Conversion FAQ

Question: What do I need to do in order to convert to Karaite Judaism?

Answer: In order to convert to Karaite Judaism you must first accept the three fundamental principles of Karaism as expressed in the Karaite Confession:

  1. I believe in YHWH of Hosts as the only God, and renounce all others.
  2. I believe in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Scripture, as the word of YHWH and the only religious authority and renounce all other writings, creeds, and doctrines as the words of men.
  3. I undertake to study and keep the Tanach, striving to interpret it according to its "plain meaning". 

You must also accept the principles expressed in the ancient Karaite Vow:

If the believer is a male he must be circumcised.  Circumcision can be performed by any qualified health-care professional.  It does not need to be performed by a religious leader or ‘Rabbi’. 

Before converting, the believer must begin to live by the Torah so that by the time he converts he will have internalized day-to-day commandments such as daily Torah study, prayer, Shabbat, Kashrut, and family purity. 

 

Question: I have recently discovered that I am a member of the Ten Lost Tribes.  Do I need to convert to be a Karaite?

Answer: Throughout history many Israelites assimilated into the nations of their captivity, thereby becoming ‘lost’.  However, no group today can prove conclusively that their ancestors were Israelites.  Many groups have preserved Israelite-like customs but this in itself is not conclusive proof that one is an Israelite.  In biblical terms a person is an Israelite if he fulfills one of two criteria:

 

  1. He joins himself to YHWH by vowing before other Israelites that ‘YHWH is my God and Israel is my people’.
  2. He has an unbroken tradition that his ancestors were Israelites (Ezra 2:63).  Rediscovering that you are a member of a lost tribe is not the same thing as a father-to-son tradition that your ancestors were Israelites. 

 

Question: I am of Jewish descent.  Do I need to convert to be a Karaite?

Answer: In order to be Karaites, Jews simply need to embrace the fundamentals of Karaism, renounce the false doctrines of our fathers, and start living by Torah.  See also, above. 

 

Question: I am a gentile who accepts the fundamentals of Karaism.  Before formally converting I want to learn more about how to internalize Torah into my daily life.  What do I do?

Answer: Please contact us at: conversion@karaite-korner.org.