Karaite family deriving its name from the city of Troki, in the government of Wilna, Russia. The more important members of the family are:

Abraham ben Aaron Ḥazzan Troki:

Karaite liturgical poet; lived at Troki in the sixteenth century. A liturgical poem of his, beginning with the words , for the Sabbatical section "Beshallaḥ," has been inserted in the Karaite Siddur (i. 315). It is possible that the numerous liturgical poems found there under the name "Abraham" without any other indication may also have been composed by Troki.

  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. iii. 37;
  • Gottlober, Biḳḳoret le-Toledot ha-Ḳara'im, p. 151, Wilna, 1865.
Abraham ben Josiah ha-Shofeṭ Troki:

Karaite physician and scholar; born at Troki; died Dec., 1688. He was physician to John III., Sobieski, and later to Grand Duke Sigismund II. Troki was the author of two medical works: one, in Hebrew, entitled "Oẓar ha-'Am," and the other, in Latin, still extant in manuscript (St. Petersburg Cat., No. 732). According to Abraham Firkovich, Troki wrote also a work in seven sections entitled "Masa ha-'Am," which, after having translated it into Latin, he sold to the Dominican friars at Wilna. Simḥah Luzki mentions two other works by Troki, "Bet Abraham" and "Pas Yeda," both of which dealt with scientific subjects.

  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. iii. 94;
  • Gottlober, Biḳḳoret le-Toledot ha-Ḳara'im, p. 151;
  • Simḥah Luzki, Oraḥ Ẓaddiḳim, s.v. ב and פ;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 29;
  • Neubauer, Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek, p. 72.
S. I. Br.Isaac ben Abraham Troki:

Karaite polemical writer; born at Troki 1533; died in the same city 1594. He was instructed in Bible and Hebrew literature by the Karaite scholar Zephaniah ben Mordecai, and in Latin and Polish literatures by Christian teachers. Moving in Christian circles, Troki was often called upon to take part in religious controversies; and this prompted him to study religious philosophy and Christian theology and to acquaint himself with the tenets of the various Christian sects. In the course of his studies he became interested in the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish writings of his contemporaries and compatriots Nicholas Paruta, Martin Czechowic, and Simon Budni. To refute the arguments of the writers against the Jewish religion and to show the superiority of Judaism, Troki wrote his epoch-making "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah."

His "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah."

This work is in two volumes, containing ninety-nine chapters in all. The author begins by demonstrating that Jesus was not the Messiah predicted by the Prophets. "This," he says, "is evident (1) from his pedigree, (2) from his acts, (3) from the period in which he lived, and (4) from the fact that during his lifetime the promises that related to the advent of the expected Messiah were not fulfilled." His arguments on these points are as follows: (1) Jesus' pedigree: Without discussing the question of the relationship of Joseph to David, which is more than doubtful, one may ask, What has Jesus to do with Joseph, who was not his father? (2) His acts: According to Matt. x. 34, Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to make peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." On the other hand, Holy Writ attributes to the true and expected Messiah actions contrary to those of Jesus. (3) The period of his existence: It is evident that Jesus did not come at the time foretold by the Prophets; for they predicted the advent of the Messiah in the "last days" (Isa.ii. 2). (4) The fulfilment of the Messianic promises: All the Prophets predicted that at the advent of the Messiah peace and justice would reign in the world, not only among men, but even among the animals; yet there is not one sincere Christian who would claim that this has been fulfilled.


Among Troki's objections to the divinity of Jesus the following may be mentioned: The Christian who opposes Judaism must believe that the Jews tormented and crucified Jesus either with his consent or against his will. If with his consent, then the Jews had ample sanction for what they did. Besides, if Jesus was really willing to meet such a fate, what cause was there for complaint and afflicion?And why did he pray in the manner related in Matt. xxvi. 39? On the other hand, if it be assumed that the crucifixion was against his will, how then can he be regarded as God—he, who was unable to resist the power of those who brought him to the cross? How could one who had not the power to save his own life be held as the Savior of all mankind ("Ḥizzuḳ Emunah," ch. xlvii.). In the last chapter Troki quotes Rev. xxii. 18, and asks how Christians could consistently make changes of so glaring a nature; for the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week was not authorized by Jesus or by any of his disciples. Moreover, partaking of the blood and flesh of a strangled beast is a palpable infringement of the dictates of the Apostles.

Editions and Translations.

Troki died before completing his work, the index and preface to which were made by his pupil Joseph ben Mordecai Malinovski Troki. The "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah" remained for many years in manuscript, and the text underwent many changes at the hands of the copyists. One rabbi went so far as to substitute for many of Troki's philosophical arguments Talmudical sayings. The work was first published, with a Latin translation, by Wagenseil in his "Tela Ignea Satanæ" (Freiberg, 1681), and was reprinted in Amsterdam (1705), Jerusalem (1845), and Leipsic (1857). It was also translated into Judæo-German (Amsterdam, 1717), into English by Mocatta (London, 1851), into German by David Deutsch (Sohran, 1865, 2d ed. 1873, with the Hebrew text) and into Spanish, the last-mentioned translation being extant in manuscript. Through its Latin translation the "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah" became the object of passionate debates in Christian circles; and its arguments against Christianity were used by all freethinkers. Voltaire gives the following appreciation of it: "Il a rassemblé toutes les difficultés que les incrédules ont prodiguées depuis. Enfin les incrédules les plus determinés n'ont presque rien allegué qui ne soit dans le Rempart de la Foi du rabbin Isaac" ("Mélanges," iii. 344).

Simḥah Luzki mentions two other works by Troki; namely, a treatise on the new moon, according to the "Gan 'Eden" of Aaron the Younger, and a work, in the form of questions and answers, on the slaughtering of animals, also according to the "Gan 'Eden." Troki composed also liturgical poems, some of which have been inserted in the Karaite Siddur.

  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. iii. 30 et seq.;
  • Neubauer, Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek, p. 64;
  • Geiger, Nachgelassene Schriften, pp. 178-224, Berlin, 1876;
  • Gottlober, Biḳḳoret le-Toledot ha-Ḳara'im, p. 184;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 490;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 614.
J. I. Br.Joseph ben Mordecai Malinovski Troki:

Karaite scholar; lived at Troki in the sixteenth century; pupil of Isaac ben Abraham Troki, to whose "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah" he wrote the preface and the index. Joseph Troki was the author of: "Ha-Elef Leka" (Amsterdam, c. 1626), a prayer consisting of 1,000 words, each beginning with the letter ה; "Ḳiẓẓur 'Inyan Sheḥiṭah" (Vienna, 1830), on the laws concerning the slaughtering of animals according to Elijah Bashyaẓi, published together with the "Dod Mordekai" of Mordecai ben Nissim. Simḥah Luzki attributes also to Troki: "Sefer Minhagim," on the ritual customs of the Karaites; "Perush 'al Haḳdamat Aẓulah," a commentary on the prayer "Aẓulah"; a commentary on the ten Karaite articles of faith; and "Perush 'al 'Inyan ha-'Arayot," on the laws of incest according to Elijah Bashyaẓi.

  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. iii. 37;
  • idem, Bibl. Jud. iii. 448;
  • Simḥah Moses Luzki, Oraḥ Ẓaddiḳim, s.v. פ;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1509.
Solomon ben Aaron Troki:

Karaite scholar; lived at Troki in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was a relative of Mordecai ben Nissim, author of the "Dod Mordekai," whom he surpassed in knowledge both of rabbinical literature and of secular science, of which latter he made use in his writings. Troki was the author of: "Migdal 'Oz," a polemical work, in seven chapters, against Christianity; "Rak we-Ṭob," a controversy between Karaites and Rabbinites, in the form of questions and answers; "Leḥem Se'orim," in two volumes, each containing five chapters, on the differences between the Karaites and the Rabbinites; "Appiryon," a religious code in two volumes, the first, entitled "Reḥaba'am ben Shelomoh," giving the Karaite view of the Mosaic precepts, and the second, entitled "Yarabe'am ben Nebaṭ," refuting the Christian dogmas. Troki displayed in the last-named work, which is extant in manuscript (St. Petersburg Cat., Nos. 754, 755), a wide knowledge of rabbinical literature. He enumerates the Lithuanian scholars of his time and gives a list of the Karaite works in the possession of Joseph Delmedigo. One chapter is devoted to pedagogy and the religious customs of Karaites in Poland. Troki was the author of another work, also bearing the title "Appiryon," in which he answers in concise form the questions of the minister of the government of Sweden as to the origin of Karaism and as to the points in which it differs from Rabbinism. It is divided into twenty-four short chapters, in which all the ceremonial laws of the Karaites are passed in review. The "Appiryon" has been published by Neubauer in his "Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek" (p. 79, Leipsic, 1866).

  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. iii. 80 et seq.;
  • Gottlober, Biḳḳoret le-Toledot ha-Ḳara'im, p. 201.
Zerah ben Nathan Troki:

Karaite scholar; born at Troki 1580. He addressed to Joseph Delmedigo twelve questions on mathematics, astronomy, angelology, Cabala, etc. The answers to these questions, together with seventy mathematical paradoxes, form the subject of Delmedigo's "Elim," which work the Karaites attribute to Troki. Troki's letters to Joseph Delmedigo and to Meïr of Metz, with whom the Karaite scholar became acquainted, were published by Abraham Geiger under the title "Miktab Aḥuz" in his "Melo Chofnajim." Troki composed several liturgical poems, two of which have been inserted in the Karaite Siddur (i. 402; iv., end).

  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. iii. 28;
  • Gottlober, Biḳḳoret le-Toledot ha-Ḳara'im, p. 165;
  • Geiger, Melo Ḥofnayim, Introduction, p. xxxvii.
S. I. Br.
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