Any recommended Jewish novels?
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Tagged: Jewish Literature, recs
- This topic has 112 replies, 69 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 4 months ago by fiere.
May 19, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #1125640ChortkovParticipant
I haven’t seen a good Jewish novel for… wow, it’s been a long time…July 15, 2015 12:20 am at 12:20 am #1125641golferParticipant
bumpJuly 15, 2015 1:15 am at 1:15 am #1125642catch yourselfParticipant
Years ago, it was pointed out to me that there is most probably not a ????? which would render it permissible to denigrate the quality of Frum literature.
I know the counterargument. I understand that people want to know how best to spend their time and money, and that this might constitute sufficient ?????. I nevertheless believe that such a question must be presented to a competent Halachic authority.
Either way, a public forum such as this is not an appropriate place for such a discussion. ????? is a ???? for those who need the information to request it, and for the consultant to divulge it. The information, however, is private. [The questioner is also not allowed to believe it implicitly – ????? ?????].
“Do you think I should read Tails of Vashti by Rabbi Greenwald?”
“Do you think I should allow my daughter to meet Ben Greenwald?”
Especially during this time (??? ??????), we should be particularly careful to distance ourselves from ???? ???, ??????, ?????? ?? ??.July 15, 2015 2:53 am at 2:53 am #1125643YW Moderator-29 👨💻Moderator
Aaaaaarrgh! I can’t believe this thread got through. Thank you catch yourself for saying everything I believe and have tried to say and uphold. While I cannot delete all these posts (especially the opening post), I certainly can do something about the title.
Thank you again catch yourself for saying it so well.July 15, 2015 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #1125644
The OP was asking for recommendations. Certainly recommending any particular book or author does not have any negative implications for books and authors not recommended. Also, a comment to the effect that such and such a book may have questionable content is, without question, l’toeles.
EDITED – seriously? Did you read what the Chofetz Chaim says about the criterion for considering something l’toeles? Do you think speaking anonymously in a public forum would be included?July 15, 2015 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #1125645catch yourselfParticipant
I was not referring to any specific post. I also agree that if a certain book contains questionable content, it may well be mandatory to spread the word.
What sort of content is considered “questionable”, however, is debatable, and, in fact, variable. It therefore would be necessary to obtain a ??? ???? for each case.
I do not think this is a correct application of “common knowledge.” The quality of Frum literature is a matter of opinion, and, as we see from the posts in this thread, there are many divergent opinions on the matter. What you consider for many reasons to be poor literature may well be a great read for me, if only because I am not as discerning a reader as you are.
I doubt that “common knowledge” would render it permissible to announce publicly, “Beryl’s Pizza is terrible,” even if many people agree.
“Common knowledge” also is not a blanket ????, as I’m sure you are aware. As far as I can tell, the ??? ???? rules that if the intention is to spread the word, it is ???? to say, and in all cases it is ???? to believe.
Without commenting on how ???? would view the status of this forum with regard to intent to spread the word (about which I am unsure), I would simply point out that he further rules that even if the intention was not to spread the word, it is only ???? when the subject comes up ??? ???, but not when the ???? ??? was the express subject of the conversation.
I would further caution that in such a conversation, it is too easy to denigrate an entire group of people with a single, broad stroke.
Additionally, in most cases, this puts the speaker in danger of being ???? ??? ????? against all Frum authors.July 15, 2015 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #1125646☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
I think the reason some people like to denigrate the quality of frum novels is to justify themselves for reading other material, which often contains inappropriate content (almost unheard of in the frum publications).
Even if we grant that there is a difference in the quality level, it doesn’t justify it, and I’ll tell you, there are plenty of intelligent frum people who very much enjoy frum literature. Ray’s Pizza might very well be better than Binyomin’s Kosher Pizza, but I still enjoy the kosher stuff.
Perhaps their minds weren’t spoiled by the spiritually harmful stuff which some of the complainers have indulged in.July 15, 2015 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #1125647
Mod, two things. Using a pseudonym is not the same as posting anonymously and, clearly, recommending a book or advising that the content of a book might be offensive to some is not only l’toeles, it also meets the Chofetz Chaim’s requirement for purity of purpose, unless, of course, the commenter personally knows the author or the publisher. Blanket condemnations of classes of literature may be offensive but repeating common knowledge does not, in itself, constitute lashon harah. For instance, saying that Bernie Madoff is a thief cannot be l’toeles because he can’t steal anyone’s money any more, but it is common knowledge and therefore not lashon harah.
Look, I have no personal axe to grind here and I will not add my voice to the chorus making snide comments. But one must recognize that just because a comment is rude doesn’t make it assur. IYou mods have absolute authority to edit or delete anything you want but I think the edit of my post was unwarrantedJuly 15, 2015 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #1125649
Like the rest of world literature, the quality of frum literature varies from as good as any to awful. Is one constrained to recommend a book just because the author, the publisher are frum, no matter what? Why can I nor, if asked, honestly say that such and such a book is poorly plotted, has characters that are one dimensional stereotypes, and is written in barely literate English?July 16, 2015 3:48 am at 3:48 am #1125650YW Moderator-29 👨💻Moderator
When someone approaches you in real life because they know that your opinion is worth something, feel free to tell them whatever you want. That is not the issue here.
And in regard to this statement:
or advising that the content of a book might be offensive to some is not only l’toeles, it also meets the Chofetz Chaim’s requirement for purity of purpose,
‘cmon. I am sure you know very well that not liking the plot of the book or the use of the language isnot in any way shape or form what the Chofetz Chaim was referring to by offensive and purity of purpose. Please.July 16, 2015 6:37 am at 6:37 am #1125651
C’mon, indeed. The questioner didn’t ask for the the NY Times review, he/she asked YOUR opinion.
If someone asks you for for your opinion on, say, Sam’s Grocery Store, and you answer to the effect that, “It’s OK but his produce isn’t often as fresh as it might be” that is 1) certainly l’toeles. and 2)unless you know Sam personally and have an issue with him, your only reason for commenting is to give good advice, not to stick it to Sam. That’s purity of purpose.
Note. If, in the example cited above, you had answered “…but the produce isn’t as fresh as Joe’s grocery.” that might have been a problem. Guarding your tongue doesn’t mean that you cannot be honest and objective. It means choosing your words carefully so no one can read into your words anything but what you intended and one recognize his or her motivations and act accordingly.January 11, 2016 3:29 am at 3:29 am #1125655RachelDMember
I highly recommend the novel: And Rachel Was His Wife. Its based on the true story of Rachel and Rabbi Akiva, but with fiction(new characters etc…) Its GREAT! And I learned a lot from it to improve in Abodat HaShem.January 14, 2016 7:28 pm at 7:28 pm #1125656fiereMember
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