About the value of a word “karaite”.
The etymology of word KARAITE is connected with Hebrew “a root” and קרא (to read). The form of a participle formed from it קראי = punish (reading) in a plural number has the form קראים = karaites (readings). From the same root there is a word מקרא = Miqra (Over Convocation or the Old Testament of the Bible) - unique for karaites the sacred book. In connection with that copying on Russian similar proper name takes the form: Serafims, Neffalims, Cherubims, Olims - the plural form in Russian has got form KARAIMS.
About the origin of karaism.
About time of occurrence karaite`s religions there are some versions. We shall state them in a chronological sequence.
First of them belongs to the middle age’s karaite`s scholar (hakham) r. Jacob Qirqisani (9 century). In the book המאורות והמגדלים (Constellations and Towers) he carries the beginning of the Talmud to time of reign of the slave to king Solomon Jarov'am ben Nevat (rules Israel 796-774 years up to Christian era). At him bene Israel were divided (shared) into two states - Israel and Juda. According to this version rabbanites take the beginning from an empire Israel above which corrected Jarov'am ben Nevat, and karaites - from empire of Juda above which the son of king Solomon – Rahav`am corrected. To the same opinion adhered Juda hal-Lewi in his book Kuzari and the karaite’s author from Poland Mordehay ben Nisan in his book DOD MORDEHAY (1709).
The second version concerns to time of returning of Bet Judas from a captivity and construction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Conflicts among Jewish teachers that have resulted in division of people into different sects then have begun:
a) פרושים - did not doubt in Torah of Moses, but added interpretation from itself, naming them תורה שבעל פה (the Oral Law);
b) sadduqim - kept only Old Testament
c) צדיקים (איסיים) or "kind figs" - Did not trust in the Oral Law and tried to follow Torah of Moses in all its details and senses. Constant conflicts between these sects were reflected first of all in not numerous families chaddiqim which were compelled to leave (abandon) the Sacred Earth and under leadership of prince Shehanii from a sort of tsar David have gone to the Babylon captivity (about 120 up to Christian era). פרושים to which managed to expel צדיקים subsequently began to refer to rabbanites since recognized sacred the Oral Law - the Talmud. And צדיקים (from times of judge Juda ben Tabay - about 161 up to Christian era) referred to קראים = karaites (reading), i.e. Recognized especially the authority of Over Testament without additions and diminutions.
This version - last in the chronological order, concerns to time of life karaite`s patriarch Anan ben David hannasi (715-811. Christian era) and his predecessors - Isa he is scarlet Ispahani and Yadhan. At this particular time (754 year) karaites or בני מקרא = benе Miqra (The sons of Old Testament), completely having separated from rabbanites, have returned from Babylon to Jerusalem and have lodged there. As is known Anan sent missionaries in the different countries, including to Crimea. The fellow-campaigner of Anan – karaite`s missioner Ichhak Sangari carried out the reference (manipulation) of khazar kahan Bulan in karaism.
The karaite`s occurrence in Crimea.
The most ancient version concerns to 7- century up to Christian era - to days of prophet Isaiah. The king of Assyria Shalmaneser has grasped capital of Israel Samaria and has sent Israel to Medes. There they have lived up to 474 years up to Christian era when Persian king Kambizus has grasped an Assyrian empire. He has given freedom for living there Bene Israel. A part of them have submitted to Kambizus the application on lodging on the Crimean peninsula. He has given them it kindly, and they, having moved to Crimea, have lodged in " Sela ha-Yuhudim " (Qirq-Yer or Chufut-Qale). This version proves to be true for about ancient karaite`s monuments which are taking place in Valley of Johoshafat (Chufut-Qale). Most ancient of them is dated sixth year of first century Christian era (see its image on the second sheet of a cover).
In 389 year Christian era in Konstantinopol Byzantian emperor Teodosy, the son-in-law of emperor Valentine was established. He very much liked karaites, and those, being oppressed in Persia, have moved in Konstantinopol and Adrianople. And therefrom, after death of emperor liking them, have moved to Crimea where lived with genoeses in peace.
In 742 year (on verse of M.I.Artamonov - in 655) khazars have come to Crimea. Khazarian Khahanat consist from multi-languages nomad tribes incorporated by Judaic khahan (from Hebrew כהן - priest or prince) and the Judaic kingdom. The khazars-karaites having mixed up with the coreligionists that living earlier in Crimea have made with them one community.
This version concerns to time of capture of Crimea Tatars. According to this version tatars included a tribe of qirq which have lodged in Qirq-Er. This tribe has resulted with itself karaite`s families from the Olga - palace (an Aq - palace on Volga) from Mamay-Babay. It is possible, that to Volga these families have moved from Tabriz and adjoining to it karaite`s turkish-speeking settlements Köy, that was taking place in territory of Azerbaijan. Though it is possible also, that they represented rests of Khazarian Khahanat which has joined in the Horde.
The new wave of immigrants has arrived from Persia. According to the historical data at the end of 15-th century Sinan bay Hodja Chelebi has resulted with itself from Persia a little karaite`s families: Feruz, Masuda etc. From Sinan have taken place Crimean karaite`s surnames: Sinani, Chelebi, Hodja.
In 17 century the big group of karaites from Turkey has moved to Chufut-Qalethe for what monuments on adjoining to it cemetery testify: Arhopla bat Yuhuda Fuki (died 1668), Frosin bat Yosef Chaddiq (died 1671), Pumiya bat Eliya Afida (died 1672).
In Valley of Johoshafat there are also more ancient monuments of natives of Earth Uch (Moses Gibbor died in 989), exiles from Mankerman = Kiev (Hanna bat Jacob died 909, Daniel ben Yeshua died 883), karaites from ׂנמך and Lutsk, Jerusalem, the countries of alans and gagres etc. As we see, the history of Crimean karaites was inextricably related with others karaite communities.