What is so shocking about this "Improved Edition" is how minor the changes are. If we are to take R. Kamenetsky at his word and believe that he revised all of the "offending" passages, then we now have a complete record of the issues that led to his ban and most public humiliation. One would hope that in order to be called cruel and sadistic, to be accused of intentionally trying to cast doubts on the fundamental principles of faith, to be called a Rasha Aritz (a wicked tyrant), etc. (quotes are from pp. 152, 160 of Anatomy of a Ban and were not stated by Gedolim but by interested parties) one's offense would have to be exceedingly egregious. But such is not the case. The "Improved Edition" of Making of a Godol only demonstrates how minor the author's indiscretions were, if they can even be termed indiscretions. The public humiliation, the name-calling, the black-listing, the financial damage and the betrayals are entirely incommensurate with the perceived offense.If he's right, it's an even bigger shanda than before. But certainly, after the original was published, there were other passages that were singled out by the public as 'controversial,' which remain untouched in the
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Gil understands the issue of how minor the revisions are in the new edition of Making of a Godol a little differently:
revised "improved" edition, and the general implication which was deemed 'offensive' by so many at the time -- that the Gedolim learned secular studies, read secular books etc. -- is still there. Were today's "Gedolim" -- or those whispering in their ear -- not offended by these passages that others pounced on at the time, after all, but rather worried by i's that needed to be dotted, t's that needed to be crossed? It seems doubtful; I stick by my earlier explanation.
Posted by Miriam at 8:34 AM