Monday, June 20, 2005

Artscroll in Beis Eliyahu

Boy! It's been a while! For all of you who asked what the PROJECT was, thanks. It hasn't gotten off the ground yet, as I haven't had the time to teach myself Javascript. Well, well, well. Back to blogging.

There's a fellow who sits next to me in the Beis Medrash. I don't know him at all. He keeps an Artscroll gemara on his shtender, and refers to it occasionally. This bothers me, and I just realized why. (Disclaimer: There IS an appropriate use for Artscroll gemaros, I am not against Artscroll, etc. etc.) Imagine that you are in an English Lit course in Yale. Now, imagine walking up to your professer and asking her a question in "As You Like It". So far so good? See yourself reaching into your bag for your copy of the play - and coming up with the Yellow-and-Black cheat book of it. I daresay you would be embarrassed.
However, if the aforementioned scenario took place in your local two-bit community college, then it would be par for the course, would it not?
So, if one is in the most prestigious Yeshiva in the world (outside of Israel), and in its most advanced Beis Medrash, one should keep his Artscroll on the shelf outside, and refer to it as necessary.


Anonymous Danny S said...

The ArtScroll is great if you want a quick synopsis of what the rishonim have to say on a line...

21/6/05 9:26 AM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Sure. So are the Cliff Notes.

21/6/05 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. Regards.

23/6/05 12:47 AM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...


23/6/05 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Respectful Reader said...

Sheesh. You give a guy a glowing endorsement on his non-partisan, innocuous looking Gemara insights blog and the next thing you know he's gone political soapbox.

I disagree. Here's why.

Probably about a century ago, an esteemed rabbi wished to start a Yeshiva for the most elite students. Yeshivas Mitzuyanim it was to be called. Only the very best needed apply. Its intended mission was learning at the highest caliber.

Indeed, one interested young student was Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman, then learning at the famous Slabodka Yeshiva, who later founded the reknowned Yeshivas Ner Yisrael. One day while walking with his mentor, the famous Alter of Slabodka, he revealed his desire. The Alter pointed down from the bridge they trode, at the river which ran through the center of town. "Or," suggested his Rebbi, "you can throw yourself off this bridge right now".

I am proud that In my Yeshiva, we have a wide gamut of students. They range from super advanced to complete beginner. I like that. Torah is not only for Yale types. We take all comers. I'm certainly not going to be bothered if I see someone who "I don't know at all" using a study aid (let alone "occasionally").

I'll even go the next step. I wouldn't be put off by seeing almost anyone using an Artscroll. As I've told you, I'm a big fan of easy. Whatever it takes, man. If Ploni learns well with an Artscoll, great. If he thinks he'll do better and learn more by breaking his head figuring out a piece on his own, super. That's a highly specific call and I think blanket policies are inappropriate.

Love your Shabbos poster, though.

23/6/05 3:30 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Where did you give me a glowing endorsement (just wanna see, ya know)?
It was a conscious decision to go "political soapbox" although I hope to continue posting divrei Torah, too.
I agree with you in principle, which is why I wrote, "Disclaimer: There IS an appropriate use for Artscroll gemaros, I am not against Artscroll, etc. etc."
On the other hand, I think my point - that there is room for a little pride in this particular context - still stands.

Love your Shabbos poster, though.


24/6/05 2:57 AM  
Anonymous RespectfulReader said...

The endorsement was in personal email recommendation.

It discussed the author of esefer's obvious erudition and fine writing skills.

Miktzas shvacho b'fanav- sorry, that's all I'm can say.

24/6/05 7:48 AM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Thanks, *blush*

24/6/05 11:02 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

"Most prestigious yeshiva in the world.."

Excuse me, while I BARF!!

29/7/05 3:17 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

I'm sorry you feel that way. I hope you feel better soon.

29/7/05 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Danny G said...

I have also had your sentiment, but I don't agree with your explanation.
I think the reason we don't like to see Artscrolls in the Bais Medrash is not some kind of elitist/snobbish thing. (Do we really want the guy who isn't so smart to have to go to somewhere else to learn?)
It's because we are making a judgment on the other person. We know from our own experience that if you do it the hard way, the learning is enhanced. This is certainly true in Torah, where
the process, not just the resulting knowledge is valueable. When we see the guy with his Artscroll, we assume that he is able to do it the hard way but is too lazy to do so. On the other hand, it's a good idea to keep an open mind. Some people really have a good reason to use an Artscroll. Remember that for some people this is the only way.

8/2/06 4:10 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Your points are well taken, though I stand by my post.

12/2/06 11:29 PM  
Blogger masmid613 said...

"There's a fellow who sits next to me in the Beis Medrash. I don't know him at all." u learn in Lakewood or S'dom? Maybe at least learn the guy's name before u criticize him. Did it even occut to you that as you have made it clear who you are anyone can now figure out who this is?

10/8/06 2:48 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Believe me, nobody can figure out who he is. By the way, I am no longer in the Lakewood Yeshiva.

11/8/06 2:26 PM  

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