||Haggadah for the Karaite community according to their customs, printed at the expense of the Karaite community of Egypt in the year “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying” (Exodus 13:2). The text varies extensively from the standard rabbinic text omitting many of the rituals and customs that enrich the more familiar rabbinic Haggadah, but including Karaite customs. Nevertheless, there are also points of similarity, both celebrating the exodus from Mizraim.
Karaism is a Jewish sect which came into being at the beginning of the eighth century. Its doctrine is characterized primarily by its denial of the talmudic-rabbinical tradition. The accepted meaning of the name of the sect—Kara'im, Ba'alei ha-Mikra ("people of the Scriptures")—is assumed to imply the main characteristic of the sect, the recognition of the Scriptures as the sole and direct source of religious law, to the exclusion of the Oral Law. There is, however, another interpretation of the name Kara'im, defining it as "callers" or "propagandists," in the sense of the Arabic word duat by which the Shiite Muslim sect designated propagandists on behalf of Ali. Since a religion based on revelation cannot tolerate the complete exclusion of tradition, either in principle or in practice, the Karaite demand for a return to Scripture should be taken as a theoretical watchword, directed not against all tradition, but specifically against the rabbinical tradition. The Karaites also developed a tradition of their own, described by them as sevel ha-yerushah ("yoke of inheritance"), consisting of doctrines and usages which, although not found in the Bible, were accepted as binding by the entire community. A large number of these had come down from the Jews who had returned from the Babylonian exile (those designated as the "good figs," Jer. 24:5). In determining the date of the holy days, Karaites deviate from Rabbanite usage in the following manner: the New Year Festival may begin on any day of the week; as a result, the Karaite Day of Atonement does not always coincide with the Rabbanite; Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) are observed for seven days only; the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) falls on the 50th day following the Saturday of the Passover week (in accordance with the literal interpretation of Lev. 23:11, which the Talmud interprets in a different manner), and is therefore always on a Sunday; Hanukkah is not recognized, but Purim is, although the Fast of Esther is not; the Fast of Gedaliah is observed on the 24th of Tishri (as it was by the exiles returning from Babylon). Other fast days, with the exception of the Tenth of Tevet, are also observed on dates that differ from the rabbinic fast days (Karaites only relate the fast days to the destruction of the First Temple).