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Karaites, Qumran, The Calendar, And Beyond: At The Beginning Of The Twenty-First Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the role of calendar disputes in determining identity among the Qumran group and the Karaites. Specifically, it analyses the place of calendar disputes between Rabbanites and Karaites in shaping scholarly perception of the significance of analogous disputes during the Second Temple period, for the Qumran community in particular. At the same time, the analysis also goes in the opposite directionstarting with the Qumran texts and moving from there to the role of Dead Sea Scroll sources in promoting specific conclusions concerning the Karaites. M. A. Friedman found fifteen examples of Karaite-Rabbanite marriage contracts among one thousand cases of marriage contracts in the Cairo geniza that he studied. In proposing the possibilities of the existence of mixed Karaite-Rabbanite loyalties, Rustow pointed to insightful remarks by George Duby. Along the same lines, Rustow further pointed to the notion of tolerated dissent in rabbinic culture over the ages.

Keywords: Cairo geniza; calendar disputes; Karaites; marriage contracts; Qumran; Second Temple period



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