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Page 37 - Why were the Karaites called Yahudi



Why were our Karaite ancestors called Yahudi (Jews) during the reign of the Tatars in Crimea?


The Kingdom of Judah existed for more than 600 years after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel, this caused all adherents of the Mosaic faith to be called Judeans in most languages and later they became known as Jews (in Turkic languages ​​the word Yahudi means Judean, Jew). It doesn't matter if a person is a Talmudist or a Karaite, they are still called Yahudi. This is similar to the way Russians used to call all foreigners Germans.

For this reason khan’s yarliks (yarlik was a special charter equipped a gold seal issued by the khans of the Golden Horde to confirm certain rights - such as religious rights and privileges of Karaites or appointment of Russian princes - their vassals) our ancestors were called Yahudi (in Turkic languages Judean, Jew), with the epithet Kale or Kyrk er (according to the Crimean town Tshufut Kale / Çufut Qale - Jewish fortress).

After Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire, our ancestors began to be officially named Karaites (Karaimi / Караимы)

In the year 1795 Her Majesty Empress Catherine the Great issued a decree that forbade Karaites to accept Rabbanite Jews in their midst.