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The Karaites And Their Neighbours: Relations With The Christian Population And With The Rabbanite Jews

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Chapter Summary

The Slavs and the Rabbanite Jews represented the majority of the population of Galicia from 1772 to 1918. The Ruthenians, Poles, and Rabbanite Jews were the Karaites' immediate ethnic neighbours, with whom they were engaged in constant everyday contact and under whose influence they came volens nolens. Relations between the Karaites and the Rabbanites may be best described as those of two close relatives who belong to different branches of the same religion. Perhaps relations between members of two branches of Christianity-Protestants and Catholics-represent the closest parallel. Intellectual contacts between the Galician Karaites and Rabbanites began to develop not later than in the seventeenth century. This tendency is clearly manifested by the active interest of a few Galician Karaite sages in the mystical teaching of the Qabbalah.

Keywords: Christianity; Galicia; Karaites; Qabbalah; Rabbanite Jews; Ruthenians



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