Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #287

  1. Last week's Haveil Havalim and this week's.
  2. On the Main Line on an omission of a reference to reading Robinson Crusoe in an Artscroll translation of the writings of Rav Zalman Sorotskin, ztz"l. Suggested reasons for the omission:
    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.
    I would have thought that the text was in parentheses, but apparently it is only this parenthetical text which was omitted. In the comments, a granddaughter writes that:
    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.
    But in a private discussion forum, as well as a later comment, it the counter-claim appears that this was taken out by the translator for the family prior to being given to Artscroll:
    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.
    Emes veEmunah meanwhile considers this a deception. And DovBear weighs in.
  3. On the Main Line also had a nice piece considering how much esrogim cost back in the day, comparing it to how much they cost nowadays.
  4. From a while back, at the Voices Magazine blog, a segulah for erev Yom Kippur, for a shidduch:
    Firstly, if you've got someone whose wedding you'd love to attend this year. Tell him/her to eat SEVEN little meals today - just enough to wash and bentch (say grace). I've heard that if they do, it's a segula that this year, they'll have SHEVA BRACHOT (seven special grace meals after the wedding). You never heard of it? It couldn't hurt. Try it.
    As I posted there in a comment, it sounds somewhat halachically problematic. And a Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes story, where someone recovers one out of two items. I guess one out of two aint bad.
  5. In good news, Rav Elyashiv refused to sign on to a ban by Rav Amnon Yitzchak against frum singers.
    Those close to Rav Elyashiv said that thegadol hador feels that there are more important matters affecting Klal Yisroel, and before addressing the matter of singers, more pressing matters must be dealt with.
    Though as Life In Israel points out today, Rav Elyashiv's name is on the sign banning it.
  6. A yichud policy on Capitol Hill has female lobbyists crying foul.
  7. Wolfish Musings doesn't like the argument put forth by Rabbi Lazer Brody about Torah and science.

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