A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Believers in Messiah Yeshua
The Karaite Deception
After studying the Karaite movement, we have determined that it’s primary aim in sharing its theology with Messianic Jews, is to get it to legitimize its authority over them, by attacking orthodox Judaism’s authority on matter of halacha, especially the moedim, and to establish itself as the rightful interpreters and authority on scripture. This is done through preying on anti-orthodox sentiments that exist within the greater Messianic movement; and is thus accepted by those all-too eager to stay away from an orthodox Judaism.
What Messianic believers who have subjected themselves to Karaite halacha don’t realize is that they’ve been sold a package of counterfeit goods by a sleight-of-mind which exchanges the authority of orthodox Judaism and the majority of Israel’s leaders, with that of the Karaites, under the guise of doing what is “biblical” – again, usually also defined and taught according to the authority of the Karaites. This sleight-of-mind, coupled with unjustified, emotional anti-orthodox sentiments produces the result of a Messianic Judaism inundated with Karaite observers who ascribe to a “do it my own way” halacha at worst (and eventually slide into the lunar Sabbath camp and its derivatives), or “do it like the Karaites and not like the orthodox,” setting up ourselves as the authority or simply replacing that authority with that of the Karaites. Doing so creates general discord and disunity with the rest of Israel where we aren’t even gathering on the same day to observe the moedim which are themselves holy convocations with the aim for all Israel to gather together. You can’t have a moed with all Israel if all Israel isn’t observing your moed.
Many arguments have been raised, and none of them are without debate, but the primary cause for us to accept the orthodox calendar concerning the moedim, as well as their related halacha, is that we as an organization have given up assuming the orthodox are wrong. We have given up assuming that their arguments, positions, reasoning, and halacha are not worth investigating from the start. We have given up assuming that we know all the answers, or assuming that we could figure them out alone without the input of the Sages (which leaves a vacuum for solid halachic authority that the Karaites are more than eager to rush in and fulfill). We have finally given up our Protestant baggage and stopped protesting; and we have surrendered our rebellious hearts to HaShem, trusting that he is the one who leads us all to truth through his Torah, and through those he has placed in authority over Israel (which at it’s head is Messiah Yeshua). And ever since we did, we have come to respect the learned wisdom of the Sages, and even the authority of orthodox halacha as it applies and is practiced by all Israel. Certainly some differences in halacha abound, and even more so within orthodoxy. But concerning moedim, all Israel is united on the dates we should all be convocating on, and only the Karaites, and the lone Messianic independents they’ve managed to deceive, stand apart and alone from all Israel in this regard. We as Messianic Jews must recognize the sleight-of-mind that is being pulled on us by the Karaite movement, and recognize why we were so vulnerable to fall for its deception: our rebelliousness. We need to repent, and recognize that HaShem calls us all to convocate as one people, not as a splintered faction.
It is clearly known that there were deceivers in the days of the old Sanhedrin who would come in and “witness” to the sighting of the new moon – for the sole purpose of causing confusion and getting people to not observe the established calendar. The Karaites today appear to continue in this tradition of sending ” witnesses” in which to cause confusion from the established orthodox calendar.
What some do not realize yet is that there is a new Sanhedrin, though they have not ruled on establishing a new calendar based on witness sightings in Israel, they have continued to uphold the orthodox calendar established by the previous Sanhedrin, and last I checked, even Messiah and his disciples submitted to that Sanhedrin – even at the cost of their lives. The Karaite argument in this regard simply shows its ugly face for what it is when it denounces the new Sanhedrin: in that the Karaite movement truly is designed to replace the authority of the leaders of Israel with that of the Karaites. It is nothing short of a heart of Korach that desires to rebel and separate from all Israel under the guise of “doing what I think is biblical,” and until we realize this, we will continue to be duped as long as we sit on the throne of our hearts, and not submit to Messiah Yeshua’s words “do everything (the Pharisees who sit in the seat of Moses) tell you.”
We as a generation are not left without our leaders. Make teshuvah and return the Torah. If our leaders are wrong about the date, the sin is upon them, not us. We are not called to break the Torah, yet who are we to decide the Torah concerning moedim for all Israel? Since when did we become the established judges for all Israel in this regard? According to the Torah, we are not to rebel against the judges that are established in our day, but to do everything they tell us – and even much more so when we are submitted to Messiah Yeshua who is King over all Israel! So then it naturally follows that deceivers will always exist to draw us away from being in unity with the rest of Israel and to cause us to separate even further. As Messianic Jews we are already separated from the rest of Judaism by our acceptance of Yeshua as the Messiah; why must we add to that the separation of our convocations? If we do, then we’d be just as guilty as if we were the Council of Nicea mandating Sunday worship – and that is certainly the result of those who rebelled against the leadership of Israel in that day too.
At this point, we can only conclude then that it is better to err on the side of Orthodox authority – one that is established and tested and accepted by the majority of Torah-observant Israel, recognized by Messiah Yeshua, and unifies rather than divides, than err on the side of Kararaite authority which is established from a root of rebellion against the leadership of Israel; especially concerning the matter of setting the dates of convocation required for all Israel. Based on this, Orthodox authority should be given the benefit of the doubt concerning halacha for all Israel. We have found it to be a safe starting position for any halacha, with Messiah Yeshua as the boundary, and we hope you do too.