsewhere. 

" niB"Kn IBKtJ. Wien 1861, 128 ff. 

16 Geschichte d. Karaerthums (Leipzig 1862), I, 8 ff. 

" In Russian periodical "Woschod," 1896, and elsewhere; comp. id., 

S«n»<a ninsn nmpS, 4, 19. 

18 Das letzte Passamahl Christi (2 ed., Leipzig 1908), pp. 148, 176 ff.: 
id., Beitrage zur Entwicklungsgeschichte d. Judenthums (Leipzig 1910), p. 
8 ff.; comp. V. Aptowitzer, Die Rechtsbicher d. nestorianischen Potriarchen, 
191 o, pp. 7-8. 

19 For a more detailed account see Poznanski, Abraham Geiger, Lebtn 
u. Lebenswerk, Berlin 1910, 352-388. 

m JSd. Zeitschr., VIII (1870), 279 ff., and elsewhere. 



5^6 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

century B. C. With this new life came a struggle, in 
which priestly aristocracy and sacerdotal rule were antag- 
onized by tendencies towards religious and political democ- 
racy that asserted themselves more and more. Since the 
establishment of the second commonwealth the priests 
ruled the nation. There stood at the head of the state a 
high-priest, descendant of the family of Zadok, the chief of 
the priesthood in the days of David and Solomon (I Kings, 
i, 34 ; 2, 35 ; I Chron. 29, 22) , members of which had exer- 
cised priestly functions ever since the building of Solo- 
mon's Temple. This family and those related to it con- 
stituted the nobility of the nation and since the Return 
controlled the secular as well as the religious life of the 
people. 

This power, blended with the attribute of holiness, 
soon led the priestly ruling class to disregard the needs and 
demands of the people. They stood for the ancient laws 
and observances, which established and asserted their 
rights and prerogatives, admitting no modification which 
the times required. They also allied themselves with the 
Syrians and cultivated tastes and habits distasteful to the 
people.* 1 With the victory of the Maccabees the govern- 
ment and the high-priesthood passed over to the latter, the 
Sadducees, the old nobility, joining them. An opposition 
against them arose among the people, the leaders of which 
were known as the "Separated" (PerusMm), descendants 
of those who in the days of Zerubbabel and again in the, 

» lb., p. 282 «.; Jiid. ZeiUchr., II, 17 ff.; ZDMG., XIX, 603 ff. An off- 
shoot of the Sadducees, and united with them were the Boethusians, a new 
aristocratic priestly family called after Simon b. Boethus, high-priest and' 
father-in-law of Herod I (Urschrift. 102, 134 ff., 143 ff.). Herzfeld,' 
GescMchte, II, 387, accepts the view of Azariah dei Rossi that the Boethu- 
sians are the Essenes spoken of by Philo and Josephus. See also RBJ., III,. 
113 ff. 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEI, 527 

time of Ezra separated themselves from heathen surround- 
ings and influences (Ezra 6, 21; 9, 1; Neh. 9, 2). Their 
aim was to limit the power of priestly aristocracy and turn 
the government over to the people. The Pharisees recog- 
nized the sanctity of priesthood, but contested the central- 
ization of secular power in the hands of the sacerdotal- 
aristrocratic families. 

The difference between these two parties, originally 
small and of a general nature, widened in time. The spirit 
of rivalry in this politico-religious struggle brought about 
laws and regulations on the part of the Pharisees intended 
to check the authority and diminish the privileges of the 
priests. Personal purity and sanctity of all the people were 
to take the place of the sanctity of priesthood. The Phari- 
sees devised new rules of interpretation which enabled 
them to limit and restrict the biblical laws establishing 
priestly rights. On the other hand, many laws of purity 
and observances concerning food, originally intended for 
the priests and the Temple, they made apply to all the 
people in and outside of the Temple. 2 * So the Pharisees 
did not adhere to the letter of the Law, but taught and ex- 
panded the Law with regard to its inner spirit and the 
needs of the time, whereby they created a new Halakah 
differing in content as well as in spirit from the ancient, 
Sadducean, tradition. 28 The majority of the people follow- 
ed the new Halakah, but the Sadducean teachings found 
acceptance outside of Judah proper. The Samaritans, de- 
scendants of Northern Israel, were not allowed by -the 
leaders of the national party in the time of Zerubbabel to 
participate in the further development of Judaism (Ezra 

22 Tud. Zeitschr., VI, 265 ft 

23 Urschrift, 156 ft, 176, 434 ft; Nachgelassene Schriften, II, 121 ft; 
V (Heb.). 112 ft, 142 ft and elsewhere. 



528 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

4, i if.)- The ancient feud between Ephraim and Judah 
thus revived. The rejected Samaritans who retained the 
ancient Israelitish tradition as well as the ancient interpre- 
tation of the Law, clung, like the Sadducees, to those tra- 
ditions and stood for priestly prerogative, characteristic of 
the religion of Northern Israel and the Sadducees. This 
accounts for the many practices and interpretations of the 
law that are common to the Sadducees and the Samari- 
tans." 

But, even in Judah, only the political antagonism be- 
tween the Pharisees and the Sadducees ceased with the 
destruction of the Temple. The Sadducees, whose exist- 
ence as the priestly aristocracy and ruling class depended 
upon the state and the Temple, ceased to control the life 
of the people. But the religious differences between these 
two parties did not disappear. 

The victorious Pharisees, who ruled the day, rejected 
all traditions, preserved by the Sadducees, which tended to 
affirm the exclusive rights of the priests, and the whole 
body of traditional law was now made to conform to their 
views. Not all the Pharisaic teachers, however, agreed to 
these radical changes, and some of them retained their al- 
legiance to the pre-Pharisaic Halakah. Notably among 
them are Shammai and his school represented by R. 
Eliezer b. Hyrcanus and Jose the Galilean. 25 

But official Pharisaism did not heed them. It estab- 
lished as a religious norm the interpretations and laws 
which emanated from the school of Hillel, the great cham- 

» Nachg. Schriften, III, 258 ff., 284 ff.; IV, 65; V (Heb.), 149 «.; 
ZDMG., XII, 132 ff. and elsewhere. 

25 Jiid, Zeitschrift, VIII, 283 ff. and elsewhere; comp. Hoffmann, 
Magazin 1884, 19. 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVIX 529 

pion of Pharisaism, who began the systematization of the 
new Halakah. Hillel's work was firmly established by R. 
Akiba and brought to completion by Judah Ha-nasi. Two 
centuries later the center of Judaism was transferred to 
Babylonia, and soon all consciousness of an earlier and 
differing Halakah disappeared. 28 

Zealously as the Pharisees of the school of, Hillel 
worked to exclude and annul the laws and traditions tainted 
with Sadducean views, traces of the latter are still found 
in some of the apocryphal books; in the Greek version of 
the Scriptures (LXX) ; in the Aramaic version, Pseudo- 
Jonathan; 27 in the halakic midrashim from the school of 
R. Ishmael, himself a priest and with priestly sympathies, 2 * 
and, to a lesser extent, in the later Palestinian halakic 
works, Tosefta and Talmud Jerushalmi. 2 ' 

But not only are we able to reconstruct parts of the 
Sadducean Halakah through the traces in these works, 
but the Sadducean tradition is still alive, its laws are observ- 
ed and its practices carried out by their descendants, the 
Karaites; not only are they the followers and spiritual 
heirs of the Sadducees, but their physical descendants. 
Doctrines and practices adhered to and observed by a na- 
tion do not disappear at the desire of its leaders. Nor 
were the Sadducees annulled. The descendants of the 
once dominant party continued to live according to the 
traditions of their ancestors. The religious unrest prev- 

M Jud. Zeitschrift, VIII, 284 ff. 

» Vrschrift, 451 ff.; Nachg. Schriften, IV, 108 ff.; V (Heb.), 112 ff.; 
see below. 

** Xrfoaa and ncD; Urschrift, 434 ff.; J&d. Zeitschr. IV, 96 ff.; VIII, 
284; IX, 8 ff.; XI, si ff., and elsewhere. 

28 See Jiid Zeitschrift, VIII, 291 ff. For the Jerushalmi comp. MGWJ., 
1871, 120 ff. 



530 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

alent in the Islamic world in the eighth century caused them 
also to unite and defy their old enemies, the Pharisees. 
Their leader Anan gave them his name, which was, how- 
ever, soon changed to the appellation D'fcOp or NIpD 03. 

Karaism is, thus, not to be looked upon as a late-day 
revolt against the authority of Tradition caused by out- 
side influence, but is a survival in a somewhat modified 
form (as by belief in resurrection) of the pre- and anti- 
Pharisaic tradition. 30 

30 D. Chwolson in his Beitrage zur Bntwicklungsgeschichte d. Judenthums 
(Leipzig 1910) goes further than Geiger, and asserts that long after the 
destruction of the Temple, the Sadducees were predominant (pp. 10-22). He 
bases this view on the assumption that during the time of the Second Com- 
monwealth the Sadducees constituted not only the priestly and secular 
aristocracy, but also the bulk of the people, their disappearance with the 
destruction of the State being therefore inconceivable (p. 23 ff.). 

Chwolson also believes that it was the people who remained faithful to 
the Sadducean tradition who are designated in the talmudic literature by 
the name VfNfl DJ?. This accounts for the mutual hatred that existed 
between the Am-haares and Pharisaic teachers (p. 9). Chwolson adduces 
the talmudic account (b. Berakot 476 and parallel) of the ceremonies the 
non-observance of which characterized the Am-haares, as proof of the latter 
being identical with the Sadducees. It is there said that the Am-haares does 
not read the Shema'; that he does not put on the phylacteries; that he does 
not wear fringes on his garments and that he has no Mezuzah on his door. 
Now the Karaites even up to this day observe none of these ceremonies. 
Some relationship must exist between the Am-haares and the Karaites. As 
the Karaites are, Chwolson believes, descendants of the Sadducees, a rela- 
tionship is established between the Am-haares and Sadducees. 

The facts are, however, not as Chwolson puts them. The Karaitees have 
never rejected the biblical precept of IVS'S, even if they differ as to 
the meaning of rfofl and some other details; see, for Anan, Harkavy, 
liyh niSDD "1BD , pp. 7-10, and Schechter, Jewish Sectaries, II, 25, 1-26, 17; 
Hadassi, Alph. 241 and 364 (1366); Mibhar, Num., ad he, ]"iy JA , 806 ff.; 
msSo Vnih (Neubauer, Aus d. Petersburger Bibliothek), 490 ff-; comp. 
also Ibn Ezra on Num. 15, 38, 39. Nor is it likely that the Karaites have 
even denied the duty of reading the Shema'. Abu Isa Isfahan!, from whom 
Anan borrowed several laws (comp. Poznanski, REJ., XlylV (1902), 178), 
taught, according to K'rkisani (comp. Harkavy, 7N"ltS»3 flWSn fillip? , 9)- 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEL 531 

The reliability of the traditional account of the origin 
of the Sadducees and Boethusians (Abot de R. Nathan, 
ch. 5), rejected by Geiger (Urschrift, 105 ff.) as an 
apocryphal legend, was vindicated by Baneth in Magazin, 
IX (1882), p. 1-37; 61-95, where is also shown how far 
the view of Geiger — that the Sadducees did not reject 
Tradition but adhered to a more ancient interpretation of 
the Law — contradicts the explicit statements of Josephus 
{Ant. XIII, 10, 6; XVII, 1, 4) and all the Talmudic ac- 
counts about them. 81 

Before we enter into a discussion of the agreements 
between the Sadducees and the Karaites which serve 
Geiger as proofs of the relation of the latter to the former, 
a few words will not be amiss on the general difficulties 
connected with the hypothesis, which were ignored by 

the duty of reading the Shema', Its reading is enjoined by the later Karaites; 
see Hadassi, Alph. 15 Osd); Xfth* WIS, 59c; see Weiss, "in, IV, 88; L. 
Low. Ges. Schr., I, 50. Neither can the Am-haares be identified with the 
Sadducees by his non-observance of the law of Tefillin. The Sadducees 
accepted the literal interpretation of Deut. 6, 8 (see Weiss, I, 118; Ftirst, 
Geschichte d. Karaerthwms, I, 10; Graetz, III, 3, 395; comp. also Mitller, 
Masechet Soferim, p. 21, note 66). The name <pl"lX in Menahot 426 1BD 
...'pns pn3B> mtnoi J>^" Bn W misled Wreschner (Samaritanische Tra- 
ditionen, Berlin 1888, intr., p. VIII) and J. A. Montgomery (The 
Samaritans,. Philadelphia 1908, 136) to believe that the Sadducees 
interpreted Deut. 6, 8 symbolically. 'pHS in Menahot (/. c.) is, as often 
in the Amoraic literature, equivalent to J'O, or was, as usual, substituted 
therefor by the censor. The parallel passage (Gittin 45ft) reads )'0 instead 
of 'pnS, which is also the reading of Estori ha-Pharhi, niBl IflBS, end 
of ch. 5. Harkavy (JJJ?^ niSBM 1DD , 142, n. 12) believes that Analu 
interpreted Deut. 6, 9 literally but referred 01131131 to the nnsirt TftVy 
a view which is held also by the Falashas (Epstein, Bldad ha-Dani, 174). 

a Comp. also Wellhausen, Die Pharisder «. die Sadduc'&er, Greifswald 
1877, 73; G. Holscher, Der Saddueaisinus, Leipzig 1906, pp. 9, 33 ff., 107 
ff. The general nature of the Sadducees was recently thoroughly discussed 
by I. Halevy in his D»MtP!nn mill, vol. Ic, pp. 358 ff. 



532 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Geiger. Geiger believes that all 1 the differences between the 
Pharisees and the Sadducees may be brought under one 
unifying principle, viz., the advocacy of priestly interests 
by the Sadducees. But if this was the distinctive mark of 
the Sadducees, what import could this tendency have had 
many centuries after the destruction of the Temple, when 
there was no more priestly aristocracy nor prerogative? 
And how could this issue sustain and keep alive Sadduce- 
ism under the appellative D^ip until to-day? Nor can we 
comprehend how Karaism whose basic principle since the 
days of its first exponent Anan was "VW Nn"llK3 isrsn 
"Search the Scripture, 32 interpret it according to your 
own reason, and act accordingly," ignoring tradition, — 
how Karaism could have descended from Sadduceism 
which, as Geiger himself asserts, was by its very nature 
conservative, adhering stringently to ancient tradition. 

This Sadducean-Karaite theory of Geiger is closely 
connected with his hypothesis concerning the existence of 
art ancient Halakah related to the Sadducean and which 
was therefore suppressed by the later Pharisees, a view 
that has been accepted by many scholars. A brief discus- 
sion of this hypothesis in relation to Karaism is given here. 

The Targum Pseudo- Jonathan on the Pentateuch is, 
as Geiger (Urschrift, 162 ff., 451 ff.; N. S., IV, 106 ff.; V 
(Heb.), 112 ff.) believes, the main depository of remnants 
and traces of this ancient Sadducean-Samaritan-Karaite 
Halakah. Ps.-Jon., being a product of Palestine at a time 
when the more ancient Sadducean traditions had not alto- 
gether died out there — though changed to conform to the 
New Halakah — , still contains much which goes back to 

32 Harkavy )aj6 ni»»n 1BD , 132, 176; so Saht b. Ma?liah (Pinsker, 
II, 33-4); comp. PoznaAski, RE J., XUV (1902), 180 ff. 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEL 533 

those ante-Pharisaic traditions. As proof of this view, 
Geiger (Urschrift, 176 ff.) attempted to show that several 
Karaite anti-traditional laws are found among the Samari- 
tans and in Ps.-Jon. The following are the main points of 
agreement which Geiger finds between the Karaite law 
and the Targum Pseudo- Jonathan and which he therefore 
believes to be survivals of the ancient halakah. 

According to the traditional interpretation of Lev. 19, 
24, the fruit of a tree in its fourth year is, like the "second 
tithe," to be consumed by the owner within the walls of 
Jerusalem. This is also the view of Josephus, Ant., IV, 8, 
19. Pseudo- Jonathan, however, translates 'rb D'bl^n enp V"ifi 
(Lev. 19, 24) by tora }D pisno 'n Dip fnaB>in 'cmp; so also 
on Deut. 20, 6. 88 The Samaritans and Karaites also 
take D'Wti BHp to mean that it is to be given to the 
priest or redeemed by its owner. Geiger (Urschrift, 181- 
184) believes this to have been the view of the ancient 
Halakah. Since this interpretation agrees with the plain 
meaning of D'W>n EHp (comp. Ibn Ezra ad loc), there 
is no necessity to assume with Geiger that this interpre- 
tation by some " Karaites goes back to an ancient tradition. 

33 Comp. Epstein, MGWJ., XL (1896), 142; Gronemann, Die Jona- 
than'sche Pentateuch-Uebersetsung in ihrem Verhaltnisse zur Halacha, 
Leipzig 1879, 48. For the view of the Book of Jubilees 7, 35-7, see B. 
Beer, Das Buck d. Jubilaen, 43-44. 

34 Not all the Karaites, as Geiger {Urschrift, 182) thinks; see JITIK 
Ifl'^N , 70a, and flWI 1H3 , Lev. 540. Geiger refers to Mibhar, ad loc. 
Aaron b. Joseph, however, contradicts himself; see Mibhar, Num. 46: 

i»s n'Sjn'? nnv d'o^bvii »j»i ytwi »jts» ibvo jus : vvtp mk b««i 

Dna bjDft "W1D1 lilOO ; comp. however, the super-commentary S|D3 ni'B 
on Mibhar, Deut. 160, letter 109. The view that tyai yai belongs to the 
priest is held by Samuel al-Magrabi (M. Lorge, Die Speisegesetse der Karaer 
von Samuel el~Ma§rebi, Berlin 1907, 23, end). Geiger finds this view also in 
p. Sotah 8, 5; but see Pineles, nilfl bv fl3VI, 176 ff., and Gronemann, /. e. 
For the meaning of that passage see also N. Z. Berlin, in Halevy's fllin 



534 TH E JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

According to Tradition, two tithes were to be taken 
every year (except the sabbatical year). The "first tithe" 
(Num. 18, 2i'ff.) and the "second tithe" (Deut. 14, 22 ff.) 
are to be taken in the first, second, fourth, and fifth years ; 
the "first tithe" and the tithe for the poor (Deut. 26, 12 
ff.) in the third and sixth years of every cycle of seven 
years. Geiger (Urschrift, 176 ff.) contends that the 
ancient Halakah required the taking of all these three tithes 
in the third and sixth years, as the Karaites hold." He 

DWIPKin, III, 313-4; comp. also Poznanski, riBipn 1 ? O'pian D'JltP D'J'JJ? 
O'aitUn , 16 ff. Hadassi (Alph. 205 (18c) and 303 (1121/)) also holds that 
the fruits of the fourth year belong to the priests. As was pointed out 
already by Maimonides (nHlDK tll^KO 10, 18) the mistaken view of some 
Geonim that the fruits of the fourth year are not to be eaten — even when 



redeemed — during the fourth year was caused by Lev. 19, 25: fl'tPOnn H^BOI 
V1B F\* 1^3«n which seems to prohibit the enjoyment of the fruits of the 
fourth year during that year (Tosafot Rosh ha-shanah 100, s. v. ftlVBI; 
V""\ to Maaser Sheni 5, i and Asheri, rk")y 'D, end, quote this view from 
Halakot Gedolot. See also She'eltot No. 10, but see Kaminka, mpn, II, 21). 
This accounts also for the interpretation of verse 24 by Ps.-Jon., many 
Karaites, and even Ibn Ezra (ad loc.) to mean that the fruits of the fourth 
year are to be given to the priests and that the owner is to enjoy the fruits 
of the fifth year (v. 25). For the view of Geiger see also Jiid. Zeitschrift, II, 
183; Nachgel Schr., IV, 38, 107. 

35 Not all; see min VD, Deut. 18a: ,-|2»3B> D'lDIK MlpB 'Sj?3D B"l 

•jj? ntppn nBDin mvya vhv k'jiib ttwhtm miwjm »w \rm tvatsn naitwi ; 

comp. H. Olitzki, Plavius Josephus und die Halacha, Berlin 1885, 16-19. 
See also Mibhar, Deut., 12a; 236; and S|D3 ni'B to the last mentioned place, 
letters 27-28. According to Anan (Schechter, Jewish Sectaries II, p. 5 11. 
10-19) two tithes are to be taken every year. This seems to be the meaning 
of his words: im D'lSS 1t9J>» in 1tfJ?0 '3 '3 [WJB] P'tSHBO 'B» f1»31 

'» '» '3 "f>rk* '» 11th rksm 'i\ itppn "my '21 [wmn]a n»S pSsst "wya 
'♦» »mA tbsm *a* «pn rv 1 ? J'Ssk b*iw "mya [»»m q]» ib» \2vh 
'3«n nWB n»»p i»pa pan by *b* nS ns^i '31 [n»i^> w]jjb vhm -prk* 
"\vya nm 0*1^ "tvya in -\vya inn w\B*k 'jkb" 1 ? yva [ntpjm -\vy o]np» 

pa»T '3'M ^3 BHpan fl'33 D'tys [t'SsK] . A similar view is mentioned in 1fl3 

mm on Deut., 180: ji»«i rnitpyan p irwtp na rvtt»W Futpstp anew B"i 



KARAITE HAEAKAH — REVEE 535 

bases this opinion on Tobit 10, 7, 8 (against which see P. 
Rosenthal, Vier Apokryphische Bucher, Leipzig 1885, 117, 
note), Josephus Ant. IV, 8, 22, Sifre to Deut. 12, 17; 14, 28 
(against which see Weiss, '11 W W , I, 126, note) ; but 
mainly on Ps.-Jon. to Deut. 26, 12-13; »"\mb Jiwn DUN 
nx&p twi?D funm xrvD'DBn Krvn^n ane>a *\rbbv icj?d !>a rv 
NnSDiN^i &o»rpi> «nr:6 k^ddd icj?b ton t»"jn nib>]>d wW» 
in^x 'n Dip bwn pD^n 'xn^n iswi : jiwdi imps }iba"i 
w^> iiNDp tntyyn pan 1 Tin^i twa }d iwrip pena* n.i id^di 
»b rsnTpai ini'psn ba m n^oin^i N»n , i> nw5> Nrjn niw 
rwJK »6i T'Hipfi jd Kin nnatf. As was already pointed 
out by M. Olitzki (Ftavius Josephus und die Halacha, 
18, note) and Bassfreund (MGWL, XL 1896), 5 
ft.), there is nothing in Ps.-Jon. to these two verses 
to justify the view of Geiger. What Ps.-Jon. adds 
to the translation of the text is entirely in agree- 
ment with tradition (Sifre, II, 109 and 302) that in 
the iijnn rue> all the tithes from the last three years must 
be removed, the first tithe given to the Levite and the 
"second tithe" carried to Jerusalem. (See also on the 
whole Pineles, rmn b& nan, 173-6, and Gronemann, p. 
161 ff.). 36 

*lVft }» »3J?m \bv npk M^n 1}NM DK'SID »JB>). Harkavy's suggestion (mSBM 'D 
J3JH, 142, note 18) that Ibn Ezra on Deut. 14, 28 meant Anan and the 
Karaites is thus proved erroneous; comp. also Book of Jubilees 32, 11, For 
a full refutation of the view of Geiger, see Bassfreund, MGWJ., XL, (1896), 
5-8. 

36 Geiger, on the basis of his theory that R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus and 
R.. Ishmael represent the ancient Halakah related to Sadducean Tradition 
(see above), sees also in every agreement of Ps.-Jon. with the interpretation 
of R. Eliezer or R. Ishmael ancient laws, which were changed by the school 
of R, Akiba (Urschrift, 447, 472 ff.; Nachg. Schriften, IV, 106-7). I* was 
however shown by Gronemann (119, note 2; see also 103, notej 139-140, 
notes; comp. also Epstein, MGWJ., XL, (1896), 142) that Ps.-Jon. does not 
always follow the interpretation of the school of R. Ishmael against that 



536 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

An agreement between Pseudo-Jonathan and many 
Karaites, not noticed by Geiger, is their interpretation of 
Lev. 18, 21 "|W> T3»ni> )nn ttb IjntDl as referring to mar- 
riage with a Gentile woman; 3 ' see Kirkisani n, 23; Hadassi 
(Alph. 324) : jnna ..."iji ifrnb rzvnb )nn t6 untoi ids niy 
tofajm nwao inp< &6e> rnrt ^jn hv iidk ^ noto •w; see ib.. 
Alph. 278, 313 and 364; see also min "ina, ao" /oc. (49a). 
This interpretation, though censured in the Mishnah (Me- 
gillah 3, 9; comp. 3lt2 Dl' niBDin ad loc), is given 
in the name of !>nsw 'an in ton (Megillah 25a; p. 
Sanhedrin 9, 7, see also Sifre II, 171) and as Friedmann, 
Bet Talmud, I, 336-7 (comp. Ginzburger, MGWJ., 1900. 
6 ff.), points out, the Mishnah simply meant that this verse 
is not to be interpreted in pubic as it adds to the text. 



of R. Akiba, his acceptance of the former being mostly conditioned by their 
being nearer to the plain meaning of the verse; comp. also the view of D. 
Hoffmann, Zur Binleitung in die halachischen Midraschim, pp. 74-76. 

" This verse, as Frankel (Einfluss, 156) remarks, gave rise to many 
divergent interpretations. Anan also interpreted this verse allegorically; see 
Harkavy, Jayb niXBn "IBD, 207, and Schechter, Jewish Sectaries, II, 32. 
The interpretation in the Book of Jubilees 30, 7-10 of this verse as referring 
to one who effects a union between a Jewish woman and a Gentile and that 
such action is punished by death is found also among the Karaites; so 
Samuel al-Magrabi (Book of Precepts called nmB^N , a unique MS. of the 
Hebrew translation of the raiB^K written in 1722 by Samuel b. Solomon 
ha-Kohen (see Pinsker, II, 144-5; Gottlober, DiKipn fllT^lfl 1 ; flips, 202, 
note) now in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America), 

2220: ja nn» tya» 16 Skib»b man >a io»Dn ma )isin '3 d<ibik b»i 
mai»6 ijnr «»»in »a pi ...news na )n»i own: j<ai nuta t»= n»un 
•jae niwa f>ya» »a ana b»h puna ik ana dimo wuta w irA'yaa o^iyn 
D»ia«a nauia n«t iwiyn hy iui 'n uv hhna »m ntn rayon ntsnyn W 
p«n ny »t» Sy. 

38 Comp. Rashi, ad locr, Aruk, *. v. 018; S. L. Rapoport* mw» nSfli, 
Krakau 1868, p. 231 ff.; Geiger, Urschrift, 304; Nachg. Schriften, IV, 106; 
Berliner, Onkelos, II, 88 ff. and literature quoted there. 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEI, 537 

The Karaites agree with Ps.-Jon. to Lev. i, 4 and 3, 2, 
against Sifra to 16, 21 ; Menahot 93a; Tosefta ib., 10, 3 and 
Philo, II, 241 that pip WDD is with the right hand only. 



See Mibhar, Lev., 3a : p«1 TiDD'' nrmn 1T2 ...JTJD'n : 1T HDDi 
nbapn 'iwa nam new niwon nw by p-\ d , t wa nansD 
unbap by najno ainan [d , t> mca] . So also Mibhar, Lev., 
27a, and mm "irta on Lev. 1, 4 (3&, end). But see D. 
Hoffmann, Zur Einleitung in die halachischen Mid- 
raschim, Berlin 1887, p. 75, who contends that this 
interpretation of Ps.-Jon. (which is also favored by the be>B; 
see Ibn Ezra on Lev. 1, 4) goes back to the school of R. 
Ishmael. 

Ps.-Jon. translates win ncs in Deut. 24, 5, against 
Sif re ad. loc. and Sotah 44a, by xmn Knbirn . This is also 
the interpretation of ncnn by many Karaites. See pl> \i, 
154& : njobx ba« ...piy dscj vbv n?a ton ncnn ne>s notci 
nenn nm topn mh t'Kiswn id nwu in. So also mm ina, 
ad /oc. (27ft). See, however, Mibhar ad loc. (20b). 
Samuel al-Magrabi (MS. 950) states 'that the Karaites 
are divided on the interpretation of nvnn ne>N. This 
deviation of Ps.-Jon. and some of the Karaites from 
the talmudic interpretation of nenn rests on the plain 
meaning of that word. See Ibn Ezra ad loc; comp. Grone- 
mann, /. c, p. 67. 

While, as we have seen, the proofs adduced by Geiger 
do not establish relationship between the ancient Halakah, 
believed by him to be contained in Pseudo- Jonathan, and 
the Karaite Halakah, the following consideration, not hith- 
erto noted, arises against any attempt at connecting the 
Karaite law with the ancient Sadducean Halakah which 
is believed to be represented in Psjon. : 



538 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

If the deviation of Ps.-Jon. from our Halakah go back 
to ancient tradition related to Sadduceism, then we should 
expect the Karaites — a later name for Sadduceism, accord- 
ing to this view — to be in agreement with such deviations 
of Ps.-Jon. The following examination of the main 
halakic divergences of Ps.-Jon. from our Halakah and of 
the view of the Karaites on these points will show how 
untenable this view is." 

According to Tradition (Mekilta, Mishpatim, I, ed. 
Fried., 74b; Arakin 186; p. Kiddushin 59a; Maim. Dnay, 
4, 4) the seventh year in which the Jewish male or female 

39 Ginsburger's edition of Ps.-Jon. (Berlin 1903) is followed here. Most 
of the differences between Ps.-Jon., and our Halakah are collected by 
Gronemann, ib. He includes, however, renderings of some passages not being 
aware that Ps.-Jon. followed in their interpretation the Jerushalmi. Comp. 
ib., p. 48, in reference to Deut. 17, 5, *|'1}NS> b», which is the interpretation 
of the J33T in p. Sanhedrin 6, 1. See also Onkelos.-orf loc, and Ps.-Jon. on 
Deut. 22, 24; comp. MGWJ., EH (1908), 217, note 1. This also explains 
Ps.-Jonathan's rendering of Lev. 11, 11 ISptMl Dffaj n»l by JWrfej n»l 

ppmnn iinn»:n jni iisptwi which Hoffmann. (ZfhB., vii, 1903, 47; 

comp. R'eifmann, Bet Talmud, I, 314) considers to be anti-traditional. But 
see p. Shebiit 7, 1 : 1HK vh* Bib WV B'KBBl V'fl MD [DsS] Drt D'KOB 3T13 
ilKin *nD'K nnw flS'38 "VID'K the meaning of which, as is evident from 
what follows there, is that rfP3X '"llDtK are not to be made objects for 
trade and gain (see b. Pesahim 230). Ps.-Jon. in his ]ipmnfl JWJV'jn jni 
thus follows the Jerushalmi; comp. also the fragment of a commentary to 
p. Shabbat published by Poznanski in DnpD, II, 49 and n. 4, and Saadia 
Gaon on Lev. u, 11 published by Hirschfeld in JQR., XIX, 140, beginning, 
«'3D Tvh )13fl3>l in Ps.-Jon. to Deut 17, 18 (comp. Reifmann, /. c, p. 
348) may be a reference to p. Sanhedrin 2, 6 (20c; comp. Tosefta ib., 4, 7; 
Maim., D'S^D 3, 1): N«J> hv J>T fl'3 <B by rTlty >1BDD W1K frVJIDl. 

Ps.-Jon. translates also Deut. 21, 7 in accordance with the Palestinian in- 
terpretation as referring to the murderer. See p. Sotah 9, 6; comp. b. ib., 
39b and Rashi, ad loc. See also on the Halakah of Ps.-Jon. J. Reifman, Bet 
Talmud, I, 21s n\> 347 S.; A. Bfichler, Die Priester and der Cultus, Wien 
1895, J Si ff.J D. Hoffmann, Zur Einleitung in d. hal&chischen Midraschim, 
74-76; id., in ZfhB., VII (1903), 46-48. 



KARAITE HAI.AKAH — REVEl, 539 

slave is to be released (Ex. 21,2; Deut. 15, 12) refers 
not to the Sabbath year (hdobti rw ), but to the seventh 
year from the commencement of their servitude." Ps.- 
Jon., however, seems to interpret nyaBO'i "the sabbatical 
year" (Ps.-Jon. to Ex. 21, 7; 22, 2; but see Ps.-Jon. to 
Ex. 21, 2 and to Deut. 15, 12). The Karaites differing 
among themselves on the laws of slavery agree with Tra- 
dition that njDtrai refers to the seventh year of servitude. 
See j'D'M riKB>D, id: dw b>b>o -inv "najn nh "odjp btnr> 
Djn *v®nb NX' 1 nsntrai nay' dw w ['jct] d>d^t; Samuel 
al-Magrabi (S. Gitelsohn, Di*? Civil^Gesetse der Karder 
von Samuel al-Magrabi, Berlin 1904, 2, line 1) ; 
Afendopolo's appendix to irri>N miK 9c: W3 "DDJE» nay 
tid by uiKU ny» ibsn own 'a nvv ij»k nt3CE> orpra dk aw 



hbdeti nwa s6- 

Geiger holds (Urschrift, 190 ff.) that the ancient Hal- 
akah did not distinguish between paid and gratuitous 
guardians, as does Tradition (B, M. 93a) but made the 
difference in responsibility depend on the nature of the 
goods entrusted. It referred Ex. 22, 6-8 to things light 
in which case the guardian is liable only for lack of ordin- 
ary care, and verses 8-13 to things heavy for which the 

*" So also Josephus (H. Weyl, Die jiidischen Strafgesetze bet Flavitis 
Josephus, Berlin 1900, 122; Olitzki, Magazin, XVI (1889), 78). On the 
view of Philo, see Ritter, 59, and Weyl, /. c, note 19. The Samaritans also 
interpret flj?3t»31 as the seventh year of the servitude (Klumel, Misch- 

patim, Ein samaritanisch-arabischer Commentar zu Ex. XXI-XXII, 15 von 
Ibrahim ibn. Jakub, Berlin 1902, p. II). They disagree, however, with 
Tradition in referring Ex. 21, 2-7, to a proselyte (/. c.) a view which is 
also represented among the Karaites (Jepheth b. AH quoted in Mibhar, Ex. 
400; p» ]X, i48rf; mm 1113, Ex. 68*; mblt tm» (Odessa 1870), iSgd; 
Samuel al-Magrabi (Gitelsohn, p. 1, 5). The Samaritans take th'ljh VT35?1 
(v. 6) literally (Klumel, p. VII) as do also some Karaites (see ffi^K flTIN, 
900; Samuel al-Magrabi (Gitelsohn, 5)). 



S40 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

guardian is responsible even if they were stolen. Ps.-Jon. 
taking vs. 9-11, against the talmudic interpretation (Mekilta, 
ad loc; Baba Mesi'a 94ft) as referring to a gratutious 
guardian tdj ijk s6a and v. 11, with the Talmud, to a 
paid guardian TtM 1JK iTDS? rvi) mm, represents according 
to Geiger (ib.) an intermediate state in the development of 
the law of guardians." 

All the later Karaites accept fully the traditional in- 
terpretation of Ex. 22, 6-15 as referring to four kinds of 
guardians, so Mibhar, ad loc, 44&-45a; mm "irD, ad loc, 
75a-b; pp p, o^Dic? njmx p, 182&-184C; Samuel al- 
Magrabi, MS., 136a ff. 

Ps.-Jon. interprets Lev. 5, 1 against Tradition (Sifra 
ad loc; Shebuot, ch. 4) as referring to one who is aware of 
another person swearing falsely or breaking an oath and 
conceals it (comp. Reifmann, /. c, 313, and Hoffman, 
Leviticus, 1, 199, note)." The Karaites ("imD and mm nrD, 
ad loc) interprets this verse like Tradition, as referring 
to mijm wraw. 

Geiger (Urschrift, 477) finds support for his view 
that according to the Sadducees all the work connected 



41 See RaSHbaM on v. 6; comp. Reifmann, Bet Talmud, I, 219. The 
view of Gronemann, 77 ff., is improbable, comp. ib., note. For Philo's and 
Josephus' interpretation of these verses see Ritter, p. 61 ff., and Weyl, p. 
130 ff. Hadassi (Alph. 370) refers verses 6-10 to Jt^tAoB and verses 10-13 
to D»n 'SjD. Benjamin Nehawendi seems also to make this distinction 
(t'0'33 ftHVQ, 2b) but contradicts himself. He says (ib., 3J): 3»n niton 

naaja a»ni ia«6 nan Kin >a iiapa uao lain rhnmi mtaiapn »an abvfo 

'U1 iaj?B aw 31M DK1 "1B»JB», thus referring verse 11 to )'Sb^B8. 

4 » Philo makes such reticence a capital crime (II, 275; Ritter, p. it; 
comp. Werke Fhilos, II, 114, note 4). This interpretation of Ps.-Jon. seems 
to have escaped Ritter </. c). 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEE 541 

with the Red Heifer was to be done by priests only 43 in 
Ps.-Jon. to Num. 19, 9. 18 >:n JT13 13J BWi (comp. 
also Briill, Bet Talmud, I, 270). 

The Karaites, however, agree with Tradition in the 
interpretation of "lino K"K see also Philo II, 253 ; and Mibhar 
(ad toe, 18b) records the opinion of some Karaites that 
even ms nsitJ' (v. 5), which according to Tradition is 
"in Sds (see note 43), does not require a priest: 
jpi3 nVir in jna invr6 pre spi^n onow vn 
Ps.-Jon. adds to njnD^> pno s'sr (Lev. 16, 27) the words 
K'oroT s^tsn jwt hv J^D&o fipBJV... which is against the 
Halakah, as Biichler (Die Priester und der Cultus, 153) 
remarks. The Karaites agree with Tradition. See Mibhar, 
ad loc. (28a) : 

jro *6i fcOviDn K'w : mn«h pno W n»xiv 44 
Ps.-Jon. differs from Tradition, Yoma 6, 6, in the inter- 
pretation of "vubti ns nbn (Lev. 16, 22) in ascribing the 
death of the goat to non-human agency. Geiger (N. S., 
V, Heb., 115) believes this to have been the ancient inter- 
pretation (failing, however, to indicate the reason that 

43 Comp. Briill, Bet Talmud, I, 273. Geiger (I. c.) quotes also Ps.- 
Jon. on verses 3, 5, 7, but in the interpretation of v. 5, Ps.-Jon. is in full 
agreement with Tradition, which also requires 7V1B flBTO to be by a priest 
(Briill, /. c, 271, n. 5, notwithstanding). See Parah 4, 4; Tosefta, 4,6; 
Maim., nOH» 7110, 3, 2; 4, 17. The view that paa nBTltP (Ps.-Jon. on 
verses 3, 7) is represented also in Yoma 42a. As to the slaughtering of 
sacrifices in general if it need be by a priest, see Ritter, pp. iio-ix; see 
also Biichler, Die Priester und der Cultus, 138 ff., and p. 101, n. 2, and p. 
155, n. 2. See Yoma 27a and Zebahim 32a; see also Lev. Rabba 22, 4; 

ami? pam ... nanea m»n waa D'iidk ^»ib« mv 't^> ^kjnsbm »an »an 
^apni. 

44 See also Geiger, Urschrift, 173 (and Biichler, /. c, 154) as to Ps.-Jon. 
Ex. 29, 37; 30, 29; against which see the just remarks of Gronemann, 48, 
note. 



542 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

might have caused the change in the interpretation of this 
verse). The Karaite interpretation agre es with tha t of the 
Talmud, See Mibhar, ad loc. (27b) ...tatfO 13"6wi, comp, 
also min ina, ad loc. 

According to Tradition naiJi TU , D^B> (Lev. 7, 16- 
18) are eaten only two days and the night between (Sifra 
ad loc; Zebahim 5, 7; Pesahim 3a; Maimon., nwaipn ntrjjio, 
10, 6). It construes "irtum mn»Di (v. 16) so that ^ax 1 
refers to mnD». Ps.-Jon. refers bas' 1 to the night after 
the second day so that D'obc are eaten two days and two 
nights (comp. Ps.-Jon. to Lev. 19, 6). The Karaites are 
divided on this question. See Mibhar, ad loc. (lib): 
ova nam neoo "inuni nns nWi a*© 1 w!> asanas? . mnoo 
...mum qv vb cpe* e>Ka ay pai 'cr^cn ova : fpB" b*«3 «K»btJ>n. 
But see min "ina, orf. /oc. (18&): naiM yij , d!)B> nani 
pin xin ...rtnx nW>i a'©' w t6 tyM> 'nan B'c '•JB'b a'baso 
mnx ' !?e> n^Si aj cam mnon aw vu ''©bca a: . In a 
fragment of a commentary on Lev. which Schechter 
published in his Saadyana, 144 ff., the author of which 
Schechter believes to be the famous ninth century Karaite 
Daniel al Kumsi, the same view is held (ib., p. 146) :" fa... 
... ,| B»i>e> Wi mnoD ^ax' na*ui vij. 

4S Aaron b. Elias, however, contradicts himself. See pj? p, fol. 39c, 
I; 7 from bottom: nn« nWl D>0» 'iP 1 ? J'^OKJ D'oWll. Philo, as is 
evident from the third reason given by him for the law of Lev. 19, 6 (II, 
245). agrees with Ps.-Jon. See also Geiger, Nachg. Schr., IV, 38; Reifmann, 
Bet Talmud, I, 314. Chwolson, Das letzte Passamahl Christi, 35, believes this 
to have been the Sadducean view; comp. ib., 32, 34. The interpretation of Ps.- 
Jon. seems to have escaped Chwolson. Another Karaite view is found in the 
fragment mentioned in the text. Daniel says that the words D3D 3*!p' 'J DIN 
pip (Lev. 1, 2) excluded Gentiles from bringing any sacrifices to be offered for 
them in the Temple. Other Karaites hold the same view (Mibhar, Lev. 39a, 
and t|D3 flTB, ad he, STnn "lfD 62a; but see DJH 3»an by the Karaite 



KARAITE HALAKAH — REVEI, 543 

Ps.-Jon. interprets D'DID li> ru"V «\f\ (Deut. 17, 16) to 
mean that he should not have more than two horses (*nr6 
J11D1D pn by Tfb \\W ah ) which is against the talmudic 
interpretation that the King is not to keep more horses 
than he actually needs (Sifre, ad loc, 105&; Sanhedrin 21a, 
comp. Briill, Bet Talmud, II, 25-26). The Karaites agree 
with the talmudic interpetation. See Mibhar, ad loc. 
(14b) : imsno H3 *6k : d"D1D ib pot k^. 

Tradition interprets Ninn town noi (Deut. 18, 19) as 
death by strangulation (Sanhedrin 10, 1; Sifre, ad loc, 
1080). Ps.-Jon. translates death by sword," The Kar- 
aites agree with Tradition. See rmrt "irq, ad loc. (22a) : 
nai vjjjd jd Nine* 'o M>3' dji npc &03) int : tt ick wsin *|k 
pirn Dne6e> rum m? muv ceo K3jnoni Dt?n." 

As was already remarked by Jonathan Eibeschiitz 
(O'Dini DniK , 9, 2) Ps.-Jon. in his translation of Deut, 24, I 
tun '3 mp JWn 1SD r6 3in3'' requires the presence 
of a court for the execution of a bill of divorce. The 
Karaites agree with Tradition (see Baba Batra 174b; 
Arakin 23a : tnio Kp tun , 33 enjen i>3 ids ; but comp. 
dlKHJ "1 ED'S, ad /oc; see the literature in L. Low, GW. 
Schr., Ill, 235-244) against Ps.-Jon. Anan requires the 
presence of ten, which constitutes a court according to the 
early Karaites (see RBJ., XLV, 67; 69 note) in case of 
marriage ( iyb D"no, ed. Harkavy, p. 113) but not for a 
divorce (/. c, p. 119). See also Benjamin Nahawendi, 

M. Sultanski, Goslow 1858, 118). The later Samaritans shared this view 
(Wreschner, 61-2). This Karaite law is based on no tradition; see Schiirer, 
Division II, Vol. I (Engl, transl.), 299 S. 

« Ps.-Jon. interprets nDV in Deut. 13, 6 also by KB»D3 SopiV, which 
is against the Mishnah, Sanhedrin xo, 1. 

4T Aaron b. Joseph (Mibhar, Deut. 15a) believes that death here is »T3 
tl'DtS' , basing his view on Jerem. 28, 16. 



544 TH E JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

pcoa risen, 6c, 11. 9-12, and py p, 155&. Elias Bashjatzi 

(a^ 'a, D'CJ jT, in^N mis) states : jnw 6W 'na wpnn pbl 
DDiiBO -iann .Trve> na 1*33 [san] 

It is, however, most probable that in many instances a 
writ of divorce would be given in the presence of a 1T3 
p to insure legality and publicity, to which custom Ps.- 
Jonathan's wn '3 onp may be due. In a recently discov- 
ered Assuan papyrus a bill of divorce is said to have been 
given mjn. See Jahrbuch d. jiidisch-literaischen Gesell- 
schaft, VII, Frankfurt a-M. 1910, p. 378. 

Ps.-Jon. (so also Fragment Targum) interprets ms\ 
bnn D'DU rrrr new man bs (Deut. 26, 3) against Tradition 
(Bikkurim 3, 12; Sifre, ad loc; so also Josephus, IV, 8, 
22) as referring to the high priest ( 'in* H &ona ro!> \bvn 
31 pnab MDD). The Karaites agree with Tradition. See 
Mibhar, ad /oc, 230. So also rmri "ina ," ad loc. 29b). 

48 The Karaites, relying on Nehem. 10, 36, contend that the firstlings 
(0'"I132) are to be offered from all kinds of earth and tree fruits (Mibhar 
and HWI IfD , /. c). According to Tradition (Bikkurim, i, 3) they are 
offered only from the "seven kinds" enumerated in Deut. 8, 8. Philo states 
that they are brought from the fruits of trees (see Werkes Philos, II, 168, 
n. 2; but see Philo, II, 391); comp. also Book of Jubilees 21, 10 and 
Josephus Ant. IV, 8, 22. 

(To be continued}