Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Where in the world is Robinson Crusoe? On Artscroll's translation of Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin's Oznayim Le-torah.

Insights In the Torah is a five-volume "Chumash with translation and the complete classic commentary of the master Rav and Maggid" Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin (1881-1966). That is, it is the English translation of his אזנים לתורה.

Leviticus 13:46 in Parashas Tazria states that the mezorah (leper) "shall dwell in isolation; he shall be outside the camp." Chazal taught that his affliction is caused by his speaking leshon hara, gossiping about others (Arachin 15b). Rabbi Sorotzkin beautifully comments on the point that this individual receives tzara'as because of his antisocial behavior. He spreads rumors about people because he hates individuals. But this is only initially. His pattern of behavior eventually causes him to hate people generally and to only wish ill for them. So it is only right that he suffers a plague himself. However, through this plague is the very cure with which he can learn to correct his ways. He must face total social isolation by being alone outside the camp. This will cause him to crave human company. Parenthetically, adds Rabbi Sorotzkin, the pain of solitude is brought out most vividly in the book Robinson Crusoe. By being isolated from the community, the mezorah will learn to appreciate the very people he said nasty things about and wish to rejoin them.

Rav Sorotzkin:



So here is the Artscroll translation :



Except actually that's not what the page looks like. The remark about Robinson Crusoe—"I found the agony of solitude described in the book "Robinson Crusoe" where the tale is told of a man who survived a shipwreck by landing upon a small, desolate island without another soul. It described his great difficulties until he was able to find something to eat and drink, and to shelter himself from wild animals. After dwelling for a long time on this island, he began to forget how to speak and almost lost his mind. The writer vividly portrayed the man's longing for another person to speak with."—was added by me. For some reason in the Artscroll "complete classic commentary" that entire paragraph about Robinson Crusoe is missing. Here is what it looks like:



And here is the original commentary in אזנים לתורה:



This is kind of odd. Why would a little paragraph about Robinson Crusoe be removed?

Various guesses, all based on the theme that the inclusion of a reference to Robinson Crusoe is discordant with yeshivish hashkafah:
  • It doesn't seem natural or proper that an authentic Lithuanian rosh yeshiva of the previous generation, the pride of the great Telzer yeshiva, would have even read Robinson Crusoe much less included a reference to it in his Torah commentary.
  • Even if it was not written by himself, but based on oral talks, it doesn't seem right that he should have referenced Robinson Crusoe in an oral talk on the Torah.
  • While not explicitly doing so, he almost seems to recommend reading it.
  • It appears strangely close to the much-maligned Torah U-Madda approach.
  • This is farfetched, but it is interesting that one of Orthodoxy's favorite arch-heretics, the hebraist Eliezer Ben Yehuda, many times cited his having read כור עוני, Yitzhak Romesh's Hebrew translation of Robinson Crusoe, which was secretly shown to Ben Yehuda by his half-maskil rebbe, R. Joseph Blucker (?). See, for example, his autobiographical החלום ושברו. Reading the fine prose of this book helped kindle a love for the Hebrew language within him.
Actually, there were other Hebrew and Yiddish translations of Robinson Crusoe (actually translated from a German translation of the original English), including one from 1820 in which Robinson Crusoe is called Reb Alter-Leib, and his man is Friday is called Shabbos. Rabbi Sorotzkin may have read any of them, besides כור עוני, although it is unlikely that he read the Geschichte fun Reb Alter-Leib version, since he knows it is Robinson Crusoe.

Come to think of it, I wonder if Rabbi Sorotzkin realized that it was fiction? It isn't clear to me from his words that he did, since otherwise what he was saying is that an author of fiction portrayed very clearly a certain type of experience which neither he nor Rabbi Sorotzkin had. Would he really cite the work of someone's imagination as a way in which to understand the Torah? (Yes.)

This is not as strange as it seems. The book is written in first person, and the original title was "The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Who lived eight and twenty Years all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself." Furthermore, the title page promises that it was:


Incidentally, one of the cool things about Google Books is seeing something like this in one of their many 18th century copies of Robinson Crusoe:



It should also be noted that in novels were in very ill repute in the 19th century (and the 18th). They were disliked by pious people of all faiths, and also by many non-pious but serious people. Novels were widely regarded as imagination gone amok, liable to arouse impious and impractical thoughts; a waste of time. Furthermore, very often novels were written as if they were real, using various literary devices to give that impression.

In the Chasam Sofer's ethical will written to his family in 1839 he commands that והבנות יעסקו בספרי אשכנז בגופם שלנו המיוסדים על אגדת חכמ"זל ולא זולת כלל—the girls [in his family] should only read Yiddish books written in Judeo-German type, based on the aggados of Chazal, and nothing else. By the way, the presence of this passage lends a modicum of plausibility (but not enough) to the possibility that his will really did read ובספרי חמד אל תשלחו יד (don't reach your hands for romantic novels) and not ובספרי רמד אל תשלחו יד (don't reach your hands for Mendelssohn's books)—more on this in a future post.

In similar fashion, in Samuel David Luzzatto's autobiography he writes about how he read a French novel called Alexis as a child. In the novel, Alexis is a boy born into nobility who is somehow snatched from his family and ends up living with peasants. One day a gentleman spots him and sees that this peasant boy is holding a copy of Virgil in his hands! Realizing that he is a noble boy, he takes him and restores him to his station. Around this time Shadal had childish cause to be upset at his parents, so having read this book he decided to run away. He did so, skipping school, and taking a philosophy book by Condillac with him. After a few hours of wandering, a kind man decided to question the child wandering around in middle of the day and brought him home to his parents (who didn't realize what happened, since it was lunchtime and he was due home then anyway). He writes that this was the end of his reading novels, and lucky him, because who knows what would have become of him otherwise?

But I digress. Every Hebrew edition of Oznayim Le-Torah has the paragraph about how Robinson Crusoe portrays the agony of solitude. But whatever the reason, the paragraph is missing in the Artscroll translation.

48 comments:

  1. Great find! Another reason to avoid novels from my favorite Gadol:

    כאשר עתה ראיתי בעיני, באחד מחבורי מוסר הבלים (שנזדמן לידי לקרותו במקום שאסור להרהר בד"ת) שמזכיר עון זה להתפש, באמרו איך ע"י למוד לשון צרפת, וההתמדה בקריאת ספורי מעשים מבודים, שחברו ויסדו לגנוב לב הקורא, ולהמשיכו ללמדו לחנכו להיות שלם בהכרח אותו לשון, למד והרויח הרבה בידיעות הטומאה של עניני אהבת נשים וחשק הנאוף, ומלוי תאות היצר הרע בשלם שבפנים, ומתאונן על כך ומעורר ומזהיר להמון הערלים למנוע עצמם מהם (הלא הוא נמצא בחבור רומאן הנקרא דעהנשר ראבינסאן) אז נקרע לבבי בקראי זאת..." (מטפחת ספרים, מהד' עיטור ספרים, עמ' 75).

    Perhaps S. can identify which Romance "Densher Robinson (?)" is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your Friend from Strand9:39 PM, October 06, 2010

    Terrific post. I wonder how Rabbis Scherman and Zlotowitz would justify this? Surely if you respect Rav Sorotzkin as a Gadol, it's not acceptable to censor his editorial choices? Not to mention that it's plain lying to present it as the "complete" commentary.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This bowdlerization of R. Sorotzkin's commentary is similar to what happened to Shadal's perush in its 1965 reprinting. The editor made the excuse that the average reader would be put off by Shadal's references to unfamiliar non-Jewish authorities. In both Sorotzkin's and Shadal's cases, the reader is left with an incomplete picture of who the author was and how he was able to put "outside" sources to good use.

    Once again I am reminded of my Israeli-born friend who was kicked out of an American yeshiva when he was found reading a Hebrew translation of Sherlock Holmes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. regarding the debate over the Chatham Sofer's will, I'd like to point out an obvious point overlooked by some. Namely when read 'sifrei chemed' it doesn't rhyme with the end 'yad' the way 'RM"D' does in the vernacular which pronounces all abbreviations with a patach (i.e. Rambam, Maharsham, Tanach etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Robinson Crusoe was inspired by a true story of Alexander Selkirk who spent years shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific, who became a national sensation in England when he was found and brought home in the early eighteenth century. Selkirk certainly did suffer from extreme loneliness and loss of speech during his years marooned on his island.

    ReplyDelete
  6. FRED:

    great post

    DAN:

    i think we're on the same page with regards to the injustice that these types of translations do. and i think it's great that fred and others keep on top of artscroll so that those of who do care but are not as astute (of course exclusive of you) realize what is going on.

    however, in artscroll's defense, that "the reader is left with an incomplete picture of who the author was," as you say, is irrelevant. artscroll is not an academic publisher nor do they profess to be such. their goal is to foster "torah-true" judaism, which has nothing to do with presenting a "complete picture."

    and btw, if you really care about broadening peoples' knowledge of the diversely rich fabric of our literary patrimony, some of us would love to see more of your own work on shadal! :)
    (yasher ko'ach on hakirah)

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow. i can't believe i just defended artscroll

    ReplyDelete
  8. You've made the big time again. This is on Gil's News and Links page.

    As for R. Sorotzkin's believing it was true, do any of the translations include the elaborate and "misleading" title? Not that he couldn't have believed it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll have a lot more to say later, but just to address the very parenthetical point about whether R. Sorotzkin may have believed it was true, I didn't mean to point out that the title was ever reproduced exactly. The point is that it was written as if it were true. That is the literary device Defoe used. I think he even sued someone who claimed it wasn't true. As Izgad pointed out, it was (apparently) based on a true story.

    I do not mean to say that a person living in total isolation won't crave human company, won't even forget how to speak or anything like that. But in the final analysis Robinson Crusoe is a work of fiction, perhaps it can loosely be called historical fiction, a dramatic account, and not an autobiography. Whether he realized it or not (although perhaps it makes a difference) R. Sorotzkin was suggesting that a dramatic account of a shipwrecked man sheds light on a Torah idea. *coughTorah U-Maddacough*

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd assume that this isn't the only parentheses that appear in the sefer- does Artscroll excise the other ones too?

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's called lying by omission to serve the greater goal of inspiring Jews. revealing that Rav Sorotzkin read Robinsin Crusoe is considered Batalah at best and would make Rav Sorotzkin look bad in having done so.

    RNK's MOAG was banned for doing the exactly that - telling the truth of history. MOAG was inspiring. But to the RW mindest it was disparaging to say that one of their Gedolim read a secular novel.

    This is a sad commentary on ArtScroll and the the entire Charedi worldview. The truth of history is irrelvant to them. The only thing that is inspiring to them is what - they say - is inspiring. What is importnat is transmitting their values - the truth of history be damned!

    So lying about their great historical figures via omission is a perfectly acceptable means of accomplishing their goals.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fotheringay-Phipps1:06 PM, October 07, 2010

    I agree that it's sneaky. I don't think it's so much to preserve the idea that you shouldn't read novels, but more to preserve the greatness of RZS and his work, which might be diminished in the eyes of readers who don't think Robinson Carusoe belongs in a sefer on Chumash. Sneaky nonetheless.

    From the way R' Sorotzkin presents it, it would look like he thought it was true, with one glaring exception. He refers to "the writer" and "that man" (Carusoe) separately. Since the book was written in first person, it would seem clear that RZS did not think it was a true story. Otherwise these were the same person.

    "...Alexander Selkirk who spent years shipwrecked ..."

    I believe he was actually a pirate, marooned on the island by his fellow pirates.

    ReplyDelete
  13. F-P

    >From the way R' Sorotzkin presents it, it would look like he thought it was true, with one glaring exception. He refers to "the writer" and "that man" (Carusoe) separately. Since the book was written in first person, it would seem clear that RZS did not think it was a true story. Otherwise these were the same person.

    That's a good point, but although Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is written in the first person perhaps it probably wasn't in the translation he read. I just took a look at two different German translations, and they are not written in the first person. The Hebrew ones are supposed to have been translated from Campe's German. So he still could have thought it was a true account, but not written by Crusoe himself.
    Of course it's possible that he realized it was fiction, but in a way that's a big question because he's saying that a work of fiction illustrates his Torah point about man's pain in solitude.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Even if he thought it was true, it's still learning a Torah lesson from a non-Torah source.

    Are both lines from the Chatam Sofer from the same will? Not sure if it would make a difference one way or another.

    Anyway, this is nothing new. One of the earlier Artscroll translations is HaMoadim B'Halacha, and Tradition exposed how Artscroll removed a "controversial" parenthetical statement back then, in the early 80's. Among serious people, their reputation never seems to have recovered, and rightly so.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nachum, yes it is the same will. I'm not saying that it makes a difference (and in fact I think he meant Ramad) but it is interesting that in the same will he addresses what the women in the family should read. Of course you could then point out that he wouldn't address the same kind of reading material twice.

    Back to the theme of the post, of course this is nothing new. By the way, Artscroll books tend to be much better about these things the later it gets - but funnily enough, the earlier you go the more likely they were to refer to controversial sources. I should also clarify here that the reason why this is about "Artscroll" and not the translator (or whomever) is because Artscroll projects an image of itself as being largely responsible for its books. No one will think of the English Oznayim Le-Torah as "the Shlomo Fox-Aryeh translation." It's the Artscroll, and the company does take care to credit itself ("universally acclaimed" is on the back of many of their books) even though they do obviously print the names of individuals.

    ReplyDelete
  16. NACHUM:

    something about not having to do קריעה at the kotel in light of the rise of modern Israel?

    ReplyDelete
  17. S:

    "I should also clarify here that the reason why this is about "Artscroll" and not the translator (or whomever) is because Artscroll projects an image of itself as being largely responsible for its books."

    this may be true (another aspect of their great marketing), but it is still very possible that this decision was made by the translator himself, either for his own hashkafic reasons or because he thought it might be excised by artscroll anyway. i mean does artscroll really have some type of peer review process that might weed this type of translator's liberty? (and i'm not even sure if real academic peer review would be capable of catching something this minute.)

    wow. i'm giving benefit of the doubt for artscroll twice today.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Leaked your post to FailedMessiah.com via my post on http://undercoverkofer.blogspot.com/2010/10/artscroll-censorship-unmasked.html. I was reminded, and an anonymous commenter (perhaps Gil bichvodo uveatzmo?) helped me reminding, that a Shu"t about head covering in Melamed Leho'il of Rav David Zvi Hoffmann was also censored, see here: http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2005/01/censorship.html.

    Keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  19. "the pride of the great Telzer yeshiva"
    While his father in law was the Telzer RY as was his son he himself had nothing to do with Telzer yeshiva neither as a student nor as faculty and can hardly be described as the pride of the great Telzer yeshiva

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Yiddish title you speak of is called "Robinzon: Di Geshikhte fun Alter-Leyb." Adapting western titles was commonplace by 1820, building off the chivalric romances in Yiddish from the early modern period.

    abi gezint.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Harry Maryles writes: "This is a sad commentary on ArtScroll and the the entire Charedi worldview. The truth of history is irrelvant to them."

    Hey, the axe you're trying to grind is clear for all to see. The sad commentary is on the one who published the book. You know as well as I know that there are plenty of Charedim who would prefer to read the full story.
    -Phil

    ReplyDelete
  22. FP and Nachum made the points I was thinking of while reading this. But Fred, have you sent this example of censorship to Dr. Marc Shapiro for his much-anticipated work on the subject?

    DF

    ReplyDelete
  23. For some reason, your version looks "cleaner". What you say is the original version looks cut and pasted before the last 3 lines. What's going on?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Fred, I thought that about the "same thing twice" issue.

    Abba, yes. Tearing at the Arei Yehuda, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey Abba, thanks for the nice words. I've got just under 4 more parshas to go in Shadal's Shemos, but you'll probably have to be patient for a few more years.

    No one has defended the ArtScroll point of view more eloquently than Rav Schwab: "Rather than write the history of our forebears, every generation has to put a veil over the human failings of its elders and glorify all the rest which is great and beautiful. That means we have to do without a real history book. We can do without." Yet I humbly disagree. And I wonder if even Rav Schwab would have thought that the reading of a great work of world literature and using it to effectively illustrate a d'var Torah was a "human failing."

    ReplyDelete
  26. He's arguing with an explicit statement of R' Hirsch, who says we *must* see the human failures.

    ReplyDelete
  27. knowledge is power, to some extent, and if you actively participate in a culture without bothering to engage in the language of that culture, you are running the risk of being cheated.

    I wonder what Defoe would have thought? He is buried right by my office in a very interesting graveyard which was the only graveyard you could get into if you did not accept the church. I walk through it on my way to the gym and there are a good number of celebrities there!

    ReplyDelete
  28. In Manchester U.K. many years ago, a new Dayan arrived from the U.S.A. who established a very popular lomdish shiur on hilchos Shabbos. Amongst the questions he posed was, if words could be formed, so as not to perform the Melacha of Kosev, by arranging cards with letters on them, such as Scrabble.[He left Manchester shortly after that]one of the reasons being, not that he permitted such activity, but that he mentioned such a "goyish" activity as Scrabble in a Shiur

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lawrence Kaplan comments:

    A small (or, perhaps, not so small) point: The translation should read "We find the agony of solitude...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anon

    >I'd assume that this isn't the only parentheses that appear in the sefer- does Artscroll excise the other ones too?

    No.

    Anon

    >While his father in law was the Telzer RY as was his son he himself had nothing to do with Telzer yeshiva neither as a student nor as faculty and can hardly be described as the pride of the great Telzer yeshiva

    I admit that I worded that awkwardly - I wanted to make note of his Telzer connection, having learned in Telz and been the rosh yeshiva's son in law, and his son was the rosh yeshiva in Cleveland. If I referred to R. Yaakov Kamenetzky was "the pride of Slabodka" (not that he necessarily was) I think it would have been more clear what I meant, if only because Slabodka ceased to exist but Telz did not.

    Anon

    >The Yiddish title you speak of is called "Robinzon: Di Geshikhte fun Alter-Leyb." Adapting western titles was commonplace by 1820, building off the chivalric romances in Yiddish from the early modern period.


    I wrote "it is unlikely that he read the Geschichte fun Reb Alter-Leib" in my post.

    Phil

    >You know as well as I know that there are plenty of Charedim who would prefer to read the full story.

    This is exactly right.

    YEA

    >For some reason, your version looks "cleaner". What you say is the original version looks cut and pasted before the last 3 lines. What's going on?

    In the Artscroll book the full comment on this verse is on two pages, with only a few lines on the second page. For ease of posting I combined the last few lines into one image.

    Nachum

    >He's arguing with an explicit statement of R' Hirsch, who says we *must* see the human failures.

    Nu, so he is.

    Lawrence,

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for inspiring my new post.

    ReplyDelete
  32. >>I wrote "it is unlikely that he read the Geschichte fun Reb Alter-Leib" in my post.

    I think Anon was just pointing out the precise title of the translation. You chopped two words off the front.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Censoring commentaries by Gedolim is much more dangerous than reading secular novels. As soon as you start censoring and editing Torah commentaries, the whole Mesora becomes questionable.

    People will start to ask "How can anyone guarantee that this wasn't done before?"

    ReplyDelete
  34. People will start to ask "How can anyone guarantee that this wasn't done before?"

    Betzalel - people are asking already... lots and lots of people. And the answers are not pretty...

    ReplyDelete
  35. As a granddaughter of R’ Zalman who grew up right there at his feet, I am reading with both awe and amusement the attributions made here to what he might have thought, imagined, believed or knew about RC. Mostly, I want to say, he was a man who lived Torah, ignited the fire of Torah, and had outstanding bekiut of the stories and lessons of the entire Tanach, and sought ways to bring younger people to love and connect to them. He was always interested in what we were learning in school, in every subject, and found ways to ask us and make us think of the relevance of everything around us to the lessons of the Torah. It is totally pashut that he would use a commonly known story to make a Torah point more obvious and connected to human experience. As far as the omission of the story by Artscroll, it may help clarify that when they took on the translation, it was made clear to the family that only parts of his prolific work would be translated from the source, and the selection was left in the hand of the editor/translator. If you really want to study the Oznayim LaTorah, get the gishmakit holds, learn it in the Hebrew. It has so much more tochen and ta’am than the diluted translation. BTW, Rav Zalman did not only appreciate a good literary piece but himself was a poet. For my Bat Mitzvah he gave me a sefer which just then came out for the first time in Hebrew, a translation of R Shimshom Refael Hirsch on Tehillim. He was very excited about it and he wrote me a beautiful poem as a dedication on the book. I will be happy to scan and share if there is interest.

    ReplyDelete
  36. As far as the omission of the story by Artscroll, it may help clarify that when they took on the translation, it was made clear to the family that only parts of his prolific work would be translated from the source, and the selection was left in the hand of the editor/translator.
    But it wasn't presented as a selected translation, an abridged translation. It is, and I quote the subtitle here: "The Chumash with translation and the complete classic commentary of the master Rav and Maggid."

    That's genevas daas.

    Baruch Pelta
    bpelta.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Tamar, thanks for that comments and I would be very glad to see the dedication he wrote for you. Please scan it!

    I am sad if you took this post as a denigration of his kavod. Not only was that never intended and not only do I think I did not do that even unintentionally, I also don't think it resulted from people's comments and so forth.

    ReplyDelete
  38. עבירה גוררת עבירה first Defoe pulls a גניבת דעת by pretending that Robinson Crusoe is first person autobiography then one thing leads to another until ArtScroll pulls yet another גניבת דעת by pretending that the Lutzker Rov z"l never read the novel impersonating an autobiography.

    What goes around comes around.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Yitzhak Romesh's Hebrew translation of Robinson Crusoe, which was secretly shown to Ben Yehuda by his half-maskil rebbe, R. Joseph Blucker (?). "

    I'm a little curious about that question mark. Is there a machlokes?

    Phil

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow, you're eagle-eyed. I don't think so, it's just that I don't really know who he is. His name is spelled something like "בלויקר" (this from memory). In Yiddish this is something like "Bloiker," in German it would be "Blauker." In Hebrew it would be "Bloker." I myself have seen it written "Blocker" and "Blucker" in English (presumably since in Hebrew it would drop the annoying Yiddish yud, making it בלוקר). So it's anyone's guess how to write it in English. I had no basis for picking one, and I personally get a little smug when I see writers make errors in transcription where it is clear that they haven't the foggiest idea how the name is pronounced, or even who the person is. ("de Russo" for Azaryah de Rossi and "Palklash" for "Fleckeles" being two examples I've seen and enjoyed)

    - so I indicated my own doubt to show that I am aware of the problem!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I believe the following to be true regarding the censoring of Robinson Crusoe from this translation.

    The FAMILY of Rav Sorotzkin did the translation (or had it done) on their own, and removed the Robinson Crusoe piece before Artscroll ever saw it.

    So, at least on this one, let's stop bashing Artscroll.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Huh? Read the comment of the family member above. No such thing happened.

    Nor did Artscroll select. They removed one thing they bizarrely found objectionable.

    ReplyDelete
  43. To Yitzchak Levine - they did censor it, and as the comments point out, it's hardly the first time either. This is a publishing house that had no problem censoring Shir Hashirim, why should they have compunctions about altering anything less? Artscroll has many fine achievements to its credit, but truth, honesty, and intellectual integrity are not among them.

    DF

    ReplyDelete
  44. With several commentators referring to "Robinson Carusoe", I think we have a lot of people who were influenced by the Gilligan's Island theme song.

    It's "Crusoe".

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sometimes, text is found in parenthesis because some editor other than the original author added his own two cents there. Your translation of "I found" is a mistranslation that should have been translated as "we find". Your incorrect translation would seem to confirm that the text was in fact added by R' Sorotzkin or from his shiurim. However, like I mentioned, it is an incorrect translation.

    Maybe R' Sorotzkin did indeed cite the RC story himself and maybe he didn't. It would be no surprise if he did. However, you should confirm that he did before you criticize Artscroll for removing it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. RJ,

    First, your criticism is taken. I will change the image so that it reads we; but I do want to point out that I wasn't trying to make some kind of authoritative translation, and I also wasn't trying to create a misimpression. It was a careless error. But since it seems like this will stand for the record, I will correct it.

    That said, although it's possible that the remark was inserted by someone else, the Oznayim Le-Torah has been published in Hebrew numerous times, including fairly recently, and no one has removed it, or as far as I know even suggested that it was not R. Sorotzkin's. Indeed, his granddaughter, in this very thread, confirmed that this is something that he would have done, her words: "It is totally pashut that he would use a commonly known story to make a Torah point more obvious and connected to human experience."

    However, I don't think that the evidence in front of us is "maybe he did, maybe he didn't" as if they are equal possibilities. I agree that it's possible, but many things are possible.

    What we do know is that no one else claimed that it was not his words, and certainly no one proved it. Whoever removed it - family, translator, or Artscroll - no one ever claimed it.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Of interest, perhaps:
    http://wejew.com/media/9820/Eliezer_Ben_Yehuda_Cartoon_by_Shalom_Sesame/

    -- Phil

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails
'