Charedi misinformation, disinformation and downright distortion

I despair sometimes at the simple lack of intellectual honesty, nay, let’s call it גניבת דעת, an attempt to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and pasteurise and homogenise the world we live in. One of the more infamous cases involved the Artscroll “My Uncle the Netziv”, which was sent out by Lakewood as a gift/inducement by the organisation to garner donations. When Lakewood discovered that, ה’ ירחם, the great Volozhiner Rosh Yeshiva, the Netziv z”l read the newspaper and the original Artscroll edition mentioned that fact, it quickly wrote to all the recipients of the book and asked that the book be returned or disposed of. I kid you not. Artscroll, of course, discovered their “terrible” error and under a cloud of humbug, withdrew the original edition.

So, what has this to do with today?

מענין לענין באותו ענין

There was a recent shocking story about an 18-year-old Skverrer chasid who set fire to the house of another Skverer Chasid, a Ba’al Koreh, because the latter refused to stop davening and layning in an old age home, as opposed to listening to the Skverer Rebbe’s dictate that all Chassidim daven only in the central Skverer Shule (in New Square).  The story was widely reported. Vos iz Neis which was being attacked by Charedim by asking people not to advertise therein, reported the story. We now see why they don’t like such publications. I searched and couldn’t find a single report of this attack in the other two prominent internet publications, Yeshivah World News and I couldn’t even find a call to say Tehilim for the poor victim! Why? Sweeping under the carpet once more? More blackwashing? Do they not want people to learn that attempted murder through arson is an unspeakable איסור דאורייתא and gross חילול השם? The world now waits to hear from the Skverer Rebbe himself. I hope he goes to visit the burn victim, who has a critical first five days according to his doctors.

השם ירחם

Victim of the attempted murder with 50% burns to his body.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

15 thoughts on “Charedi misinformation, disinformation and downright distortion”

  1. “Artscroll, of course, discovered their “terrible” error and under a cloud of humbug, withdrew the original edition.”

    I think in your haste to lump together all the averos of the charedim, you err.
    To the best of my knowledge Artscroll did not change anything in later editions.


    1. Lump together all averos of Charedim?
      Let me introduce you to censorship and the subject of my post. This is what I am addressing. In the case of this book, there was much more than newpapers. Apparently it mentioned that the Netziv’s wife learnt Mishnayos (heaven forbid!) and much more. The point IS NOT what exactly they were “offended” by, but rather their blatant and open playing with the truth.

      Let’s see, yd, are you going to claim that the Charedi Artscroll, Matzav and Yeshivah World News, and much more, don’t homogenise the world and censor information?

      Do you think that the “Making of a Gadol” should have been banned? So what if R’ Aron Kotler read Sforim Chitzonyim or that his sister was a Maskil. Big deal. There is no excuse for playing with Emes. What are they going to tell us next, that R’ Gifter didn’t walk arm in arm with his wife in the street? These are NOT aveyros for crying out loud. This is precisely the sick environment which encourages the very boy who is the “house boy” for the Skverer Rebbe to run out and set fire to a house with 5 Jews inside. Of course this behaviour isn’t exclusive to one group, but understand where I am coming from. Creating this false reality is responsible for lots.


  2. there was another edition printed

    in fact, Shaalvim Yeshivah picked up the first edition and handed it out at its dinner at that time – query, whether such a Yeshivah would distribute such a book today


    1. Please don’t be so clever, yd. It’s widely known. Let’s start with this in the FIRST edition!
      Let me quote Dan Rabinowicz:

      When Mesorah Publications published a translation of R. Epstein’s MB, titled My Uncle the Netziv, it deleted certain key words.” The passage in which we learned of Rayna Batya’s scholarship [she was the Netziv’s first wife] was one of the changed passages. The original passage, for example, mentioned the various books she used and included, among others, Mishnayot and books of amada. In the English translation, these books were deleted from the list, causing much indignation in the scholarly world at this attempt to revise history.

      Shall I quote Rabbi J. J. Shechter as well?

      What are you trying to say yd, that they don’t abuse the truth? Surely you know that is simply untrue.


  3. I think it is you who is being ‘clever’ – or simply less than careful with your reading. (Un ven men nemt zich hakken oyf a tzveiten – you should first get your facts right!)

    You first wrote “When Lakewood discovered that, ה’ ירחם, the great Volozhiner Rosh Yeshiva, the Netziv z”l read the newspaper and the >>ORIGINAL ARTSCROLL EDITION<<>>hit upon the truth<<< : that the story of RaynaBatya like many other elements in MB and Torah Temima are in fact in need of serious revision."

    The edition today has teh same words as teh first one did.

    What you


    1. Art scroll, Targum, Feldheim all he same. All play the censorship blackwash game.
      Papers, Mishnah, seforim Chitzoniyim, they are all targets of blackwash

      זיל בתר טעמא


  4. Maybe. But what you wrote about Artscroll and MUTN was false.
    You want to bash them for ‘censorship blackwash’ – gezunterheit.

    But what you did. many may say was worse.

    קשוט עצמך ואח”כ קשוט אחריפ


    1. Not maybe, definitely. Their censorship is reprehensible and may well be responsible for the itinerant behavior of those who cannot survive in their asphyxiating and fake environment. They peddle שקר and you know it. You are sounding like an apologist and focussing on what really is just minutiae in context


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