Sunday, February 24, 2008

What bothers people about Artscroll?

Encyclopedia Judaica 07' - s.v. Artscroll

"Despite – or perhaps, because of – its considerable market successes, ArtScroll is no stranger to controversy. The press has in fact been a key touchstone in recent struggles among ḥaredi and non-ḥaredi Jews for authority to interpret the sources of legitimate knowledge and practice in Jewish texts and in public life. On the one hand, there exists a significant population for whom ArtScroll books are narrowly "ideological" and are seen to promulgate interpretations of Jewish tradition associated with what some describe as the demagoguery of the ḥaredi yeshivah world. ArtScroll 's detractors have thus expressed considerable indignation over the way the press translates Jewish texts, as well as its method of selecting commentaries from classical sources, and even the wording of ArtScroll 's own commentaries (a famous case is the debate over the translation of Shir ha-Shirim, which presents an allegorical rendering of God's relation to Israel rather than a literal, sensual translation). Others have criticized ArtScroll for legitimating the Jewish reader's reliance upon the English language at the expense of leshon ha-kodesh, enabling one to appear well versed in Jewish knowledge without having made the requisite effort to engage with the original sources"

s.v. Nosson Scherman

"Despite what outsiders may think, even the rejectionist Orthodox community that does not embrace modern culture has, perhaps inadvertently, acculturated itself to the offerings and packaging of the American marketplace."

"Modern Orthodox scholars have not been uncritical of ArtScroll's success. Its historical studies are wrapped, not in Western scholarship, but in hagiography; it seems as if every fervently Orthodox leader or rabbi is without blemish. Others on the right criticize it for enabling and empowering English rather than Yiddish or Hebrew to be the language of contemporary learning."


Lion of Zion said...

i wonder what the entry on ej2 in ej3 will say

Wolf2191 said...

You mean in light of Dr. Leimans (overly harsh) criticism. Well they haven't gotten an entry on EJ1 so I guess nothing.

Lion of Zion said...

"they haven't gotten an entry on EJ1"

i assume there is an entry on encyclpedias and EJ1 is in there?

Wolf2191 said...

In the bibliography. No discussion of it.

Haven't you got access. It should be easy to get it through your library if your a New Yorker.

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