Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I recieved an email from a gentleman, I am not sure if he wants his name used, if he does, I will be happy to give credit where credit is due. It is a page which is supposed to be from Friday's Yated in Israel, and is a ban on the books of R. Nossan Slifkin. R. Slifkin has written 8 books. his bio and web site are here. He studied at Midrash Shmuel, Mir Yeshiva, and got smicha from Ohr Somayach. He is an expert in biblical zoology. Here is in part my poor translation of the (unfortunately poorly reproduced) page:

The great rabbis are revealing their thoughts against the disqualified books that were published in english by someone who learned in yeshivot..and found new beliefs and brought in his books ..words of heresy and nonbelief..

When these books were distributed and brought to the sages who speak english..(gets too flowery here to translate accurately).. a few months ago the Gaon R. Yitchak Shiner Shlita, head of the Kamenetz yeshiva, member of the moatzot gedolei hatora, sent a letter to the Gedolim of the generation, who stand on guard for the Torah. And in it is said: " as one who speaks English, I testify that a talmid chacham who worries about the honor of the Torah showed me the books written my R. Nosson Slifkin, that the hairs on the head stand on end from what I read in it. I dont know if I was over on the prohibition not to read things that appear to be heresy...He(Slifkin) believes that the world is millions of years old..things like this, that are forbidden to be heard, and cannot be believed. and there are many other things like this. In summary, it is forbidden to bring this books into a house where there is belief in Hashem and His Torah.

On top of this letter, the Gaon Rabbi Eli Dov Vichtfoigl(sorry, cant transliterate it that well) added " also it is written that Chazal, could have been wrong Chas V'Shalom, in details of the world, and from this, Cv"S, also in halacha...and the whole book is full of total heresy. and even the things that are not total heresy, nevertheless, the reader who accepts them is destined to be a total heretic....

The publicity of the book, generated a general storm, in that the horrible hidden obstacle, in particular, that the author puts himself out as one who has Torah standing.... Those Rabbanim who gave a haskama(approbation) to the book, reversed themselves in a letter in which they explain that they gave approval to the author, in that they knew that he learned in yeshivot.. they wrote "we are deeply distressed about the book(literally obstacle to observance- michshol) that was put out under our hand, and we warn all who read this... should distance themselves from this book.. because of the danger buried within it....

further on, a quote from another rabbi. " it is forbidden to own(these books) or to publicize them, like the laws dealing with books of heresy"

It goes on. in the end it is signed by a long list of rabbis in Israel, and a bunch in the US. Lots of Roshei Yeshiva, Telz, Beit Medrash Gavoah(R. Kotler), R. David Feinstein(Yeshiva Tiferet Yerushalayim). and many others.

I think I need to read the books and figure out for myself if it is heresy or not. With an incrdible amount of respect of for the learning, erudition, Yirat Shamayim, and personal middot of all the signatories, and total disagreement with their hashkafa, they books can be found here

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