Jewish History: Post-Biblical History: The Karaites:
Who are the Karaites?
They are a sect who don't accept the authority of the Rabbis.
There's a good article on the Karaites in the Encyclopedia Judaica.
They have existed continuously since their founding (around the eighth
century) in Iraq. They spread to many parts of the middle east and
eastern Europe, but nowadays there are only about 10,000 of them left,
including about 700 in Israel.
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