Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Behind the Scenes Look at the Banning of HaGaon

It appears that at least one controversial book can not escape being criticized even after a significant passage of time. In this case, R. Dov Eliach's book the R. Elijah, Gaon of Vilna, published five years ago and, at the time, subject to some harsh criticism, is the subject of a new magazine - אמת מול שקר (Truth Against Lies) published by "the Institute for Truth and Faith." That is, the entire purpose of this magazine is to disproving and exposing alleged misstatements in R. Eliach's book.

The first issue -- see below for two excerpted pages -- contains, inter alia, the text of the various bans on the book. The editors also claim - according to the ban they reproduce - that R. Chaim Kanievsky issued a ban on the book. On the other side of this particular claim is an article which appeared in Dei'ah veDibur which states that the book was done with R. Kanievsky's approval. For an earlier discussion (circa August 2006) at the Seforim blog of the BaDaTz herem against R. Dov Eliach's HaGaon, see here; and for pictures of burning copies of HaGaon, see here. Aside from the various bans and the like, the magazine also contains examples where they attempt to show R. Eliach distorted sources or took out of context.

Additionally, I am unsure if the book is even available anymore, from my admittedly unscientific survey of Seforim stores, the book appears to be out-of-print.

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