Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lost in Translation

Apparently, Artscroll is now worthy of it's own study. VIN posts this article about a study on how Artscroll has influenced the "frum" world. I have to agree with one of the comments that most of their translations are source based, even if you don't agree with them. They do not do well with accurately portraying Gedolim. The book "My Uncle the Netziv" is a great example, as does the omission of Rav Kook from most of their references. On the whole, I don't hate them, hating anything other than microwaved broccoli is stupid. But they do walk the walk, and that is why Lakewood continues Falling Down.


Out-of-towner said...

Thanks a lot. you made me go to VIN to see and i ended up poking around and reading the comments that people leave, and now i'm NAUSEOUS.

Honestly Frum said...

Unless I am mistaken I believe my uncle the Netziv was both putout and recalled by CIS publishing.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Like any good political publisher, Artscroll has an agenda. It wishes to present itself as a publisher providing books on Torah subjects that reflect all legitimate frum sources. Through its glaring omissions one can learn what its masters consider to be genuinely frum or not.
For example, Rav Kook, just as you mentioned. A giant in the Torah world who had important connections with most of the major gedolim of his day but in the Artscroll universe he doesn't exist because they want you to believe that if you're frum, Rav Kook doesn't exist.
Similarly their hagiographies are designed to get you to think that proper Torah observance has always been identical to the way it is today, the better to justify the multiple meshugas that are constantly inflicted on us. Denim skirts are bad? Well, even the Netziv thought so.
As with any source of information, educated yourself first and then take what you need from it.