Shlomoh Sherman said on 4-15-10
Karaite Korner is probably the most famous Karaite website on the Internet. Whatever their objections are to "normal" Judaism, they miss an important point. That is, they believe that you can stop a religion from evolving and changing over generations. You can't. This is a point missed by Karaites, Christians, and other "back to old, pure religion." There is no such thing.
Anyone who thinks that there is has to answer why the religion of the Jews, and by that I mean the religion recognized by the majority of people in the world, has changed dramatically over time.
Scholars of THE Jewish religion state, probably correctly, that whatever the Jews' religion was at the time that the Babylonians came down and destroyed Jerusalem, it was different a century later, when jews returned to Judea.
The cream of Jewish crop was taken away captive, and due to the magnanimosity of the Babylonians, were allowed to live together and study together, a new version of the Jews'
religion was born. While the peasants of Judea amd the Samaritans of the north continued to practice an obsolete version of some kind of Israelite religion, the Jews in Babylon had the advantage of having the last of the prophets and their disciples in their midst. And here is the thing about people who complain about "rabbis". The disciples of the prophets took whatever knowledge and traditions they had accumulated about being Jewish, and they studied, together with the priests, and consolidated that knowledge into what ultimately became the Mishnah, THE guide to being Jewish. The disciples of the disciples of the prophets became scribes in Babylon. Upon their return to Judea, the exiles chose in unison to follow the scribes, while the peasants of Judea and the Samaritans had half assimilated into the gentile population and practiced who knows what> The books of Ezra and Hehemiah go so far as to state the the children of the mixed marriages were no longer even able to speak "the Jews' language" [Hebrew]. The scribes disiples eventually became the Pharisees [separatists], following the Biblical mandate to "remove yourselves from the midst and be separate". The Pharisees arose to save the Jewish People after the disasterous war with Rome, and became the rabbis of the Mishnah and Gemarah. So there is a line going back from rabbis to prophets Had it not been for the rabbis, we Jews would have disappeared long ago. So if the Karaites want to believe that they practice the only valid religion,they are practicing Karaitism, not Judaism.