What book do you want everyone to read?

Home Forums Seforim, Books, & Reading What book do you want everyone to read?

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  • #618996

    baisyaakovliberal
    Participant

    If you could make one book in the world required reading, what would it be?

    #1209288

    Koheles

    #1209289

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Emunah with Love and Chicken Soup by Sara Yoheved Rigler. Definitely required reading for everyone!

    #1209290

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I would like to remove Shakespeare from the required reading list.

    #1209291

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    RY: You mean the secular school reading lists?

    Or do frum schools also read/study Shakespeare in their English classes?

    #1209292

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB, my high schoool did. That was many years ago, so I don’t know if things have changed since then or not.

    #1209293

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    LU: Wow! That’s so interesting. I def thought RY was joking, but asked, on second thought.

    Thanks for the info. It’s so weird… Shakespeare is quintessential romance, drama, death, tragedy. Thinking of Romeo & Juliet alone, brings in a total romantic averah, and then suicides. It’s so unfrum.

    I wonder why… Did you have separate teachers for secular classes? Maybe that’s what they were educated to teach?

    #1209294

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    LU: Also, please feel free to add more books 🙂 I’m so glad baisyaakovliberal made this thread. B”H I will return to it time and again. I love your book suggestions!

    #1209295

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    LB – I don’t know. It’s a good question. I know someone who went to a Bais Yaakov high school where they taught Shakespeare. Her grandfather is a well-known Rosh Yeshiva and he asked R’ Chaim Kanievsky if his granddaughters were allowed to read Shakespeare and he said no, so they got permission to skip english class (or at least the classes when they taught Shakespeare).

    #1209296

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I’m wondering if it’s done just because it was always done, and no one got around to changing it.

    It is hard to find Frum quality literature, and until recently, there was hardly even any Frum non-quality literature. Once you’re already reading secular books, there is probably nothing that is completely Kosher. Shakespeare is considered a classic and a necessity for any half-decent Literature class. Also, they probably carefully select which Shakespeare plays they read. Also, I’m not sure that I remember anything so terrible from the Shakespeare plays we read in high school, but it could be it went past me or I wasn’t paying attention.

    I’m not saying it’s right; I’m just giving some of the possible reasons I can think of.

    #1209297

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Someone told me that in certain charedi circles in Israel that learning English is considered going OTD (If you are Israeli, not American)

    So that Rav Chaim banned Shakespeare could have been for Israeli Charedim, not Americans

    #1209298

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Shakespeare’s plays are not actually that good. Earlier writers and later writers were better.

    #1209299

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    ZD – it was an American Bais Yaakov girl.

    Even in Israel, no one has a problem with girls learning english (I don’t know about Shakespeare though). All the Bais Yaakovs teach english (or at least almost all – there could be an exception, but I haven’t heard of any)

    The boys don’t learn english in school, but many learn out of school, and I have never heard of anyone objecting. I even have a friend whose son is in a Yiddish school, and he gets english lessons. She wouldn’t do it if it were against the rules or considered OTD (and yes, the kids are trilingual).

    The issue that R’ Chaim had with shakespeare was not that it’s english. I believe the issue was that the RY who asked him said that it has the 3 aveiros chamuros in it (although I am a bit reluctant to quote something that I heard third-hand several years ago, and can’t guarantee 100% accuracy). But the issue was definitely not that it’s english.

    #1209300

    baisyaakovliberal
    Participant

    I go to a Bais Yaakov and we learn Julius Cesar and Macbeth. Probably because those are the ones that aren’t ‘inappropriate’. But even the ones that are aren’t explicit – it’s not like modern day books. I read Twelfth Night on my own. It has lots of people falling in love, but that’s all it says. And they all end up marrying, btw.

    #1209302

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    ZD: I wonder if charedi Israelis learn English on their own on the DL for their own sake, still on the derech.

    #1209304

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    LU

    I have a close relative learning at Brisk, and he was the one who told me that if you were Israeli and you spoke english, They considered you OTD. Since he is american, he is allowed to speak it.

    There was also an aritcle posted here about a store in Bnei Brak that had a sign in english and Rav Zilberstein ruled that one should not patron a store with a sign in english, in Bnei Brak

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/493620/can-one-buy-in-a-bnei-brak-store-that-has-a-sign-in-english-and-not-hebrew.html

    #1209305

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Both the Ga’vad and Ra’vad of the Eidah Hachareidis speak fluent English.

    #1209306

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    ZD: This makes so much sense.

    I bought books in English at a centrally located bookstore in Bnei Brak. I was obviously American. I wondered why all of the price tags on those books were totally in Hebrew. It was probably a big deal to have them in the store in the first place.

    In a different store, the guy working there said something in English. Maybe Yes. I don’t remember what. Then when I asked if he spoke he said he doesn’t speak any English. From my observations, Israelis generally boast about their English knowledge, even if it is minimal. He was quick to say the opposite. At the time I thought that was very humble of him. It still was and now I have a little more cultural awareness.

    Also… Nefesh B’Nefesh does English tours in Bnei Brak. Some private individuals do so as well.

    I wonder how that appears to local Israeli residents when there are groups of “Anglos” walking around speaking in English.

    The Bnei Brak Municipality has maps and resources in English. And Hebrew of course. They are so nice there.

    #1209307

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    LB

    In many countries speaking english is what makes one “cultured”. People are judged based on their english skills. Young people think its cool to speak it

    #1209308

    benignuman
    Participant

    Assuming this question is referring to books originally written in English (as opposed to say the translation of Derech Hashem), I would say “Reb Yaakov” by Yonosan Rosenbloom.

    If it has to be a secular book, then I would say “the Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn or “the Will to Meaning” by Viktor Frankel.

    #1209309

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    ZD – to be fair, I was talking about Americans in Israel. I don’t know about Israelis. I could hear where if an Israeli Chareidi wanted to teach his son english, it could be a reason to suspect that there is an issue with his general outlook (for an Israeli Chareidi). Since it is so atypical, it may show that he wants to leave the community to some degree.

    Also, Brisk is its own thing and does not necessarily represent the entire Israeli Chareidi community.

    B’nei Brak is also not Yerushalayim or any other city in EY, and does not reflect the entire Israeli Chareidi community.

    And again, girls’ education is very different. The girls do learn english in school.

    #1209310

    rebshidduch
    Participant

    All Jewish books that teach life lessons like a life is a test by Jungreis.

    #1209311

    I. M. Shluffin
    Participant

    All secular medieval literature should be burned. I’m speaking from a well-educated place – I just took a class on medieval lit. There’s no easy way around it. Just burn it and wipe it off the face of the web. Way too much twisting of morals going on.

    #1209312

    Also, I’m not sure that I remember anything so terrible from the Shakespeare plays we read in high school, but it could be it went past me or I wasn’t paying attention.

    Some (probably not all) of Shakespeare’s inappropriate stuff

    would most likely fly under the radar of a present-day frum

    reader (especially, perhaps, at such a young age).

    #1209313

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Some (probably not all) of Shakespeare’s inappropriate stuff

    would most likely fly under the radar of a present-day frum

    reader (especially, perhaps, at such a young age).”

    True, and especially one who was not particularly interested in Shakespeare and had a hard time reading it 🙂

    #1209314

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    True dat. The more that Shakespeare is presented as a bore or literature chore, the better for the frum world.

    #1209315

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    All secular medieval literature should be burned. I’m speaking from a well-educated place – I just took a class on medieval lit. There’s no easy way around it. Just burn it and wipe it off the face of the web. Way too much twisting of morals going on.

    There is a famous photograph of a massive book burning occuring circa 1933

    #1209317

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “There is a famous photograph of a massive book burning occuring circa 1933”

    Who burned what?

    #1209318

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Nazis burned books in 1933.

    On 10 May 1933, in an act of ominous significance, the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of “un-German” [read Jewish et al] books, thereby presaging an era of uncompromising state censorship.” (Wiki)

    #1209319

    Geordie613
    Participant

    “Both the Ga’vad and Ra’vad of the Eidah Hachareidis speak fluent English”

    That’s because they are from London, not because they sneaked out of class in yeshiva ketana to learn English.

    #1209320

    golfer
    Participant

    Getting back to the OP, and excepting any sifrei kodesh,

    Perfidy

    #1209321

    Little Froggie
    Participant
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