Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Artscroll revisionism: Professor Zvi Zohar Reviews "Aleppo City of Scholars"

In this review, Zohar shows how Artscroll recreated the Syrian-Jewish Aleppo community in its own (Charedi) image. He cites numerous examples of how the book (pictured) glosses over those Rabbis whose outlook did not conform to current Charedi standards and conveniently omits and outright distorts facts to suit its agenda.

Professor Zvi Zohar, is scholar of modern Middle Eastern Rabbinic Halacha. He has written two seminal books on the subject - masoret u-tmura and he-iru penei mizrah. He is currently teaching at Bar-Ilan University and is a musmach of the Hartman Institute.

link in PDF format

English Translation

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At Wednesday, November 28, 2007 5:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. You are becoming competition for the seforim blog.

At Friday, November 30, 2007 4:17:00 AM, Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

when it came out, i wrote that i thought that it was a reaction against the publication, in english, of haim sabato's 'aleppo tales', which portrays a much more colorful range of aleppan rabbis.

At Friday, November 30, 2007 8:00:00 AM, Blogger Joels W. said...

Can you provide me a link to that post please? thanks.

At Tuesday, December 04, 2007 12:49:00 AM, Blogger Lion of Zion said...

1) seriously, what did zohar expect. that all of a sudden artscroll was going to do a more balanced work with this volume? what's the surprise?

2) i won't compain about this book. i'm just happy artscroll has a book about sephardi community to begin with.

At Wednesday, December 05, 2007 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Nachum said...

You asked on my blog for a synopsis of R' Leiman's take; I'll give it here.

-He pointed out that the Zionist introduction was removed, and mentioned Zohar's point that this was done throughout the book. He contrasted this with the haskamot claiming this was a straight translation.

-He compared Artscroll's translation of the Rambam's words about the Aleppo Codex to the original, and found errors, as well as some misstatements of halacha related to this.

-He showed how a reference to Azariah dei Rossi (and St. Augustine) was edited out of the book.

There were some other points he made as well, including the addition of more recent figures (including non-Rabbanim) and allegations of politics.

In summation, he said the book was very good for its pictures, and that we all should buy it, but perhaps only for that reason.

At Friday, December 07, 2007 1:27:00 AM, Blogger Joels W. said...

Thank you Nachum.

At Thursday, January 17, 2008 4:15:00 AM, Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

i don't think i ever posted it. i'm trying to remember who i would have written those comments to.

At Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? Artscroll, displaying poor scholarship?

does this mean I have to go learn Hebrew to study Jewish texts? I was working under the assumption that mass produced, ideology-and-money driven publications were the way to go.

At Saturday, October 30, 2010 11:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot Andrew Jackson’s Big Block of Cheese with nary a macaroni in sight.

At Tuesday, August 11, 2015 8:19:00 PM, Blogger Joels W. said...

Works fine for me.


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