Monday, June 11, 2007

Honesty & ArtScroll

I noted a couple of days ago Chana's post on honesty and the past. Directly related are the following set of posts:
I've got plenty to say on the subject, but most of it has already been said. I believe that it is much wiser in the long-term to divulge both the positives and negatives of a person in a biography of them unless you're noting specifically that you're focusing on certain aspects of a person. Not only does their overcoming obstacles inspire others, but glossing over these negatives has a profound impact on how people view history and how people are supposed to and expected to act.


  1. another issue is that certain features can be seen as negative by one person and positive by someone else; familiarity with science and other 'secular' knowledge, for instance

  2. If people are going to commit lies of omission in biographies, then they should not classify the work as nonfiction. The should just call the work a novel loosely based on the life of the person presented as completely perfect, and then there will be no problem. Of course, they will all sound the same after a while. Each one will be learning 22 hours a day, interrupting only for acts of chessed that no one else thought of, etc.

    And every woman's bio would be: model of tznius who never interrupted her husband's learning even while in labor, and whose only interest in life was doing chessed. Her only reading material was Tze'na U'rena as both secular works and advanced Torah thought would be considered inappropriate for a role model.

    And there are to be no pictures of women whatsoever in the books -- even if they are the subjects of the bio. We don't want anyone to point out that they may be wearing a light color once the tznius books have declared only black and dark gray acceptable. That would require explanations of tricks of lighting or the fact that the woman was in her private garden and did not realize she would be photographed, for, in truth, she would not ever have worn a light color in public.