Friday, March 17, 2006

Haredi Robbers

Although we have alluded to the fact that Haredim "borrow" from others without attribution, I have come across a particularly egregious example. Here, is an article discussing the Romm Press and what became known as the Vilna Shas. Although the byline states that it was written "by Yated Ne'eman Staff" this is a wholesale reproduction of R. Shmuel Feigenshon's article on this topic. Shmuel Feigenshon (Shafan HaSofer) was the editor of the Rom press for many years. He wrote a history of the press which first appeared in part in the journal HaSofer (vol. 1 27-33 and vol. 2-3 46-57, 1954-55). It was then published in its entirety in Yahadut Lita vol. 1. 1959.

The Yated via Dei'ah veDibur, has in turn copied this word for word, including the title headings. Of course, as some of the discussion may be deemed unpalpable to it Haredi readership they skipped a couple of things and in turn this ended up conflating some of the history. And, importantly, although Safan HaSofer wrote some of the article from a first person perspective as he was intimately involved in some of the facts, the Yated has removed that. In fact, there is absolutely no mention of Shafan HaSofer at all. I assume this is because he was a bit of a Maskil and although it is fine to plagerize from a maskil his name should never escape one's lips.

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