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Shemot 35:3 and the Karaites

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Date:
Feb 27, 2019
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33 min 17 sec
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The opening passage of Parashat Vayakhel includes Moshe's reminder to observe Shabbat and a singular mention of the prohibition of kindling a fire on Shabbat - לא תבערו אש בכל מושבותיכם ביום השבת. This passage became the focal point of a near-millenium long dispute between the Karaites and the rabbinic community as is evidenced from the many comments found in rabbinic literature from the Middle Ages defending and staunchly arguing in favor of the lighting of Shabbat candles. This polemic may lie at the source of a part of Friday night Tefillot.

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