|Codex Cairensis compiled by Moshe Ben Asher, 895.|
|Rambam Hil. Sefer Torah 8:4|
|Likutei Kadmoniyot, by Simcha Pinsker 1860|
|Simcha Pinsker's dedication to his father and teacher, an 'expert Rabbi on Torah, Talmud and Spirituality, proficient at Revealed and Mystical Wisdom, as well as Secular knowledge'.|
|Pivotal extract from Simcha Pinsker's Likutei Kadmoniyot.|
Rav Saadia Gaon (882-942) known for his fierce debates with the Karaites, published a work known as “Elrad Aleeh Ben Asher” or “A Polemic on Ben Asher” referring rather critically to a certain 'Ben Asher'. However, no one connected him to the famed Aaron Ben Asher of the (later to be known) Aleppo Codex - until the relatively recent discoveries in the Cairo Geniza in 1896:
This sentence may previously have been overlooked as an innocuous statement, but after Simcha Pinsker’s publication and the Cairo Geniza findings, it may support the notion that Ben Asher may have been a Karaite - as Karaites certainly do 'decide law from the Torah' (as opposed to the Rabbinical interpretation of the Torah which relies on the Oral Tradition of the Talmud).
This is not an entirely compelling argument as the Rabbinites also base their Law on the Torah, although, because of the Oral Tradition, with more latitude and less literalism.
|Cairo Prophets Codex or Codex Cairensis compiled by Moshe Ben Asher, 895.|
If Aaron Ben Asher indeed was a Karaite, it would create an astounding halachic conundrum because Karaites fall into a category known as minim, or heretics. The law is that if a Sefer Torah is written by a min, it is to be burned!