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B‘rit Mila - The letter by Karaite Spiritual Council to Hazzan Irtlach

In Yevpatoria, 15 November 1910
№ 837

To Mr. Irtlach, the Hazzan of synagogue in Nikolayev;

According to information available to the Spiritual Council, the sons of Yosef Abrahamovich Aga, who were born in Nikolayev, have not undergone the indispensable ritual of circumcision.
The realization of this ceremony is prevented by their father.

The circumcision of boys is a Karaite mandatory religious ritual, which is clearly and unambiguously defined in the Holy Scriptures, namely in the First book of Moses, in verses 17:9-14 and the Third book of Moses, in chapter 12. 
The faith of Karaites is based on sacred rituals, on the sacred rituals performed with deep respect since time immemorial, on the sacred rituals performed in an unchanged form. 
Also our faith stands and falls depending on the current generation of Karaites' observance or violation, because it (our faith) is based on the accurate and obvious sense of the Holy Scriptures. 
Anyone who rejects the ritual of circumcision, denies the fundamental principle of Karaite doctrine, and therefore can’t be logically considered as Karaite. 
This is because the Holy Scriptures teaches us; and the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people.

From the above mentioned verse it is obvious that boys of Karaite parents, who have not undergone circumcision, are not Karaites. 
They can’t become members of Karaite communities, they can’t obtain Karaite religious education, they can’t visit the temple and they can’t be buried in the Karaite cemetery according to Karaite burial customs.

Some parents, thanks to a hardly understandable derangement of their minds, may put their sons (in future) into very unenviable situations. 
Therefore  the Spiritual Council, as the institution that protects the sacred laws of Karaite people and religious interests of each individual member of the Karaite community, (in order to avoid similar situations) must defend the interests of the children of Mr. Aga, and strictly require that his sons, as Karaites, must undergo the ritual of circumcision in the presence of the Hazzan and in this way to return to the faith of their ancestors.

Inform the Spiritual Council, in detail, on the development of this affair, so it will be able to issue additional decrees in this matter.

Karaite Hakham  _______________
Hazzan _____________


This text was corrected by Azriel Kowtek