Non-Jewish books

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  • #1812010
    banjobob
    Participant

    what is wrong with a good and an appropriate Non-Jewish book/novel?

    #1812092
    dogooder
    Participant

    theres no such thing

    #1812137
    knaidlach
    Participant

    There are Baruch Hashem today soooo many Jewish books on all topics etc. why turn to not Jewish ones?
    plus, there must appear here and there some things which do not suite for us.
    plus, if you like one not Jewish book you will wanto go to the library or store to get another not Jewish book, and you might end up getting one day some book that is really not appropriate at all

    #1812133
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    As the moderaton in CR, we would need a hechshar on the books. There is nothing wrong with an essay by Helen Keller of Three Days to See where she provides an appreciation for our sight.

    #1812188
    Shopping613 馃尃
    Participant

    You get influenced by what you read.

    #1812199
    RebbeDebbie
    Participant

    My rav says that novels can be very problematic because many feature immodest themes.

    #1812355
    banjobob
    Participant

    so if there is no immodest aspect to it then it is ok

    #1812362
    banjobob
    Participant

    Huckleberry Finn, the first 3 Harry Potters, Charlottes Web, Black Beauty, Winnie the Pooh, Thomas the Tank Engine, Paddington, do you need any more?

    #1812367
    Yserbius123
    Participant

    @knaidlach. I have yet to find a good Jewish book about the pros and cons of AI in today’s world. Or one explaining Eulers Identity for a non-math person. Or even a decent book about the Theories of Relativity and quantum physics.

    Edited. I don鈥檛 find it appropriate to normalize the rationalization process used to justify exposing yourself to stuff that鈥檚 not acceptable.

    #1812444
    knaidlach
    Participant

    Yserbius123
    some of the things you talk about i dont even know what they are. do you really need to know those things? i dont. and i got married, i have children, grand children, lots of nachas, a house, a car, a computer, cell phone.

    #1812559
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There is a vast range of opinions here in the CR on what is “appropriate” based on one’s haskhafah. Likewise, there are really no normative “criteria” as to what constitutes a “Jewish” versus “Non-Jewish” book. Its clearly not based on the author (some of the major works of pritzus have been by Jewish writers). Its also not based on subject matter since most works on the “old testament” or “traditional values” are not written from a yiddeshe perspective. Its really something that each individual will have to decide (with input from his/her LRP as necessary) on a case-by-case basis.

    #1813308
    CS
    Participant

    GH to me at least it really isn鈥檛 very complicated. Jewish books are books written by frume Yidden who naturally espouse frume values. Non Jewish books are those that aren鈥檛 written from the lens of Torah hashkofa even if the author happens to be Jewish

    #1813309
    Elchonon W
    Participant

    They seep into your neshama, whether you realize it or not.
    There is no reason to expose yourself to kefira like the theory of relativity. Much better to stick to Torah literature.

    #1813315
    CS
    Participant

    To address the op, it is that there are always problems in non Jewish books. There are always things that don鈥檛 line up with Torah values. The only time I read non Jewish novels was when I was forced to for three years of high school. Animal farm- the main characters were pigs- that was the least problematic one. A tale of two cities by dickens- the interaction between the male protagonist and females was highly inappropriate, a separate piece sent the message that everyone is evil at heart, and the book we read that was a teacher鈥檚 redo of indoctrinating students to become Nazis, as an experiment (forget the title) featured boyfriends and girlfriends.

    If you want a good piece of writing where the values and purity just shine through, read The Lubavitcher Rebbe鈥檚 Memoirs. He writes the history with such descriptive writing, that you feel like you are there yourself.

    I remember the clear contrast between dickens disgusting objectification of women as just being valued for their looks vs. the memoirs which described a young women as being beautiful in character as well as in appearance. The character was first and the appearance just added or expressed the beautiful character. Just like we learn about the Imahos.

    #1813319
    CS
    Participant

    The worst thing about reading them is that their values seep in without you realising because it鈥檚 just part of the story. Then your senses get dulled. Then something which may have seemed highly inappropriate when you first read it, coming from the world of Jewish literature, becomes normal and doesn鈥檛 strike you as disgusting or inappropriate at all, just not something that Jews do. Eventually you could even desire to do things the way the normal way is, as to you, normal is now the non Jewish way of doing things.

    This is what the Torah means when it says not to follow the disgusting ways of the Canaanim. If they are disgusting why would we follow them? Because after seeing their ways day in and day out they stop looking disgusting and may even look desirable.

    #1813332
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The theory of relativity is Masechas Yevomos.

    #1813340
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Knowing certain sciences like chemistry increases emunah.

    #1813363
    Shopping613 馃尃
    Participant

    I thought you meant novels.
    I don’t see an issue with those types of books.

    #1813421
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    If individuals fill the chesronos of an other like hydrogen fills the chesronos of oxygen forming water which cannot be nomally separated, so the group formed will not be able to be separated 讘讜专讗 谞驻砖讜转 专讘讜转 讜讞住专讜谞谉.

    #1813428
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Daroshas Horan 1, explains that by including the bad smelling chelbano into the spices, will strengthen the other spices to overcome its smell.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    #1813434
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    A minature solar system in every atom of an element proves that only Hashem was able to create it. The string of energy theory shows that Hashem imbeded some of His energy into everything.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Reb Eliezer.
    #1813438
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Theory of Relativity teaches us the formula e=mc(square). If something is faster than the speed light, it has infnite energy. Hashem kavayochel is everywhere, so He must travel faster than the speed of light, so His energy is infinite. He created the world from energy.

    #1813486
    banjobob
    Participant

    what about completely clean fantasy novels? the only thing that is “bad” is the fact that there is magic in them. what is wrong with magic if you know that it cant happen? (I am not talking about Kishuf, I am talking about things that cant happen)

    #1813487
    banjobob
    Participant

    Hashem is everywhere, he does not need to “travel”

    #1813535
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    We find expressions that make our understanding easier as the eyes, mouth of Hashem even though one of thw thirteen belief is that He has no body. We don’t understand how He is everywhere, so, lesaber es haozen, we find a way to make it easier for us to understand. This explains also that He is above the concept of time.

    #1813576
    Avi K
    Participant

    CS, what are Torah values? What about a book that accepts the scientific theory of the age the universe and resolves the apparent conflict with Torah? As for novels, their interpretation is up for grabs. Once Agnon (what about his books or Shalom Aleichem’s?) was asked what he meant by something he wrote. He referred the questioner to a well-known literary critic. What about a non-Jewish book about someone overcoming obstacles?

    #1813729
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    There is an apparent conflict between the Torah and science who determines gender. The Torah says that the woman does, whereas science says that women have 2 x cromosones and man has x and y. So the man who can give an x or y would determine the gender. To reconcile both, we can say that the woman creates an environment that makes the man give the corresponding cromosones.

    #1813731
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Malbim in Parashas Noach explains that the mabul created a chemical change which affected the carbon test and things were seen older than they actually are.

    #1813785
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Sometimes we can learn mussar from a Non-jewish book, The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
    (Samuel Clemens) where it demonstrates what is in Pirkei Avos 讗诇 转讚讬谉 讗转 讞讘讬专讱 注讚 砖转讙讬注 诇诪拽讜诪讜 by switching places they learn what the other experiences.

    #1813948
    Avi K
    Participant

    Rambam says explicitly in his introduction to Shemoneh Perakim that he learned from non-Jewish writings. There is wisdom among the other nations. Sometimes they even say more or lessthe same as rabbinic sources. For example, John Adams said that the US Constitution is only appropriate for a religious and moral people, The Netziv says in He’emek Devar that the mitzva to appoint a king was conditioned on the people asking for one because some generations need a king and some need a republican form of government. Great minds really do think alike.

    L’havdil

    #1814084
    CS
    Participant

    Avi K Torah values are the values of a Torah lifestyle. How the children speak to the parents. Clean language. Belief in Hashem. Appropriate interactions between males and females. Etc etc. Any non Jewish novel or story book I鈥檝e come across (BH I鈥檝e only had to read a few) has had problematic hashkafos.

    Science books are a different story with a different problem. But that problem can be resolved. Novels are just tried. For every good thing you can learn from them they desensitise our holy sensitivities in other areas.

    #1814199
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    CS, Are you speaking from knowledge? The Rambam says at the end of 17th Perek of Hilchas Kiddush Hachodash that when it comes to Math, we can rely on the goyim because a logical proof is impartial towards religion. Look at the sefer Habris from the 18th century encompassing all the knowledge of his time. So, we cannot generalize but everything must be judged on its merit. When it comes to classics, read a summary by google it, and then decide.

    #1814197
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    This desentisising is also true in rock and roll.

    #1814252
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer…..unfortunately, the lyrics of most rock music are indecipherable anyway so unlikely to cause anyon to go OTD…..as to the melody, if you ban rock and roll, you ban about 50 percent of the music played today at most simchas

    #1814256
    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “unfortunately, the lyrics of most rock music are indecipherable anyway so unlikely to cause anyon to go OTD”

    You do know that’s rubbish, don’t you? It’s not indecipherable to teenagers who listen to it. That’s either a rationalization or sarcasm.

    #1814413
    Meno
    Participant

    Very well-said, Syag.

    I would like to add that lyrics and melody are not the only aspects of rock music which could influence someone. There is a certain type of lifestyle associated with rock music. Listening to rock music has a tendency to lead a person into that type of lifestyle. I’m not saying it will happen to everyone, but it has happened and will happen to some people.

    Wasn’t this thread about books?

    #1814439
    klugeryid
    Participant

    I beg to differ
    Talk about insidious
    A book like Sherlock Holmes is almost totally clean has ”chochma” and if something not so great finds its way in, a kid at least knows it’s not Jewish.
    Contrast that to Jewish novels of today which as a relative who was off the derech told me ”are a guidebook for going off the derech ” with everything working out in the last three chapters.
    Much worse

    #1814448
    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    The theory of relativity is Masechas Yevomos.

    Nice.

    #1814450
    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    Contrast that to Jewish novels of today which as a relative who was off the derech told me 鈥漚re a guidebook for going off the derech 鈥

    That’s a new one – I’ve heard of OTD people blaming their parents and rebbeim; never Jewish novels.

    Frankly, that’s that’s utter nonsense.

    #1814467
    Elchonon W
    Participant

    There is no “solution” required to align the Torah with the scientific understanding of the universe.
    The Torah isn’t a science book. It is a book on spirituality, on hashkafah, on theology, on the meaning in our lives.

    Trying to align it with science is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. They are completely different, and valuable in their own rights, l’havdil.

    #1814495
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Elchonon, I think the Rambam in the Moreh Nevuchim, the Malbim quoted above, the Sefer Habris believe that it is a mitzva to reconcile if we can. The Ramban by orlah says that treifos are not healthy. We have a rule 注讜诇诐 讻诪谞讛讙讜 谞讜讛讙. The gemora in Shabbos at story of the man nursing, one view is how ugly it is that nature had to change for him because he will lose his zechusim. Something like Darvin’s theory is against modern science as Newton said I am standing on great shoulders indicating that peiple before him were smarter. The Klei Yokor in Parashas Chukas uses the theory of Newton before him, opposites react by explaining the functioning of the parah aduma to a certain extent.

    #1814505
    klugeryid
    Participant

    That鈥檚 a new one 鈥 I鈥檝e heard of OTD people blaming their parents and rebbeim; never Jewish novels.

    Frankly, that鈥檚 that鈥檚 utter nonsense.
    so you dont believe people are influenced by what they read. nice.
    remind me again whats the problem with reading non jewish books?

    #1814523
    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    so you dont believe people are influenced by what they read. nice.

    Of course I do. I don’t think happy endings are sending people OTD.

    #1814547
    klugeryid
    Participant

    genius
    i meant the fact that the whole book glorifies the life of people otd
    at the last page everything ends happily ever after
    that wont undo a full books worth of insidiousness
    how you even remotely thought i meant what you wrote, ill never figure out

    #1814574
    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    I have no idea which book you’re talking about, but you can’t generalize that all Jewish books (I mean the ones published by and for frum people) are bad because you found a small minority which you found problematic.

    Same way you can’t generalize that secular books are okay because you found a small minority that are clean.

    #1814577
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    We can learn from peoples and animals behavior good, what to do, or bad, what not to do.

    #1814602
    klugeryid
    Participant

    Jewish novels
    Product Description
    Gabi Ben-Dor, a seasoned private eye, is in hot pursuit of a rogue doctor whose negligence has cost lives.

    Product Description
    A diabolical plan for terror, years in the making.
    A reluctant attorney in a battle between evil and good.
    Shea Berman’s life is about to implode.

    It happened so quickly: Shea Berman went from being a respected member of his Lakewood community, an attorney on the fast-track to success, and a loving son, husband, and father, to a pariah fighting to keep his job, his reputation, his family – and his life.

    When forced by his ruthless, and hugely successful, law firm to defend the man accused of brutally attacking Shea’s own rebbe, Shea is drawn into a plot that spans years and continents. The stakes are high, as Shea and an unlikely band of allies including an angry district attorney, an elderly Pakistani father, and an incorrigible FBI agent try to uncover the truth, both in the courtroom and on the dangerous streets of Brooklyn and Jenin.

    Fatal Judgment is a riveting legal thriller that will keep readers on edge from the first vivid encounter with American justice to the explosive climax.

    Yossi is defiant. His father is overbearing. His mother is protective. It’s a volatile mixture that explodes in this can’t-put-down novel.

    Need I go on??
    This is a random sampling of the current crop of novels being offered by the premier Jewish publishing company.
    Murder
    Mayhem
    Intrigue
    Leaving home
    Leaving Judaism
    Dysfunctional parents
    Dysfunctional marriages
    Dysfunctional families
    Thievery.
    Anything goes as long as its not male female related.

    True it’s not all but if you don’t want to generalize Jewish novels, don’t generalize non Jewish ones either.

    #1814614
    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not.

    #1814624
    klugeryid
    Participant

    I’m being completely serious

    #1814636
    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    So you think reading novels such as Fatal Judgement makes people go OTD?

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