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'ANAN BEN DAVID, a Persian Jew of the 8th century, and founder within Judaism of the sect of Qaraites (Karaites) which set itself in opposition to the rabbinic tradition. 'Anan was an unsuccessful candidate for the dignity of Exilarch, and thus his opposition to the rabbanite Jews was political as well as theological. His secession occurred at a moment when the time was ripe for a reaction against rabbinism, and 'Anan became the rallying point for many opponents of tradition. (See Qaraites.)