Some 800 Karaite Jews live within driving distance of Daly city, a suburb of San Francisco. Their synagogue complex is currently undergoing expansion, with a new library to be named after Joseph Abdel Wahed, co-founder of JIMENA, a''h. This Jewish News of North California article by David Wilensky explains about Karaism and its differences wih rabbinic Judaism. (With thanks: Boruch)
Show up on a Shabbat morning at Congregation B’nai Israel
in Daly City, and — if you’re a typical American Jew — you will see
plenty that’s familiar. At the front of the sanctuary is an ark, and
inside the ark are several Torah scrolls. There is a memorial wall at
the back, listing the names of the community’s lost loved ones. Near the
entrance is a rack of tallits.
It is a custom among Karaite Jews to pray kneeling on the ground, as seen
here in the sanctuary of Congregation B’nai Israel in Daly City.
(Courtesy/Kararite Jews of America)
But before you come in, you must remove your shoes, as Moses did when
he approached the Burning Bush. Examine the rack of tallits, and you
will find that the fringes are knotted and wrapped in an unusual way. In
front of the pews, there is an open space covered in rugs. Some
worshippers sit or kneel on the floor; when they bow, they touch their
heads to the ground. The prayers follow a different structure, and the
sound is very Middle Eastern.
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