Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought / מחקרי ירושלים במחשבת ישראל. ז:477-492
Judah ben Elijah Hadassi the Karaite (fl. mid-12th century) was not an original thinker, but his magnum opus of Karaite law and lore (Eshkol Ha-Kofer) serves as a repository of Karaite traditions from the time of Anan ben David (8th century) to Hadassi's own day. Thus, an examination of his philosophical views may serve both as a review of earlier Karaite thought and as an indication of Karaite philosophical trends in 12th century Byzantium. Hadassi's major contribution to Karaite theology was his formulation of a list of principles of Judaism, the first such systematic list to be compiled by a Jewish author. Hadassi's ten principles are: (1) the existence of a Creator; (2) the eternity and unity of the Creator; (3) Creation; (4) the prophecy of Moses and the other prophets; (5) the truth of the Torah; (6) the obligation to know Hebrew; (7) the Temple being the habitation of God's glory and Presence; (8) resurrection of the dead; (9) divine judgement; and (10) reward and punishment. An examination of these ten principles shows that Hadassi usually toed the line of his Mu'tazilite Karaite predecessors, such as Yusuf al-Basir and Yeshu'a ben Yehudah. He established God's existence by first proving the creation of the world; he maintained that God is fully just; he asserted that God's attributes are not essential, but are connected to His essence (le-nafsho). Hadassi, however, was not a blind follower of these predecessors. Thus, he rejected the Kalāmic theory of atomism, and he did not use the standard Kalāmic proof of the world's creation, relying instead on more popular arguments from the wonderful nature of the world. He also took the Ash'arites' view against the Mu'tazilites that God's voice is eternal, not created. By summarizing Karaite halakhah and thought up to his day, and occasionally moving in new directions, Hadassi became a transitional figure. He was the last Karaite of the classical school, and the first representative of new trends which would characterize later Karaism.