Correction Regarding Mendelssohn’s Biur

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Rabbi Moshe Kolodny, Archivist for Agudath Israel, alerted me to a dumb error in my piece on Mendelssohn’s Biur. I expressed surprise that R. Akiva Eiger, while voicing other objections to the Biur’s rendition of the Shema, did not criticize the translation of Hashem’s Name into “the Eternal.” Rabbi Kolodny came to the defense of Artscroll, which has steadfastly refused to translate the Tetragrammaton. He pointed out that at the bottom of the very column in Chidushei RAE on Megillah that I cited, RAE does object to translating the Shem Hashem for a number of reasons, including the fact that proper nouns shouldn’t be translated. (The paragraph does not deal directly with the Biur, but with the difficulty of generally translating berachos and tefilos/ blessings and prayers into the vernacular.)

If I had to be upstaged, at least it came at the hands of someone who makes a professional career of knowing his material.

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2 Responses

  1. lawrence kaplan says:

    Phil: Perhaps this is a an indication that, contrary to your sarcastic suggestion, some of the critics to whom you are referring only criticize –whether rightly or wrongly– when they feel they have substantive grounds for so doing.

  2. Phil says:

    Something nice was said about a rabbi connected with Agudath Israel and about Artscroll, and there are absolutely no snarky comments or ad hominem attacks by any of Cross-Currents’ readers? Are you all asleep or something? (My sarcasm is actually a lament about several of the commenters’ attitudes.)