Monday, December 07, 2009

Different messages for different people - Updated 12/7

Yonasan Rosenblum's latest column Living with the Tension, was published in 3 different venues, Cross Currents, Englinsh Mishpacha, Hebrew Mishpacha, and in each one it was changed to fit the venue.

On Cross Currents he writes

Let us take one contemporary example.
...
As the original small flock of dedicated idealists who rallied to the banner of Reb Aharon and the Chazon Ish has miraculously swelled today to an entire community of hundreds of thousands, encompassing a wide range of abilities and spiritual levels, the pendulum has begun to swing in the other direction in search of a new equilibrium.


However, in the English Mishpacha this paragraph was changed to be more nuanced. It says instead:

Let us take one contemporary example.
...
the original small flock of dedicated idealists who rallied to the banner of Reb Aharon and the Chazon Ish has miraculously swelled today to an entire community of hundreds of thousands of dedicated Bein Torah. Yet there can be no certainty that rules applied to a smaller less diverse flock can apply forever to a vastly larger public encompassing a wide range of abilities and spiritual levels.


Instead of writing that the pendulum has begun to swing he writes there can be no certainty that the rules ...

He understands that anyone reading Cross Currents knows that the shift has already started. However, the audience of the English Mishpacha is more conservative and therefore since the Gedolim haven't said that the pendulum has shifted he can't say it. Instead he needs to resort to a much more nuanced expression of "no certainty" that the system may not fit everyone. It is clear that he means the same thing but just can't say it as bluntly in the Mishpacha as he can on Cross Currents.

What is most telling is that this whole paragraph of the contemporary example is simply omitted in the Hebrew version. There simply is no example given, it just skips right to the final paragraph. It seems that in Israel you can't even suggest that Kollel only was a reaction to the Holocaust and is not simply the ideal system.

I made this point (regarding the omission in Hebrew) on Cross Currents, it will be interesting to see if he comments on it.

Update


This comment on Cross Currents shows exactly why this wasn't printed in the Hebrew edition:

Do you have backing of the Gedolei uManhigei Yisroel on your side? Did you consult with RYSE? RAYLS? RMYL? RCK? RNK? Anyone of stature?

Truth is, you can think what you want… but how can Mishpacha claim to be a chareidi magazine and print a baalebos’ opinion on a communal level without consulting with gedolim?

Shocked.

Comment by kollelguyinEY


The above commenter is an American living in Israel (who read the column in the English Mishpacha), you can just imagine what native born Israeli Charedis would say.

3 comments:

Harry Maryles said...

Great pick up on your part. Kol HaKavod!

bluke said...

I really came across this by accident. I first read the column in Hebrew without the contemporary example. Then when I was reading the English magazine I glanced at the column and saw R' Aharon Kotler, the Chazon Ish and kollel in the column. I thought to myself wait a second, I read this in Hebrew and don't remember this so I went back to the Hebrew and compared them. It was then that I realized that the hebrew simply omitted the contemporary example.

After Shabbos, I wanted to quote from the article on the blog so I figured let me look on Cross Currents, maybe he posted it there (and I could copy and paste the 2 paragraphs that I wanted instead of having to type them in from the magazine). After I read it there, I thought (again) wait a second this is a little different then what was in the Mishpacha and I got out the magazine and compared the 2 and saw the differences.

Uncle said...

Great point. I was slightly heartened by his comment. But alas courage in these areas is a very audience specific thing. Alas the article that should be written, by the the authority himself, is that the pendulum has swung too far towards hagiography in the biographies.