October 18, 2012 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #605308
Rav <insert name> was born in <insert year> in the small town of <insert location>.
He was recognized at a young age as being a genius. He began learning gemara at the age of 3. At his bar mitzvah, he made a siyum on Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi b’iyun.
At his aufruf, he made a siyum on Shas, having just completed memorizing the entire Bavli with Rashi and Tosafos.
He married <insert wife’s name>, the daughter of the illustrious Rav <insert name>. She was to remain by his side, supporting his learning, for the rest of his/her life.
He became the youngest maggid shiur in <insert Yeshiva name> at the age of 22. At 25, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva, a post he was to hold for the rest of his life.
He was an amazing mechanech. Students told of how he never was too busy to assist them in anything they needed – all while sticking to his rigorous schedule of learning 27 hours per day. He slept only half an hour every day, yet it never seemed to affect him.
At his levaya, 50 billion people came to pay their respects. Many people who never met him were seen weeping. He impacted the whole world.
This is my basic template for an Artscroll biography. This was inspired by the other thread about them.October 18, 2012 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #899995
He married <insert wife’s name>
A *true* gadol biography would never mention the name of his wife. 🙂
The WolfOctober 18, 2012 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #899996
Both Feif and Wolf +1October 18, 2012 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #899997
I can’t believe that he slept only a half hour a night. The Rambam and the Steipler say that you need to sleep eight hours a night. Furthermore, it’s physically impossible, and ain somchin al haness. This guy was oveir on two aveiros, and you haven’t even gotten to page two.October 18, 2012 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #899998
Artscroll doesnt lie. The biographies are facts. Maybe they leave out some meaningless facts that you can find in making of a Gadol but everything artscroll writes about the Gadolim is fact. I dont see what bothers you.October 18, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #899999
Perhaps you can quote for us the salacious details in the book about R JB Soloveitchik. I am sure that YU included all of them when they published the books about him.
No one makes you read Artscroll. You don’t enjoy, don’t read. It’s that simple.
It is quite likely that it has to do with a fundemantal difference. People who look at limudai kodesh as no different that secular studies believe the purpose is just to tell over history. Those who understand that there is a difference understand that the purpose of the stories are to learn from these tzadik in and to try to emulate them. If the purpose is to learn kiddos and lessons, what is the point of publishing details that are not germane.
The stories published in these books are not false, which cannot be said for the “history” books. You want to satisfy your cravings for lecherous details, go elsewhere.October 19, 2012 4:00 am at 4:00 am #900000
It could be that is what the Steipler advised Bochurim but he was known to learn 36 hours straight and then sleeping 8 hours.October 19, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #900001
nishtdayngesheft: Actually, I don’t read them anymore. I haven’t read one in years. Oh, and I don’t look at limudei kodesh as the same as limudei chol. I don’t know anyone that does. Someone started spreading this malicious rumor about YU that they view things as such, and it’s simply untrue.
As for the stories, I never said they’re false. I heard a shiur a few years ago where the Rav said these books do more harm than good. The point of these books should be to inspire. When a kid reads how a gadol knew shas by the age of 13, and he has a hard time getting through one blatt with Rashi, do you think he’ll say, “Hey, I can be a talmud chacham just like R’ Ploni!”? No, he’ll say that since he doesn’t know Shas, there’s no hope for him.
Books like The Making of a Godol were the ones that were better (yes, the Rav said this, although he didn’t say the name – he said “A certain book that detailed the lives of some gedolim and some of the challenges they faced while growing up, written by the son of one of them, which was unfairly banned.”) They show that you can live a normal life, make mistakes, and still become a gadol. R’ Hutner wrote in a famous letter that we should learn from the mistakes that Rabbonim made, and see how they picked themselves up.October 19, 2012 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #900002
I’m not so sure that books that have embarrassing stories of gedolim should be written, though I agree that just about every biography is written in the same way, with the same superlative descriptions.
Just about the only biography I ever enjoyed is about Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld. The book doesn’t go on and on ranting about how smart he is. Though it gives clear examples of his amazing and worldly wisdom, that will teach any person how to be a mensch and put a head on their shoulders.October 19, 2012 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #900003
Basically you did not respond.
I am curious as to who your “Rav” is that you keep quoting. I wonder if he is a bar samcha. I am really not convinced that he is based on how you quote him. Nor am I convinced that your quotes are accurate.October 19, 2012 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #900004
nishtdayngesheft: The Rav who said this was not my Rav. He was a Rav in the community where I used to live (not the shul I davened at, because it was a very far walk), who was once invited to give a shiur.
My Rosh Yeshiva who I often quote is someone else. I don’t want to write it here, because I’m sure there will be a lot of negative backlash against him for some of the things he’s said that I’ve written.October 19, 2012 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #900005
Resh Lakish was a Robber and became a Amorah. Do you have any less respect for him because he was a Robber at an earlier time in his lifeOctober 19, 2012 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #900006
Right. Thanks for the clarification.
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