Artscroll Controls Chareidi Hashkafa

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    there are a handful of [dedicated?] websites that point out Artscrolls’ systematic censorship of anything even slightly out of line with todays incarnation of mainstream Truth, regardless of the source (meaning even classical rishonim are only legitimate shittos if they say what we want them to say). It is fairly obvious that enough people at the “top” feel that there is a credible danger in simply exposing the average religious [chareidi] individual to anything remotely different so as to warrant this insane degree of censoring. How does that make people feel?


    I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t have gotten through school without Artscroll.

    I’m not so savvy in learning but do you notice a difference in translation &/or perception of meaning between the sefer and Artscroll?


    If you give some examples then we can discuss it. I know that some people are over the top on the other side of this issue as well.


    I think artscroll is more responding to the current world outlook than directing it.

    That being said, the difference in what Shittos the Artscroll Peirush on Shas (especially the Hebrew one) is willing to bring down and what they say in their other works is shockingly extreme.


    1- every gadol biography. (but this is old news)

    2- their translated and annotated everything – apparently, they are quite selective about what to put in and what to leave out. Take a look at the seforim blog for a slew of examples.

    3- types of books they are willing to publish (or unwilling).

    4- Even in the gemaras, you can bet that you won’t be finding much in the way of controversial statements unless there was absolutely no way they could sugarcoat it/leave it out altogether.

    The overall point that I am trying to make is that at least some gedolim – and enough of the ones that matter – feel in general that the public must be protected from quite a bit of Torah literature written by acknowledged geonim, rishonim, and acharonim. This is felt in the rigid, my-way-or-you’re-an-apikores-dioraysa mindset propogated as the proper approach to hashkafa in general,, and in the viewpoints / books that have been banned. Artscroll seems (to me anyway) to be at the forefront of this effort to create this hashkafik utopia of ubiquitous conformity that not only fails to acknowledge but roundly castigates any and all dissent.


    Leaders are always fearful of certain kinds of knowledge.

    This all culminated when R’Shimshon Refael Hirsch and The Tiferes Yisroel were deleted from the “Mesorah”

    But yeah, we all know that only “certain Rishonim” are appropriate..because “They could say it..we can not!”


    “…This is felt in the rigid, my-way-or-you’re-an-apikores-dioraysa mindset…”

    I haven’t found them to be too rigid. What are some examples of this? They cover the broader Jewish community. (across the board right-left)


    even the non-certain rishonim are sometimes censored


    What are some examples of this? They cover the broader Jewish community. (across the board right-left)

    look at the seforim blog’s article(s) on this.


    As opposed to crisis, who apparently is afraid of any logical thought at all.


    I just read the article on Artscroll pretty fascinating. I wasn’t under the all/or nothing mentality to begin with. But it’s interesting to see examples of this discourse. I guess it gives more room for discussion as to what personal bias or philosophy motivated such rendition. I have read other articles similar to this in terms of Jewish thought and perspectives.

    bais yakov maidel

    “…This is felt in the rigid, my-way-or-you’re-an-apikores-dioraysa mindset…”

    If you want a peek into what this mindset is, read “Chayim B’Emunasam”.


    Artscroll is a “for profit” corporation that sells what its customers which to buy. That’s how things work in capitalism. If they tried to sell something their customers weren’t interested in buying, they would go broke. It should be noted that Jewish bookstores, both in Brooklyn and throughout North America, stock large amounts of materials but multiple vendors, and if a vendor does not correctly gage the feelings of the market, there are others ready and anxious to take their place. Unpopular ideas are “censored” since they don’t sell books – they are unpopular — that’s true of the publishing industry regardless of religion or ethnicity.


    Religious leaders have censored things that they don’t want the public to see and threatened people with eternal punishments for not thinking like them for as long as religious leaders have existed. Nothing new there.


    Last time I looked at the Seforim blog he wrote that Chazal had a sense of humor since he found a Drasha funny. That was my last time there.

    That site is actually an example of being over the top the other way. He considers anything the big bad “censor”. Yes, we do carefully select what we feed our children. When they get older we fill them in on the world around them, but first we build up our world.

    No, it is not important to gossip about Gedolim. Instead of living up to greatness we try to bring the great down to us. The greatest compliment about a Gadol is being ‘down to earth’, having a sense of humor, also enjoys good food, and is ‘regular.’

    Some complaints sounded legitimate. But otherwise, someone who learns first-hand will get the big picture in the correct context. Whereas getting these obscure quotes in a lecture or an article paints an unoriginal perspective.


    The real answer is to learn and use Hebrew. Then no one will be able to mind your mind.


    The gedolim biographies were never considered to be authoritative history (at least I hope not).

    Ironically I know one of the people who worked on the English Artscroll and his shittos are anything but mainstream guess they just had to beat it out of him.


    HaLeiVi: The Seforim Blog has several writers. The main one is a massive genius and Talmid Chacham, even if he has a few quirks. Honestly, he reminds me of R’ Schachter a lot. Very similar styles of speech in presenting Mekoros. He just tries to make them accessible to people.

    cholent guy

    I believe 1984 put it as “Those who controll the past (the interpretation) control the present(hashkafa). And those who conrol the present control the future(no comparison).

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