||Eleven issues of the Karaite newspaper Ha-Or, issued from 1956 through 1958. The issues here are number three (Rosh Hodesh Sivan) through Year two number six (Elul). The masthead has the title Ha-Or in block letters in the center and in the early issues either the luhot, a Sefer Torah, or a combination of both on the sides. In the later issues the heading varies. The text is in a single column in square letters. While the subject matter varies it is comprised of ethical matter and teachings applicable to the Karaim.
Karaism is a Jewish sectarian movement founded by Anan ben David (c. 760) It is characterized by its denial of the validity of the Oral Law, expressed in the Talmud, and its reliance on the Bible only as a source of Divine revelation. When interpreting scripture Karaites strive to adhere to the plain meaning of the text, in contrast to Rabbinical Judiasm, which employs the methods of p'shat, remez (implication or clue), drash ("deep interpretation," based on changing the meaning of the words and the way they are read to another meaning) and sod ("secret," the Kabbalistic meaning of the text). There are approximately 50,000 adherents to Karaite Judaism, most of whom reside in Israel. Karaite Judaism is in a period of growth and renewal in the USA. However, exact numbers are not known, as most Karaites have not participated in any religious censuses.
The editor of ha-Or, Mordecai Avraham Alfandari (1929-99) is considered by many a restorer of Karaism and a great teacher. He died at the age of 69 after living in Jerusalem for 49 years. He was born Marc Alfandari, in New York City to a Greek Jewish mother and a Turkish Jewish father who had fled from the Turkish draft. In 1950 Mordecai immigrated to Israel and settled in Jerusalem, where he studied at the famous Porat Yosef Yeshiva for several years. After a government training course he got a job at a factory as a diamond polisher and he worked in that profession until 1993. Every night after a full day's work he would come home and spend hours reading scholarly books, corresponding with people in all parts of the world, and sending out his tracts. When Mordecai saw the Egyptian Karaites eating the non-Kosher Alyah (sheep's fat-tail) he showed them where this was forbidden in the Torah and explained how historically the Karaite Hachamim always noted this as one of the commandments which the Karaites keep and the Rabbanites do not. At first this was met with resistance and his life was even threatened but eventually the Egyptian Karaites realized that Mordecai was right and stopped eating the non-Kosher 'Alyah. In the years 1956-1958 Mordecai also published a Karaite newspaper in Hebrew called "Ha'Or" ("The Light") in which he called upon the Karaites and other Jews to keep the commandments of the Bible and to live up to their obligation to be a "Light unto the Nations".