June 8, 2014 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #612958Bookworm120Participant
I heard somewhere that at some point, a Jewish publishing company was circulating abridged/censored versions of English literary classics so that they could be used in frum schools without exposing the students to offensive contents. I’ve been looking into this for myself, and I found Artscroll’s TextWord books on Shakespeare and London. Are these the books I’m looking for? Or did I just hear wrong?June 8, 2014 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #1019128gefenParticipant
Do they have the right to change these books? Do they use the same titles? Do they write a disclaimer? How does this work?June 8, 2014 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #1019129gefenParticipant
Out spot out! Hmm! Just doesn’t sound the same. 😉June 8, 2014 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #1019130To be or not to beMember
Why not ? Most of the classic works are open source.June 8, 2014 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #1019131Chochom-ibberParticipant
I think they should change the goyishe (feh) names to Yiddishe ones or at least Biblical names. I would hate for my kids to know that a John, Chris or Harry exist.
Heard in Lakewood:
“Have you read Asher Twist?”
“Whhhat? Whhho? Aaah you meanfrom Chaim Dickenstein”.June 8, 2014 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #1019132June 8, 2014 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #1019133akupermaParticipant
Almost be definition, if a book is by a classic, anyone can do an abrdigements since the copyright is expired. Abridgements of Shakespeare (and other classics) were very common in the 19th century (since the Victorians shared our revulsion at explicit and crude language).
In fact, many classics have strong non-Jewish (particularly Christian themes) , though most rabbis aren’t familiar with them enough to object (e.g Moby Dick, or more recently and hardly a classic Harry Potter, are examples of works whose Christian themes are not recognized by most rabbanim).June 8, 2014 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #1019134CRuzerParticipant
Those are probably the right books. Many Jewish (and I’ve heard non-Jewish) schools use them as English textbooks.June 8, 2014 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #1019135popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Will they also have a censored Torah without the maaseh of tamar and the other tamar?June 8, 2014 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1019136rationalfrummieMember
if anyone starts to look for hora’ah in english literature, then I guess they will.June 8, 2014 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #1019137zahavasdadParticipant
One can Abridge literary works that are in the Public Domain like Shakespeare, One cannot abridge copyrighted works like Harry PotterJune 8, 2014 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #1019138PulsingFlowerMember
Why don’t we edit maseches niddah?June 9, 2014 2:07 am at 2:07 am #1019140sk8ergirlMember
I think this is a great idea, cuz i know in my school we read the classics and some girls get exposed to stuff that their parents worked hard to shelter them from. Now, i agree if they’re high school level teens maybe they should be exposed to such stuff it shouldn’t hit them so strong but for them to learn about stuff thru goyisha sources is really not good. On the other hand, when my teacher taught certain rashis in parshas Noach, the same girls had questions, so even if u censor the classics it won’t help much.June 9, 2014 2:18 am at 2:18 am #1019141writersoulParticipant
Bookworm: TextWord is astonishingly good, and they have a really great selection of short works and poetry in their high school literature textbook- I used it in eighth grade and literally read it for pleasure. I was actually really impressed.
I don’t know if they censor novels, though. (The only time my high school tried to seriously censor a book, it was an utter fiasco. We still all laugh about it- it’s a lot easier to just decide what you’re trying to achieve and what your values are and pick books accordingly.)
gefen: My classmate had this exact problem when she was performing that monologue in front of the school- I think she just said “darn” or something and while it’s obviously not THAT different, I guess there is a cathartic value to saying the real thing?….June 9, 2014 2:37 am at 2:37 am #1019142akupermaParticipant
popa_bar_abba: In the 19th century they produced censored Bibles. Of course, the traditional approach among most Christians was not to translate the Bible into the local language, but that broke down by the 16th century.
PulsingFlower: We don’t censor Limudei kodesh since we aren’t concerned about goysha influence in a frum book (which is what we really object to, more than vulgarity or inappropriate behavior). Also, children rarely learn Niddah (though there are some “racy” portions of Talmud that do pop up in what children learn, and most rebbis find a way around them).June 9, 2014 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1019144Sam2Participant
PBA: It’s not a joke. I once met a Daf Yomi Maggid Shiur who refuses to teach the “inappropriate” Gemaras to his balabatim. He tells them to just read it in the artscroll instead.June 9, 2014 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #1019145
Shakespeare’s long dead, so they just assume he doesn’t mind.June 9, 2014 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm #1019146yehudayonaParticipant
The Textword literature anthologies censor out the naughty bits as well as Christian references. One of them includes a somewhat abridged version of A Tale of Two Cities in which they leave out the part about Jerry Cruncher beating his wife (among other things). I don’t know if they abridge/censor works that aren’t public domain.
Interestingly, it’s not just Jewish schools that use Textword. Many Christian schools do too.June 9, 2014 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #1019147
Why wouldn’t they censor inappropriate content as much as we do?June 9, 2014 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #1019148charliehallParticipant
“One cannot abridge copyrighted works like Harry Potter”
You can if you get permission. There exist authorized abridged versions of many modern theatrical works that were specifically designed for high school productions.June 9, 2014 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #1019149charliehallParticipant
“Why don’t we edit maseches niddah?”
Yevamot is even worse.
I find this idea of “editing” to be somewhat offensive whether Torah or Shakespeare.June 9, 2014 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #1019150
Censoring the Torah is a crime. It’s like you’re saying you have higher standards.June 10, 2014 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1019151HaLeiViParticipant
Charlie, if you want to print an old classic for your kids to read do you have to leave in all the negative racist remarks?June 10, 2014 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1019152
Yes. In books such as Huckleberry Finn, it would be like erasing the whole book, and besides, how would that help someone learn history?June 10, 2014 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #1019153🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
pba- It comes across a bit like you’re c”v comparing classical works to Torah. When the Torah talks about these topics, it’s always for a practical purpose, to teach us a lesson. It’s not just to entertain. It’s like comparing talking to your doctor vs. talking to your friends. Some books no matter how much you censor it are still problematic, like Anna Karenina.June 10, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #1019154popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Gamanit, agreed. I meant it as a joke and also to get some goatsJune 10, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1019155
It’s not that it’s still problematic after you censor it, it’s just that there’s nothing left.
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