Thursday, February 10, 2005


Maybe I'm over-sensitive, but I notice something a bit troubling in the first picture here. The second, on the other hand, is hi-larious. The article isn't that thorough- not really any criticism or background- but nice overall.

Further thoughts:

First, I find the second photo troubling as well, for other reasons.

The more I think about it, the more this whole thing troubles me. As you may know, I already have problems with Artscroll's obscurantism, most notably this example, but also others. ("The Second Temple stood for 420 years." Period.) So of course, this sort of uncritical lionization of the Artscroll is bad. But this goes even further: What we have here is a translation of the Talmud aimed at- let's be honest here- American Orthodox Jews, modern and ultra, learning Daf Yomi, who can't "lein" a Gemara. (Don't get offended, I include myself.) It's not even the first complete Talmud in English, as Soncino's (far superior, scholarship-wise) edition filled that role fifty years ago. So why is a "presentation" to the Library of Congress treated as such a big event? It's almost- others have commented on this in similar circumstances- as if the Charedi world needs validation from the "outside," particularly the non-Jewish world. (They don't need validation from Modern Orthodox or non-Orthodox Jews [as such], just money.)

Notice, for example, this. At first blush, I thought, "Good for them! Being consistent, at least." (If stupid, in more ways than one, both in terms of educational priorities and, well, earning money- and asking the wrong people, from a halakhic angle.) But then I saw that they decided to employ the most outrageous libels against a state that has been unusually generous to them (especially compared to the US situation)- and to non-Jewish governments specifically! Disgusting.

Interesting things you find while searching the Jerusalem Post. Like Shmuely Boteach using the word "chickenfeed" in place of a more obvious one. And this article, where some idiot announces for the world what he thinks the biggest priority of Israeli marriage ceremonies should be (bad it's there; worse he's announcing).


Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in seeing other examples of where Artscroll has either gone to "outside" sources or has whitewashed other historical views in their creation of the Artscroll gemara (which I like a lot).


Anonymous said...

Not quite sure what you mean.