Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Worth A Thousand Words



The Sukkos edition of the Hebrew edition of Mispachah featured an interview with HaGaon Rav Chanoch Ehrentrau, "Av Beis Din of Europe," speaking about "his close connection in his youth with Rav Dessler z"l, and his shimush with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and with Rav Elyashiv." Take a close look at the top bookshelf... there's a copy of Mysterious Creatures, and The Camel, The Hare And The Hyrax!

(Hat-tip: R. Eliezer "Eagle-eyed" Brodt)

42 comments:

  1. You're pushing it this time. I see a couple of books with binding the same colour as yours but the letters are way too blurry to confirm or deny.

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  2. sorry, I couldn't scan it at high enough resolution, but it's definitely those books.

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  3. Garnel,
    Just double-clicking the pictures I can definitely make out the words "Creatures" and "Hyrax".

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  4. Is Slifkinism becoming mainstream?

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  5. you can see the book clearly on the top bookshelf if you click on the picture and click again to magnify it

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  6. If you download the picture and enlarge it, you can see clear as day that Rabbi Slifkin is correct

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  7. He's not pushing it. You can read it quite clearly.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_i3FQpWByOYA/TKI5ni2EGaI/AAAAAAAADHc/siIUokvavoI/s1600/DayanEhrentrau.jpg

    you can also see Stampfer's "The Jews of Lithuania." It's also a nice mussar how he arranges his seforim, although I'm sure it can all be explained that he was posing in the late Louis Jacobs' study for some reason, perhaps to perform an exorcism.

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  8. Garnel: Click on the image to view a higher-resolution version. The text on the spine is clearly readable at the larger size.

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  9. Question is what those thousand words are exactly, i.e. Precisely why they are in that bookcase. And yes, I agree on the identity of the books.

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  10. If you click on the picture to see it full size , you can clearly make out the word "hyrax" , and most of the word "creatures".

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  11. and who is to say it was in his house and not a local Beis Hamedrash?

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  12. What are the thousand words that this picture is worth? Do you know that he supports your work? I have been at the homes of more than one world renowned rabbis, whose bookshelves have contained works that they did not agree with at all. The picture shows that he owns your books (assuming it is his library where the picture was taken), not necessarily that he agrees with your work. I am not claiming him to be in disagreement with you - the matter is not *necessarily* as you imply just from the picture.

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  13. Actually, if you click on the picture, it opens into a new page and you can enlarge it and see the books which R' Ehrentrau isn't allowed to read :P

    Baruch Pelta
    bpelta.blogspot.com

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  14. EhrentrEu,not EhrentrAu

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  15. Heh, next to Ramchal. Wait, weren't his seforim in cheirem too?

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  16. Da ma lhashiv perhaps? :-)
    GT
    Joel Rich

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  17. Is that his kefirah shelf?

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  18. Garnel, the picture displayed in your browser is shrunk to fit a certain size. Click on it so the browser is only showing the image and not the blog, and if necessary click again to zoom in. The volume on the left clearly says "& THE HYRAX" and the one on the right says "REATURES", both in the correct colors and fonts.

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  19. On the lower right corner of the web browser, where it indicates 100%, you can adjust magnification up to 400% and see the spines of the books clearly enough.

    But on that same shelf, I see Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz's "Living Inspired". This would lead me to assume that their presence on his bookshelf is not an automatic indication of endorsement.

    I know many people who have Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovitz's "Not In Heaven" and wouldn't endorse it for a second.
    I would rather assume he recieved these books for review by the author/publisher and did not decide to purchase them himself.

    For all we know, he has them on the shelf as reference to explain to people why they contain kefirah.

    So Garnel is still correct. You are pushing it this time.

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  20. The Camel, The Hare And The Hyrax is clearly visible on the top shelf to the left of Mysterious Creatures.
    Nice try, Garnel.

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  21. "But on that same shelf, I see Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz's "Living Inspired". This would lead me to assume that their presence on his bookshelf is not an automatic indication of endorsement."

    I don't understand. Who has anything against Tatz's books? He's a mainstream R' Moshe Shapiro guy. Did I miss a ban?

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  22. I don't know what Issac meant, but actually I did hear someone claim that Rabbi Tatz's books (which are actually just clear expositions of Rav Moshe Shapiro's teachings) are kefirah, in that when you look past the semantics, they make Hashem into a composite of different elements.

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  23. Isaac said For all we know, he has them on the shelf as reference to explain to people why they contain kefirah

    Au contraire! I suggest that Isaac is pushing it!

    Yated Neeman said ... In short these books cannot be brought into the home of one who believes in Hashem and His Torah

    I would think that this applies to both the house of study as well as the home.

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  24. HaRav Ovadia Yoseph shlita said


    ולכן כל מי שיש ברשותו מספרי איש אסור לו בהחלט להחזיקם בביתו

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  25. "but actually I did hear someone claim that Rabbi Tatz's books (which are actually just clear expositions of Rav Moshe Shapiro's teachings) are kefirah"

    Someone? Can you be more specific?

    Recall this post:

    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2009/07/was-rashi-corporealist.html?showComment=1249252005034#c8009372848607053236

    {{{RNS: "Phil - I have heard people claim that there is no way to effectively resolve R. Tatz's view (which is presumably R. Moshe Shapiro's view) without effectively contradicting the unity of God."

    I didn't read R. Tatz's book, but I believe the following sources take the approach:

    R. Yosef Bloch(or perhaps his son) in Shiurei Daas, Shaloh and R. Gifter, the latter both quoted in the Artscroll Overview to Shir Hashirim(R. Gifter's comments there are in original Hebrew). }}}

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  26. Okay I checked the high res photo. You're right. Good catch. Now e-mail him and ask for a comment, why don't you?

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  27. should have waited a few weeks for the English Mishpacha to use the article. most Israelis don't know who R Slifkin is, and it would be better for all the English speakers to see. Now, the pressure will start and either Mishpacha won't translate the article, or they will drop the picture.

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  28. "and who is to say it was in his house and not a local Beis Hamedrash?"

    And who's to say that that wasn't the genizah shelf?

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  29. "I have been at the homes of more than one world renowned rabbis, whose bookshelves have contained works that they did not agree with at all. The picture shows that he owns your books (assuming it is his library where the picture was taken), not necessarily that he agrees with your work"

    Agree or disagree, he seemed not to think it was junk. Maybe it only shows what we all already know; no one takes the charamim of the "gedolim" seriously.

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  30. I wonder if he also has Garnel's book?

    (snort)

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  31. The million dollar question is, was this picture taken before or after the Ban? A relatively well known person who is strongly opposed to your books (and sadly strongly against you personally) told me that your problem is not what you wrote, but that you continued after the ban. He told me this in response to a question I raised, why does the ohr.edu website still recommend Rav Carmell’s book Challenge on their book section if your “heretical” book “challenge of creation” seems to simply be an elaboration on some points made in Rav Carmells book . I am still confused about this but anyway it would be enlightening if this picture was taken after the ban.

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  32. Rav Ehrentrau told me that he plans on critiquing "The Camel, The Hare, and The Hyrax" just as Rabbi Slifkin critiqued "Chaim beEmunasam."

    I am TOTALLY kidding.

    However, I would still like to hear Rabbi Slifkin comment on all those opinions here who are saying, "maybe the picture isn't worth a thousand words after all."

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  33. I think the point of the post and photo is that the book is displayed openly on the man's bookshelf, as opposed to being hidden or discarded, which is what we expect to see if the book were considered kefira. Like, you don't find any copies of, l'havdil, the new testament or documentary hypothesis books displayed on his shelves...

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  34. A regular - anonymous for this oneOctober 3, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    My rabbi has "Making of A Gadol" on his shelf, and he told me he sees nothing wrong with Rabbi Slifkin's books (has them somewhere too, but I didn't exactly inspect his shelf in detail, just glanced at it, saw a copy of Making of a Gadol and pulled it out to start reading it while waiting around).

    So I would think that the one who stated that this proves chachamim (or some, or many) don't pay attention to or don't heed these bans is correct. My rabbi certainly doesn't, and I'm sure there are others amongst chachamim out there.

    That this European rav has the book on his shelf and will pose for a picture in front of it without going out of his way to cover up his "kefirah-works" (if he really considers them that) or banned works, says at least that much (if not more).

    While I don't really share the skepticism of others here, I would still be very interested to hear a response to an inquiry to this rav for comment on the subject.

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  35. The million dollar question is, was this picture taken before or after the Ban?

    "The Jews of Lithuania" is on his shelf and was published January 2005 according to the details on amazon.com. The ban occurred September 2004?

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  36. I met Dayan Ehrentrau about 4 years ago for an extended conversation. I don't remember the precise details, but basically he didn't see any basis for classifying these approaches as kefirah.

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  37. just noticed your link on r gil's blog - yasherkoach. however the statement by somebody that "you can also see Stampfer's "The Jews of Lithuania." is incorrect. Stampfer's book - "hayyeshivoh hallito'is b'his-havvusoh" -is a good read (i have both the original and very modestly expanded second edition) and certainly deserves to be translated into english - and perhaps that's been done - but this isn't it. this picture is clearly (garish yellowish orange cover) a volume by a Marcia Greensomething which I only leafed through during a standup at my local bookstore and does not have the scholarly depth of stampfer's work, which is in any event really focused only on the yeshivos.

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  38. And I was right, you should have waited on this post. The English version of this article, has the words bigger, and cover up those books even more. Though if you look really carefully, you can still tell.

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  39. I guess kollelnick is referring to this page:
    http://www.mishpacha.com/getPdf/1/328/34/0/37

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  40. Good thing David Cameron is so tall or the books wouldn't have made it into the picture!

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