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    Crimean Karaites

    Jew Score:
    7

    I3

    O1

    K3

    If you ever visit Lithuania (let's imagine, for a moment, that you have a reason to visit Lithuania), you might be served kibinai, a local pastry stuffed with meat and onions.

    Even though kibinai are becoming ubiquitous throughout the country, their origins are not exactly Lithuanian. They come from Karaites, an ethnic group that settled in Lithuania centuries ago, during the Mongol wars.

    The group currently numbers about 2000 worldwide. A large percentage live in Crimea (they are often called Crimean Karaites), where they originated (one of the theories has them as descendants of Khazars). Their presence in Lithuania has dwindled greatly, even if their gastronomic influence remains.

    Are Crimean Karaites Jews? It's hard to issue a verdict. A large percentage of them practice Karaite Judaism (or Karaism), which is a version of Judaism that rejects the Talmud. However, in the last century many Karaites converted to Christianity. There was also a movement that replaced Hebrew with Turkish and a claim that Karaites are supposed to follow Jesus and Mohammad. So you can see how your plain old regular Jews might have issues with that.

    As for kibinai? Meh. Way, way too many onions.

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    July 27, 2016

    See Also

    The Gogodala

    Iosif Grigulevich

    The Khazars

    Mountain Jews

    The Vikings
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2017. j...@jewornotjew.com.