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November 03, 2010

The Problem With Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Is The Problem With American Judaism

Rabbi_Adin_Steinsaltz Steinsaltz declares a "global day of Jewish learning" to celebrate the completion of his Aramaic to Hebrew translation of the Babylonian Talmud. But something is very wrong. What is it?

 

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's "flagship" location for this "global day of Jewish learning" is charging $40 per person ($28 with the coupon code) to participate.

This outrageous charge mimics the prices of Steinsaltz's English language translation of the Babylonian Talmud, which ran over $120 per tractate in most cases, and which was never completed.

In comparison, the same tractates in Artscroll's translation cost about $70 for the full size and signifcantly less for the smaller sizes and, in some cases, even less because Artscroll was able to do the translation in one volume, meaning the tractate cost $35 or less.

A "global day of Jewish learning" should not charge for participation let alone charge a fee that is prohibative to many.

That Steinsaltz and the 92nd Street Y don't understand this speaks volumes about the decayed state of Judaism and the people who lead it.

It must also be noted that, despite the hype, Steinsaltz did not translate the Talmud by himself.

He had a staff of rabbinic assistants for most of the project, and Steinsaltz is most properly described as the editor-in-chief and the senior translator, not as a lone genius laboring over his translations in solitude.

The more Judaism becomes a pay-to-play religion, the smaller it gets, Steinsaltz's team's admirable translations notwithstanding.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz day of learning ad

 

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You might be interested to know the JCC of Manhattan is also offering learning to celebarte Steinsaltz but e cost is free. Check their site.

A discount with a coupon....that's one hell of a metziah!

Moshiach Uber Alles!

To charge for a one time event of limited seating in Manhattan - unthinkable! For all of $40 yet!
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING!

I assume Dr. Ruth Westheimer and the guests are there for free as well.

SHOW ME THE MONEY
-Jerry Maguire

I respectfully disagree . Artscroll is a major organisation that snhors big bucks so they could afford to sell cheaper, Rabbi Adin is a one man show so he has to charge more, the consumer has a choice nowdays , if you could not afford it buy the artscroll. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is a world-renowned teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author, who has been one of jewish people's greatest assests in this generation. Rabbi Adin Steinsalt's monumental translation and commentary on the Talmud is an amazing and astonishing victory for the jewish people.

Headline should read:

The Problem With Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Is The Problem With American Judaism

The back of the dollar bill says it all "In g-d we trust" where "g-d" = the bill itself! There is a reason why they call it "tha almighty buck".

I respectfully disagree . Artscroll is a major organisation that snhors big bucks so they could afford to sell cheaper, Rabbi Adin is a one man show so he has to charge more

He is NOT a "one man show" and he is a prolific fundraiser.

The reason his English translation cost so much was because of choices he made and his publisher made, choices that proved foolish and counterproductive.

The Sex Pistols have the great song "God Save the Queen". In the song, there is a line that states 'God save the queen,'cos tourists are money'.

Between the obscene amount of money for kosher food and private jewish education for kids, one can easily substitute the words 'tourists are' for 'yiddishkeit is' and you will have summed up the sad state of modern orthodox judaism to a large degree.

Shmary: Dont compare the Apparatus that artscroll has to Adin steinsalts , and remember it costs millions to finance this, the unit sales doesnt cover the cost involved.

i am no fan in general of artscroll's hashqafa. tribute however have to be paid where due and this time it is due to Artscroll.
the celeration is baloney.
it is merely done to capture media attention -merely for 1 day and back to business- for the glorification of mr steinsaltz's inflated ego, and done on or about the lubavitch keness shluchim time to give a chance to participants to say a few good words/kneel @ the grave -they call ohel (the dwelling of the yet to die mamesh- who knows? he might decide to defy halloween and appear).
the artscroll talmud, completed before his and started long after his, is celebrated day after day by 1000's of people who study it, and celebrate siyums after siyumim.
the artscroll was done in a gemore format. the steinsaltz is in coffee table book format, often some will buy his for displaying next to cookbooks and demi moore's gymnastics books.
it was suggested by some that steisaltz did his singlehandedly. in fact, his talmud was written and edited by his own army of ghost writers along with 1 ego.
as to his reported here resignation from the sanhedrin, not only was his resignation never publicized, neither does one read about it anywhere on line. any link?

I wholeheartedly agree with Shmarya about American Judaism becoming increasingly "pay to pray."

I think it's disgusting that people who can't afford to pay for things are being left out of events and even have to be embarrassed to come to many shuls.

The saddest was I saw listed at Shlomo Carelebach's shul's website, a number of events for his Yartzeit, with charges to get in. If Shlomo Carlebach were alive, he'd have had a fit! How can they claim to be continuing his legacy?!

To yidden mit guilt< Listen this is not new , Avraham's having to buy the burial spot for his wife ... and Avraham's having to spend 400 pieces of silver an astouding amonut to buy a piece of land he would one day own anyhow? A man of true faith could achieve and will achiveve anything regardless of costs involved. In value terms 400 pieces of silvers is equal in todays money $2 million

Shmary: Dont compare the Apparatus that artscroll has to Adin steinsalts , and remember it costs millions to finance this, the unit sales doesnt cover the cost involved.

Please.

The reason his English tractates cost so much is because he and Random House made the decision to split them up into several small books rather than one or two larger ones.

Random House was a poor choice of publisher to begin with and their decisions basically killed the project.

Shmarya,, your right random house was a poor choice

And the prize for the best non-sequiter goes to:

To yidden mit guilt

*non-sequitur

/To yidden mit guilt

yeah, yeah, yeah...nice platitudes, thanks for the drash (sarcasm mode off) Seriously, get real. It is much harder to accept the nickel and dimeing of everything Jewish when you find that in order to do things "properly", that even with a nice salary, you are living practically hand to mouth each month because the biggest expenses you have - housing, food, and education are all centered around being shomer - which translates to spending above and beyond what the majority of people must contend with...

@unProfessor...non-sequitur...that is funny

Apologies for the multiple comments, but seriously Moshe aron Kestenbaum, do you ever think before you write? If you think you are giving a good name to Williamsburgers, I promise you all you are doing is making people think they are all stupid like you.

...unless, that is your intent and you're not really from Williamsburg; or you think you're being ironic.

Come to think of it, who signs their neighborhood here besides you.

Listen this is not new , Avraham's having to buy the burial spot for his wife ... and Avraham's having to spend 400 pieces of silver an astouding amonut to buy a piece of land he would one day own anyhow? A man of true faith could achieve and will achiveve anything regardless of costs involved. In value terms 400 pieces of silvers is equal in todays money $2 million

First of all, Jewish tradition sees that payment as excessive and blames the non-Jews Avraham paid for that excessive charge.

While it supports sacrifice for the sake of furthering Judaism, it does not endorse or condone those who create the need for such sacrifice.

Secondly, if we really knew exactly where Adam HaRishon and Hava were buried, how much would that plot of land be worth?

Far more than $2 million dollars.

If you use a bold tag, please unbold at the end otherwise all comments end up bold. Here's I'll try unbolding and see if it works.

Shmarya,

I have seen events in other locations that are free. I am not sure that R. Steinsaltz had any role in setting prices for the event at the 92nd St Y.

I find the price for the Steinsaltz talmud in English steep, but in line with other books of that size, content depth, and typographical complexity. Why are you assuming that his prices could have been much lower?

test

Why are you assuming that his prices could have been much lower?

Several reasons, first among them his competition.

Second being the mistakes I described above.

Third being that, unlike normal books his translation is a SERIES and, as such, means that many buyers will buy multiple volumes or even whole sets.

This drops the cost of marketing and it increases sales. And that should have translated into lower costs and lower price points.

It did not because of the errors Random House made, and the errors in judgment and the lack of concern shown by Steinsaltz.

@MAK...You might well be right about Abraham over paying for Sarah's burial place, but:

1. He didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars for Jimmy Choo shoes.
2. He didn't have to buy a new Maybach for $400,000 (I was going to say Veyron, but they are well over $2M)
3. He never had to buy a new computer
4. He didn't have to pay $10 - 15K to bury her (unless in the DC area or somewhere else with a Funeral Practices contract)
5. Etc.

My point is that you may be able to use inflation #s to make a parallel between value in another time and now, but you simply cannot make valid comparisons.

As to Steinsaltz' Talmud price, but, the value of any physical object or event is quite simply in the eye of the beholder. No one is obligated to pay. If you are interested in the intellectual content (and that is another piece of today's puzzle) of the event, my guess is that it will be available, at a much lower price, on line.

Much of these prices are the product of the bragging rights of being able to say that you were there.

Also, publishing, itself is undergoing a revolution. Let's remember that this conversation is all a series of 1s & 0s. It won't be long until you can simply say: I want to buy the Steinsaltz Talmud, purchase the electronic copy at a much reduced price and print it yourself, or have it sent to Kinko's and have them print and bind, at a much lower price.

Welcome to the future.

WAH! WAH! WAH! - THE BIG CRY BABY IS AT IT AGAIN. HE WOULD LOVE TO GO - BUT CAN NOT AFFORD IT AS HE HAS NO JOB WORKING IN THE BASEMENT OF HIS MOM

does anyone have the translation and explanation from steinsaltz for masechta shabbos 152a where women are described as being sacks of sh-t ? TIA

the concept of pay to play for religion is not unexpected. it is a diversion from reality much like a movie or a play and people are willing to pay for this. and as opposed to the entertainment value of a good piece of fiction or fantasy, they actually believe this story.

Are all of you communists? If you don't want to pay don't go! Go to the free learning at the JCC on the West side. This is America, Scotty and the free market rules! Go to Israel if you don't like it!

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is entitled to earn a living from his work. When the Temple was standing every Jew had to make a contribution. The priestly hierarchy was accepted by the people. The issue now is whether or not Jews would put their hands in their pockets for Messianic Government and a future Third Temple.

I called up The Aleph Society which oversees R. Steinsaltz's activiites in the US and they said that the Y is running its own program for Global Jewish Learning Day. it is one of their scheduled lecture series, hence the fee--from the Y and no one else.

I called up The Aleph Society which oversees R. Steinsaltz's activiites in the US and they said that the Y is running its own program for Global Jewish Learning Day. it is one of their scheduled lecture series, hence the fee--from the Y and no one else.

1. It could not charge $40 without the personal approval of Steinsaltz.

2. If Steinsaltz doesn't approve of the charge, he is mandated to say so publicly.

Your transparent attempts to alibi for him are very apparent.

Each Global Day of Learning is locally organized and run. Rav Steinsaltz does not set guidelines for each site. If this group wants to charge $40 then they can. He has nothing to do with that.
In addition, the higher cost per tractate for the English Steinsaltz was because each tractate was several volumes long. The per volume cost was similar to Artscroll's per volume cost. And at any rate, the market dealt with that. Rav Steinsaltz' volumes are no longer in print. Happy now?
You're very good at making false accusations, you know.

WAH! WAH! WAH! - THE BIG CRY BABY IS AT IT AGAIN. HE WOULD LOVE TO GO - BUT CAN NOT AFFORD IT AS HE HAS NO JOB WORKING IN THE BASEMENT OF HIS MOM

1. I don't live in NYC or the Tri-State area.

2. I don't and never did live in my mother's basement.

Jerk.

What exactly is the issue here? If you think it costs too much, don't go. It's an event in NYC that can only admit a limited number of people. Why do you think (and how) events should be provided for free? TANSTAAFL

I dont know...but i would think...that they just did a poor job in designing the flyer for the event...i would imagine the $ is to offset any breakfast, lunch or other costs associated with the event. no?

He has nothing to do with that.

The Y advertises itself as the "flagship" location for this "global day of Jewish learning," which strongly indicates special status approved by Steinsaltz.

To pretend otherwise is, frankly, ridiculous.

the higher cost per tractate for the English Steinsaltz was because each tractate was several volumes long. The per volume cost was similar to Artscroll's per volume cost.

I make that point several times above, yet you act as if you have discovered a novel fact.

But you have not.

Past that, Steinsaltz's much smaller volumes were significantly more expensive – until discontinued and sold on remainders – than Artscroll's larger, more complete volumes.

So your argument, such that it is, doesn't hold up.

You're very good at making false accusations, you know.

As I just clearly showed, you're very good at ignoring facts that prove you wrong.

I dont know...but i would think...that they just did a poor job in designing the flyer for the event...i would imagine the $ is to offset any breakfast, lunch or other costs associated with the event. no?

No.

T unproffesor. listen if you cant afford NY then move to Philadelphia or Minneapolis, Minnesota. or Dallas Tex or Houston or how about Cleveland OH where you could get homes for next to nothing. Hey where does it say that you have to live in NY? Why live in NY and pay half your earnings on housing, when you could live in Ohio and pay only 10% for housing and keep 90% of earnings for discrectional spending? All of these places have jewish schools , good schools, its time to pack bags and move out of NY state for good , Its a rat hole anyways , Its way to expensive , Its time to be brave and stop this nonsense.

GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.

First and foremost RabbI Steinshmaltz is a superb self promoter, businessman par excellence and uber shyster.

With all the competition out there he time and again defies the odds by racking in big bucks laughing all the way to the bank.


Is he a criminal....NO.
Is he a convict.....No.
Is he a embezzler...No.

The fact that he can work the system to the tune of $120.00/translated tractate while avoiding criminal prosecution and then somehow managing to get same suckers to line up and pay $40.00 to listen to all the shit that comes out of his mouth is pure GENIUS.

If he had more customers like me he would not have the time and energy for a Global Day Of Jewish Leaning after spending his waking hours collecting wine bottles and beer cans at the side of the for a living.

Moshiach Uber Alles.

Posted by: Moshe aron kestenbaum, Williamsburg ODA | November 03, 2010 at 04:50 PM

The housing is cheaper in some of those places but the salaries are much lower, as well.

And in Minneapolis, it costs a lot of money to live near the shuls. The housing is much more expensive than elsewhere.

Moving to cheaper locations works for people with a large amount of home equity and a profession that pays very well, no matter where you are.

For everyone else, it usually doesn't work.

Shmarya, Just today I gave a pat down to a guy that is over 40 with a house full of kids and he lives on a big part on the support of his elderly parents, I told him why live in williamsburg and pay $3500 just for rent ? Move out of this place And I called him a "Naval B'rshut HaTorah" and I told him the Ramban and the story in the gemara of raba bar chane I am reeating it here for all you gavons who cling to this notion that ONLY IN NY you could be a good jew,, YOU HAVE TO HAVE SECHAL IN EVERYTHING YOU DO. The Ramban posits that it is entirely possible for a person to be 100 percent observant, keeping all the mitzvot and yet in the famous immortal phrase, he can be a "Naval B'rshut HaTorah" he can be a repulsive, disgusting individual within the confines of the law. It is not enough just to obey the law. One must go beyond the law and embrace the ethical imperatives that are within that legal structure. This is the concept of going "Lifnim Mishurat HaDin" going beyond the law, not just confining oneself to the law.

Let me give you a story which illustrates how this works in the business context. There was a rabbi, Rabba Bar Chanah who once hired workmen to transport barrels of wine for him. They were negligent and as a result, the barrels of wine broke and this man incurred a severe financial loss. He took the workers to court, suing them for the value of the wine that was destroyed and the workers' only defense was, "You know, we can't afford it. We don't have the money. What are you going to do about it?" So the courts found in favor of the workers. So, Rabba Bar Chanah questioned the court and said, "Is this the law? Is it not the law that I am entitled to recover for their negligence?" And the court told him, "For you, this is the law. You are a righteous person and because you are a righteous person, you have to take into account the equities of the situation, the unfairness, the fact that these are people who need the money, etc., and, therefore, you are compelled by virtue of your righteous status to go beyond pressing your exact legal rights." Well then, and perhaps this is an ancient example of chutzpah, they turned around and sued him for their wages. They said, "Well, wait a second, you didn't pay us our wages for that day." So, he was dumbfounded. He said, "Okay, it's one thing to say I can't recover from you but are you going to recover from me when you broke my wine because of your negligence?" Astoundingly, the court said, "Yes! That's a good idea. You have to pay." And, once again, he asked, "Is this the law?" And they told him, "For you, that's the law. These are people who need the money and therefore, you must go beyond the law."


For four times that, one can get a GOOD seat at a Yankee game. That's no bargain, but I'd rather pay $160 to watch A-Rod hit a couple out than $40 for Steinsalz to put me to sleep.

Posted by: Moshe aron kestenbaum, Williamsburg ODA | November 03, 2010 at 05:07 PM

None of this changes the facts as I posted them.

Shmarya what is the concept of serving God with all of your possessions? Certainly, God does not require us to take oaths of poverty. God does not require us to renounce material wealth. So, how does one serve God with all of his possessions?
The short answer is: with the probity and integrity by which we amass those possessions. If your living off the government, or off your elderly parents then your life is shallow, your whole derech in life is screwd. Its time to move to a place where your could live on your own.

Adam: "The issue now is whether or not Jews would put their hands in their pockets for Messianic Government and a future Third Temple."

Hell no! I won't pay for any government that is not a representational democracy. I certainly won't pay for a corrupt preisthood that is determined by "yichus". And I certainly won't pay for animal sacrifices, idolatry, and other narishkeit.

Shmarya, I would think that english translations of the religious texts would serve to make it more open to the people, not less open.

Both translations suck. Get a copy of Professor Jastrow's dictionary and make your won translation

Moshe Aron, I enjoy your perspectives and insights.


unProfessor, you will note that 'AE Anderson' also includes his location when he signs a post.

To Danny,

How much would you pay for the following :

(1) Proof of the existence of G-d.
(2) An explanation of the Thirteen Articles of Faith.
(3) A feasible plan to get the Third Temple built by 2050.
(4) Proof that violence is not innate.
(5) A feasible plan for World Government.
(6) A workable plan for World Peace by 2050.
(7) The elimination of disease and cancer on the Planet.

How much would you pay for the following :

(1) Proof of the existence of G-d.
(2) An explanation of the Thirteen Articles of Faith.
(3) A feasible plan to get the Third Temple built by 2050.
(4) Proof that violence is not innate.
(5) A feasible plan for World Government.
(6) A workable plan for World Peace by 2050.
(7) The elimination of disease and cancer on the Planet.

I'd pay nothing for 1, 3, 5 and 6 because they take God's direct and open involvement, and he doesn't charge.

7 can be done by science and, as such, should be support by all of us.

4 has no real value.

2 is ridiculous.

And you are clearly off your meds.

Thanks for the kind response.

You might have helped me make a decision. But I always defer to G-d when making a big decision. He has been my trusted guide all throughout life, but I like bouncing ideas of people. I may just set up my website very soon. It was originally launched back in April 2000 but I've become wiser since then. There is a correct time for everything. This verbalizing is the second stage to the creative process. The actualizing is next.

And again, last night I smoked three cigarettes and drank two alcoholic ciders. I do not take any recreational drugs. Last aspirin was months ago, and I walk 16 kms three or four times a week along the beachside.

Cheap shots are boring.

"A "global day of Jewish learning" should not charge for participation let alone charge a fee that is prohibative to many."

Speak for yourself dude. Those of us that are gainfully employed, even if not rich, don't find $28 or even $40 to be prohibitive. Of course, I wouldn't attend this even even if there were no cover charge, so I'm certainly not about to fork over $28 bucks just to do something I don't want to do.

A Global Day of Jewish Learning at the JCC
Join with Jewish communities all over the world in celebrating the remarkable achievement of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz who is completing his 45 year, 45 volume project of translating the Talmud. We present nine exceptional teachers, each presenting a Talmudic text: Rabbi Saul Berman,Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses, Rabbi Dr. Judith Hauptman, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Ruby Namdar, Rabbi Michael Paley, Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, Dr. Devora Steinmetz and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld. The afternoon includes three sessions, each featuring three presenters. For information about times and topics click here. Registration is for the entire event; space permitting, you are free to choose the sessions to attend! Co-sponsored by Mechon Hadar.

See above Scotty- there is free learning in NYC. Since you live in the midwest sticks you probably don't know the the 92nd street Y is a big money place so they charge. So what! I'd rather hear Saul Berman anyday and for free at the JCC in manhattan. Steinsaltz is a lousy speaker and definitely not worth the cash.

Amazing that Shmarya and all the Haredi Gedolim are on the same page in opposition to Steinzaltz!
Who would've thunk!
Moshiach uber alles!

The real problem with Steinsaltz is that he was a follower and personal friend of the Rebbe hence earning him eternal ridicule by the originator of this blog.

Some things one just should not have to pay for, especially in relation spiritual/religious content. Then again, maybe if the price was $10-15, then it would be more pratical. I have to agree with Shmarya: way too many Jewish events have astronomical costs! Sorry to say but you do not see this type of phenomenom within Christianity and Islam.

Amazing that Shmarya and all the Haredi Gedolim are on the same page in opposition to Steinzaltz!
Who would've thunk!

How are we on the same page?

I don't object to Steinsaltz's translation. I only object to the way he handled it's English language version and his apparent lack of concern for Jews who can't pay astronomical prices for his books or his lectures.

And, I should add, his association with the nutjobs on the "Sanhedrin."

Shmarya what is the concept of serving God with all of your possessions? Certainly, God does not require us to take oaths of poverty. God does not require us to renounce material wealth. So, how does one serve God with all of his possessions?
The short answer is: with the probity and integrity by which we amass those possessions. If your living off the government, or off your elderly parents then your life is shallow, your whole derech in life is screwd. Its time to move to a place where your could live on your own.

First of all, for most people there is no such place to move to.

Secondly, your understanding of the concept is flawed.

It means you do the best you can with what you have, that you use whatever you have to do God's will.

For a rich person that may mean million dollar donations.

For a poor person it might mean saying a kind word to someone.

At any rate, I find it hard to believe that the theology you represent was taught to you by a rabbi.

Shmarya,
Ease up - I was just pointing out a seemingly funny irony

Your blog all too often crosses the line from genuine investigative journalism to cynicism and mean-spiritedness. How sad that you are discouraging people from joining one of today's most remarkable Jewish scholars as he rightly celebrates the end of a monumental project that has opened up Talmud study to so many.

Here's a headline: Stuff costs money.

Whether it's a hall or publicity or flying in speakers, someone has to pay for the things that go into creating an event.

Sure, in an ideal world, there would be enough money in the Jewish community to sponsor all events so that attendance could be free. But in case you haven't noticed, we are in the depths of a recession. Right now, there isn't even enough money to pay day school teachers.

(7) The elimination of disease and cancer on the Planet.

...last night I smoked three cigarettes and drank two alcoholic ciders.

Adam Neira -

No offense, but, you might want to start eliminating disease and cancer from the Planet by starting with yourself. Smoking and drinking seem to be a bit disingenuous with your planetary goals.

Moshe Aron K -

Where in the Gemara is that story with Rabba Bar Chanah? I want to source it.

Thanks.

At any rate, I find it hard to believe that the theology you represent was taught to you by a rabbi. Shmarya. I am a satmar chosid. My Rebbi was the satmar rebbi Reb yolish Teitelbaum A/H He was a zadik and holy man who gave away every penny he had every day before he went to sleep, people used to give him loads of money but it never overnighted by him . He was the optimum of chesed in a confusing and unfair world, The rebuilding he did after the destruction of the terrible losses klal yisroel had after the Holocaust is monumental, He died pennyless by choice, He died with a heavy heart that he didnt do enough for klal yisroel. Shmarya that was my rebbi and I am his proud disciple.

Shmarya,

I respectfully disagree with your position.

Steinsaltz may have made poor choices with regard to the publishing company chosen and other choices along the way which added to the per volume cost of the Talmuds. But at this point, there is nothing to do about it except to raise more funds to defray the cost. Even as a good fundraiser, he clearly did not raise enough and now needs to charge $120 per volume as a result. He knows ArtScroll Gemaras cost 1/3 of the price, and from a marketing standpoint it is not wise to charge 3 times the cost of the competition. He clearly has no choice AT THIS POINT.

95% of the cost of the ArtScroll Gemaras are covered by contributions by people with BIG BIG BUCKS (just open up and read the first few pages to see their names) including the Schottenstein family in whose name the ENTIRE Gemara series is named for - ArtScroll calls their Gemaras: "The Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud" which is on EACH volume. The Schottenstein family surely stood behind it and picked up fundraising shortfalls.

Steinsaltz simply did not raise enough funds to cover costs and is now stuck with selling the volumes at higher costs. The result will be a loss of sales.

In terms of what they're charging for the event - this will affect very few people. And it's possible that the entire event will be recorded and then viewable online afterwards for those who want to hear the speakers. The bigger issue is the per volume cost of the books, which is a mistake that could have been averted with more fundraising. The result will be loss of income due to fewer sales.

Moshe Aron K -

Where in the Gemara is that story with Rabba Bar Chanah? I want to source it.

shmarya look it up I think its in baba batra daf 74 I am holed up now in a hotel room in Hong Kong I cant check it now

The 92nd St Y always charges a nice fee for entrance to their events. Check out any of their speakers and you'll see a similar price: http://www.92y.org/shop/category.asp?category=Lectures+and+Conversations888All+Lectures888.
For a full day event, this is not at all abnormal.

The problem with Steinsaltz is the fact that in style he copies the group he has afiliated with namely Chabad.
Like Chabad publicity is very important if not the key of all their work.Secondly fund raising is also the key. The actual activity of learning or Jewing is not that critical. Thus we have his new - day of learning . The main speakers Kushner Dr. Ruth and Waskow could not understand a few lines of Talmud even in translation.
But whats more important is that except for the Orthodox community few in the other Jewish groups have a seriousness about Judaism.This excepts thsoe making a living off Judaism like the clergy and Judaic studies faculty .
Dr.Judah Magnes was rabbi of Temple Emannuel in NYC and resigned. He said that he saw the future with those Jews who were serious about their Judaism.
Rabbi S because of his PR interest has become the creature of those Jews who are into the fluff of Judiasm like Dr. Ruth and Water-Waskow etc rather than allign himself with those who are serious but less PR oriented.No doubt that S deserves much credit for his translations especially the Hebrew one which ahd a powerful impact on Israeli society.

@Mr. Apikoros. Sorry, you're wrong. A really good seat at the new Yankee Stadium is over 60 times what this event will cost.

BTW, I'd much rather pay my $20 and see Zimm make spectacular plays.

I got excellent seats, on the 3rd base side, about 10 rows back, for $160 each on Stubhub. This was against Tampa Bay.

So I guess it depends upon what your definition of "good" seats are.

"The 92nd Street Y always charges a nice fee for entrance to their events."

True. The standard admission price is $28. But they piss me off sometimes.

Example: Last year, my wife and I went to hear Michael Steinhardt talk. We reserved about a month in advance, and got the best seats in the house, 4th row center in the main auditorium.

But they also booked, I believe, Desi Arnaz' daughter the same day. It ended up that those paying to see Steinhardt (not a pretty sight, BTW) waited about 20 minutes in line, and then were shepherded upstairs, and told to take any available seat. This really got my Jewish up, as by the time we were seated, the only seats were in the back of the room off to the side.

At the talk itself, Steinhardt, an avowed atheist, said he'd "believe" in God if he were allowed to "wrestle" with Him.

That I'd pay big bucks to see. It would, of course, be a heavyweight bout.

In my opinion, the most accurate traslation of Sha'as is the Soncino. However, the format is almost as hard to follow as the Judeo-Aramaic short hand of the original.

Your blog all too often crosses the line from genuine investigative journalism to cynicism and mean-spiritedness. How sad that you are discouraging people from joining one of today's most remarkable Jewish scholars as he rightly celebrates the end of a monumental project that has opened up Talmud study to so many.

I don't think it is mean-spirited to point out that Steinsaltz's "flagship" event is priced high enough to exclude a lot of potential attendees, or that his English language translation was similarly overpriced.

I know Steinsaltz and I know what he thinks about Americans.

We're good for our money but not much else.

And that is the sad truth.

@Mr. A...

Just kidding. Nats fan, here. Before the New Yankee Stadium opened up, I heard someone sitting near me at Nats park complaining about seat prices. When I told him what the 1st row seats, behind the plate, in the Bronx were going to cost, he asked what "extras" they included.

Personally, I'm behind LH Batters' box 3rd deck. Under $500 for 21 games.

BTW, how do you deal with Sephardic L.H. pitchers who can't find the strike zone?

So basically this event will be like everything else Steinsaltz has done meaning nobody will show any interest.

The reason Artscroll is cheaper is because it's bought en masse which is not and probably will never be the case with Steinsaltz. I also somehow doubt that he raises the kind of money that Artscroll does. Steinsaltz is a single project to which he has dedicated his life whereas Artscroll is a money spinning business. They would publish an Artscroll sefer torah with approbations of the world's gedoilim if they thought they could get away with it.

Some books are better bound, compiled and written so they cost more. Big deal. It’s called capitalism. An audience with Moses when he was in form was worth more than the bloke selling paddles.

Moshe aron kestenbaum, Williamsburg ODA writes:

I am a satmar chosid. My Rebbi was the satmar rebbi Reb yolish Teitelbaum A/H

Although non Satmars, and especially Lubavitchers call him "Reb Yoilish," he was never called that way in Hungarian circles, and definitely not by Satmars, who see it as a disrespectful way of referring to him. They usually call him "the (old) Satmar Rov," or "Reb YOEL Teitelbaum," never "Yolish."

He also writes in an earlier post:
And I called him a "Naval B'rshut HaTorah"

What Satmar, and especially a talmid of the Satmar Rov writes Hebrew with the "Zionist" pronunciation?!

Furthermore, his usage of English, although deliberately and carelessly poor, is not in the style of Satmars at all.

Conclusion: "Moshe aron kestenbaum, Williamsburg ODA" is not Satmar, and just gets a kick out of appearing like a moron and calling himself Satmar.

STEINSALTZ PROBLEMS ARE BIGGER!!!
Just look at his buddies and from whom he gets money:
.............
Twelfth Annual Aleph Society Dinner
“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”:
James D. Wolfensohn and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Hold Spirited Dialogue at 12th Annual Aleph Society Dinner
Former World Bank President and Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement
chaired event, offered perspective on poverty and world responsibility
[the link on his site is no longer working.]
--------------
WOLFIE'S WIFE IS GUESS WHAT? - ON STEIN'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS!!
http://www.steinsaltz.org/Board_of_Directors_USA.php
Elaine Wolfensohn
Senior Vice President
-----------
RE: "Sanhedrin-not" - ya he is still there.

Artscroll is a money spinning business. They would publish an Artscroll sefer torah with approbations of the world's gedoilim if they thought they could get away with it.

You got that right!

ArtScroll would even publish the "New Testament" if they thought they could get away with it.

ArtScroll would even publish the "New Testament" if they thought they could get away with it. ?????
Abracadabra

Why do u say that, Abracadabra ? You may disagree with their hashqafa -as I do- but what evidence you have to your claim?

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