Sunday, March 18, 2012

Megillat Sefer Translation: A Review By Pini Dunner

Megillat Sefer Translation: A Review
By Pini Dunner
Rabbi Pini Dunner is a scion of one of Europe’s preeminent rabbinic families. He studied at various yeshivot and then graduated University College London with a degree in Jewish History. Best known as the founding rabbi of the trailblazing Saatchi Synagogue in London’s West End, he is also a prominent collector of, and expert on, antiquarian Hebrew books and manuscripts, and is frequently consulted by libraries, book dealers, and private collectors. In Summer 2011, Rabbi Dunner was appointed Mashgiach Ruchani of the prestigious YULA High School in Los Angeles, where he now resides with his wife and 6 children.
One of the most prolific rabbinic authors of the eighteenth-century, who saw many of his many written works published during his own lifetime, was Rabbi Jacob Emden (1697-1776). Rabbinic scholar and polemicist are probably the two most common descriptions used with reference to this enigmatic scholar. However neither description does justice to a man who was a unique polymath of distinguished descent, and who for many decades of the eighteenth-century was of considerable influence well beyond his own circle of friends and supporters.

R. Emden wrote and published novellae and responsa, the majority of which were original in their construction and in the topics they addressed. He wrote extensively, almost comprehensively, on the laws and customs relating to Jewish liturgy and the duty of prayer. He engaged in literary criticism and scientific enquiry in his published works in a way that sets him apart from his contemporaries, and this element of his output remains to this day remarkable in both originality and boldness. His polemics with crypto-Sabbateans – most famously with his nemesis Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschuetz – and with the purveyors or promoters of what R. Emden perceived as a threat to the integrity of Jewish tradition were unyielding in their vehemence, his words cutting like a knife through the humbug of his opponents. And yet, in other instances, R. Emden was a compromiser, open to change and ready to innovate, often in ways that left his contemporaries astounded, and leaves us to wonder what he was all about. All in all his publications reveal a man of many facets, whose brilliance and self-assuredness come across in every page, and whose long-term mark on the development of Judaism must have already been evident in his lifetime, but which remains equally evident to this day.

One book that was not published during R. Emden’s lifetime was his autobiography. Discovered in manuscript at the Bodleian Library in Oxford in the late nineteenth century, it appeared in print for the first time more than 120 years after his death, and then again, in a variant edition, some 80 years later. For those who may have been, or may be, intrigued by the unique personality of R. Emden, his autobiography is an absolute revelation. Candid and brutally honest, about himself as well as about his interlocutors, it opens a door into the life of this rabbi that no other rabbinic autobiography ever has for any other rabbi in history.

Until now, this memoir, entitled Megillat Sefer, has remained somewhat inaccessible to those who are unfamiliar with rabbinic Hebrew [or French - ed.] In particular, R. Emden was fond of using verses from the Bible, or quotes from the Talmud, to illustrate a point in his narrative, and those unfamiliar with either of these two sources in their original Hebrew or Aramaic would struggle with these references and not get the point, or might simply lose the thread of the narrative in question. In general the Hebrew used in Megillat Sefer was of an advanced vocabulary and style, written as it was by a master of Hebrew grammar. So when I heard last year that a translation of Megillat Sefer into English had been finally published I rushed out to get it as soon as I could. The translation project was originally undertaken by Rabbi Dr. Sidney Leperer (1923-1996), Professor of History and Talmud at Jews’ College in London, and following his death, carried forward by his devoted student Rabbi Dr. Meir Wise of London. The book itself is a one-off vanity publication and, sadly, it falls very short of being a useful contribution to the range of academic literature relating to R. Jacob Emden. (It may be purchased in soft-cover here, or hard-cover here - ed.).

The style of the translation is somewhat stiff, in places almost unreadable. Leperer and Wise – who it is asserted used the original Oxford manuscript as the basis for the translation – chose, it would seem, to stick as closely as possible to the original Hebrew when rendering the narrative into English. This does not serve the narrative well, although the narrative, it has to be said, is absorbing enough to overcome any such impediment, except perhaps to the most casual of readers. Each biblical or talmudic reference cited by the author is identified by the translators in brackets within the text of the narrative, and the translators also chose to transliterate all the Hebrew quoted by Emden into English characters. There is very little by way of introduction, and only the first 3 chapters (of 12, and it should be noted that the final 9 chapters consist of 85% of the total autobiography) have endnotes, and these are not very detailed or deeply researched. The publisher’s introduction (penned by Rabbi Wise?) notes that ‘due to its inherent incompleteness this translation is not intended to be an exhaustive academic work, and readers are encouraged to consult other sources for further research on Rabbi Emden and his life’ (p5). Later on he adds: ‘In this edition, no indexes of sources, places and people appears. Readers are encouraged to consult the Bick edition for such information. While a glossary is included in [sic.] the end of the work which explains some of the terminology, it is not intended to be an exhaustive reference’ (p7).

There are too many petty errors in the translation narrative and annotations to cite in a short review such as this, many of them resulting from the choice made by the translators of which transcript to use, about which more below. It would be a pity however not to share some of them, just so that readers of this review can get some sense of the sloppiness of this work. Some typical misreadings include the following:

p. 30, 6 lines from bottom: Uban [read: Ofen] [Strangely, the translator got it right on p. 35, l. 4.]

p. 34, last paragraph, l. 5: The Gaon Ba'al Sha'ar Ephraim [Actually, the reference is to R. Heschel]

p. 41, l. 3: Rabbi Yaakov Reischer [Actually, the reference is to R. Wolf, Av Bet Din of Bohemia]

p. 51, 3 lines from bottom: a certain R... who could [This is censorship in 2011. The original reads: R. Ber Cohen.

p. 60: line 5: Rabbi M. Bron [The Hebrew should be deciphered : R. Mendel ben R. Natan]

p. 92, last line: Rabbi Wolfe Merles [read: Mirels].

p. 107, l. 10: who then presided over... [The Hebrew reads: who now presides over]

p. 114 , 9 lines from bottom: Israel Pirshut [read: Israel Furst]

p. 161, 10 line from bottom: Popros [read: Poppers]

p. 165, l. 15: My eldest son, Shai [ Here, according to the translation, R. Yaakov Emden's eldest son was called Shai. Actually, R. Yaakov Emden's eldest son was R. Meir, later rabbi of Konstantin. Indeed, R. Yaakov Emden never had a son named Shai. The translator read the abbreviated form of שיחיה as the name Shai !

What a pity that a work of such significance was published before it had been properly completed. What a disservice to Rabbi Leperer’s memory! This distinguished teacher, who spent decades turning British novice rabbis into professional, scholarly rabbinic leaders, has seen his life’s work turned into an incomplete, poorly edited book which, since it was not published by an international academic publisher (understandably!), is destined to complete obscurity and irrelevance.

As if this is not enough of an indignity, the transcript of the original memoir used as the foundation for the translation is so flawed, that no scholar of Emden takes it seriously. In the introduction (p.6) the publisher/translator informs the reader that: ‘….the [Bodleian] manuscript was used as a primary source for the translation, with the Bick edition used as a secondary. The Kahana edition was used for comparison purposes only, due to its inherent unreliability’. In a footnote the publisher/translator adds that in the introduction to the Bick edition ‘multiple examples are cited of how the Kahana edition embellished certain matters, omitted others and made up some as well’.

The claim that the original Bodleian manuscript was used is too ridiculous to refute, as it is patently untrue. Clearly the source for this translation is the Bick edition. This decision to rely on the Bick edition of Megillat Sefer, on the basis of Bick’s introduction to his version, is so puzzling as to put into question the depth, if any, of Rabbi Wise’s (and Rabbi Leperer’s?) knowledge of contemporary academic research and opinion regarding Rabbi Emden, and in particular his autobiography.

The most noted contemporary expert on the life of Rabbi Jacob Emden is undoubtedly Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, whose Harvard PhD dissertation was entitled ‘Rabbi Jacob Emden: Life and Major Works’, and is about as comprehensive a treatment of Rabbi Emden’s life as has ever been written. Furthermore, he is in the process of preparing a full-blown academic, critical treatment of Megillat Sefer, to be published by Merkaz Zalman Shazar in Jerusalem, based on years of research and a comprehensive knowledge of everything ever written by and about his protagonist.

In the late 1990s, Schacter wrote an article for the jubilee festschrift honouring his teacher Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1932-2009), entitled “History and Memory of Self: The Autobiography of Rabbi Jacob Emden.” The article quotes from and refers liberally throughout to Megillat Sefer, as might be expected, and in a footnote comments as follows:
“Throughout this essay, I refer to the Warsaw, 1896, edition of Megillat Sefer edited by David Kahane even though it is not a fully accurate transcription of the [Bodleian] manuscript (which itself is only a copy of the original). Acknowledging and claiming to correct some of the mistakes to the Kahane edition, Abraham Bick-Shauli reprinted Megillat Sefer in Jerusalem, 1979, but his version is much worse than Kahane’s. He recklessly and irresponsibly added to or deleted from the text, switched its order, and was generally inexcusably sloppy. As a result, his edition is absolutely and totally worthless.”
In a much more recent article, “Sefer Megillat Sefer,” penned by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Goldstein of Kiryas Joel for the Etz Hayim journal published by the Bobov Hasidim, the same sentiment of disdain for Bick’s edition is expressed, this time in the main text of the article:
‘In the year 5657 (1896) the book [Megillat Sefer] was published in full for the first time in Warsaw by David Kahane, based on the aforementioned [Bodleian] manuscript. He [Kahane] omitted anything that he believed appeared twice in R. Emden’s text, [in terms of] narrative text and subjects, as he explained in his introduction: “I found it necessary to omit any repetition so that his [R. Emden’s] words should not be burdensome for the reader, and I have indicated any such omission in the body of the narrative text itself.” Notwithstanding this admission, his work is defective through [both] inclusion and omission. The latest version is that of Bick-Shauli, the last person to publish the book [Megillat Sefer] (Jerusalem, 5739), who besides for including all the errors of David Kahane[’s edition], added insult to injury and was fraudulent in his work, brazenly including things which do not appear at all in the [Bodleian] manuscript, and it is therefore not possible to rely on this edition at all.’
Another contemporary scholar who has written extensively on the Emden-Eybeschuetz controversy is the frequent contributor to the Seforim Blog, Professor Shnayer Z. Leiman. When he was shown the introduction to this new translation of Megillat Sefer by the editors of the Seforim Blog he responded by email as follows:
“Alas, the pages you sent suffice to indicate that the editors did not act wisely. Bik’s edition is an unmitigated disaster. He inserted materials that appear nowhere in the one extant manuscript, and skewed the remainder of the text beyond repair. Kahana’s edition is infinitely superior, though not without error. If anything, the editors should have relied only on the manuscript, and when in doubt, consulted Kahana. Relying on Bik is like relying on R. Shlomo Yehuda Friedlander for establishing the correct text of a Yerushalmi passage, or like asking R. Yaakov Emden for a letter of recommendation on behalf of R. Yonasan Eibeshuetz. Why didn’t the editors consult someone who knows something about Megillat Sefer, like Jacob J. Schacter?”
A very good question indeed, and one that is more rhetorical than worthy of further investigation or discussion.

Finally, this month, a new edition of Megillat Sefer has been published in the original Hebrew, with extensive annotations by the noted Emden scholar, R. Avraham Yakov Bombach. He is scathing about the Bick edition, about which he writes (p.3, my translation from the Hebrew):
“In [1979] a new edition of Megillat Sefer was published in Jerusalem by R. Abraham Bick-Shauli….This edition is absolutely terrible. It contains numerous omissions and errors. Not only was he sloppy in transcribing the original manuscript, but he also added pieces from his own imagination as if they were written by [Emden].”
Despite these considerable – and frankly unforgivable! - drawbacks, the new translation is a nonetheless interesting addition to the copious published literature concerning R. Emden. As a result of the publisher’s desire for the book to be taken seriously as a full translation, he has deliberately not edited out any embarrassing passages. Incidents which could be deemed controversial by the familiar array of orthodox propagandists and publicists, and perhaps even rather unseemly to those less inclined to hagiography as a literary desideratum, are candidly recounted through this translation into the English vernacular, and are not airbrushed out of the narrative as they might have been in other hands. Countless references to R. Emden’s personal health and unflattering illnesses appear in the text (e.g. p. 123), as does the episode of his unfulfilled marriage hopes to the daughter of a German lay leader known as R. Leib of Emden, following his father’s unequivocal rejection of the match (pp.125-126).

The notorious episode in the narrative where R. Emden overcame his passion for a female cousin appears in full (pp. 162-163), an excerpt of which reads as follows:
‘In Prague I experienced a challenge similar to that of the (Biblical) saintly Joseph, in fact mine was somewhat more challenging. I was then a passionate young individual who had been separated from his spouse for a considerable period. I therefore longed for female company which I had the opportunity of fulfilling in the person of a lovely young lady viz. my cousin, who kept me company and who was audacious enough to evince a special affection for me, in fact she almost embraced me. Indeed when I was resting in my bed she came to see if I was well covered, in other words, she wanted me to embrace her. Had I yielded to my baser instinct she would not have denied me anything. On several occasions I almost succumbed, just as a flame is attracted to stubble, but the Almighty granted me strong willpower as well as an abundance of dignity and courage (cf.Gen.49:3) to prevail over my burning passion.’
The translation retains in vivid detail every episode recorded in the original Hebrew, with R. Emden’s numerous business tribulations, petty disputes, strong opinions and blunt observations presented to us in his own words, through the English rendition. His own personal account of the initial stages of his dispute with R. Eybeschuetz are here, as well as his critical comments regarding R. Ezekiel Katzenellenbogen, author of Knesset Yehezkel and the rabbi of the Triple Community (Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck), along with a critique of his fellow-campaigner against crypto-Sabbatean, R. Moses Hagiz.

Take this example of his strident views with reference to R. Katzenellenbogen (p.241):
‘What can one say about R. Ezekiel’s novellae, his interpretations of texts and his sermons? (Except) that they were objects of derision. Even if one were told about them one would hardly believe the foolish statements, the inane observations and ideas that provoked excessive laughter from all who listened to them.’
And this about his father’s erstwhile friend and primary supporter in the infamous Nehemiah Hayun episode of 1713, R. Moshe Hagiz (p.212):
‘His excessive prattling in synagogue also annoyed me for this amounted to a profanation of God in the presence of the general congregation. Much worse was his neglect of praying with a minyan on six days of the week and, this despite the pressing requests of his Shabbat and Yom Tov minyan to meet (for prayer) during the rest of the week.’
These vignettes make the new translation a refreshing read for those English readers interested in a candid account of eighteenth century Jewish life. Perhaps for this reason, and this reason alone, R. Wise can be commended for bringing this work to press. No doubt he overcame many hurdles to see the publishing project to fruition and despite its uselessness as an academic work, or as a fitting tribute to Rabbi Leperer, this book has at least some limited value as an access point for anyone who is curious to gain insight into the life story of R. Jacob Emden, but for whom the Hebrew original is too difficult a read. Through this translation, with all its flaws, you will learn something about the life of R. Jacob Emden, and how he perceived the world around him and those with whom he came into contact and conflict.

[I offer special thanks to Professor Shnayer Z. Leiman and Mr. Menachem Butler for their assistance in preparation of this review essay. P.D.]


Snag said...

When will we have the chance to review Rebel Rabbi?

Ephrayim said...

<p><span>IIRC JJ Schachter originally planned on </span><span>printing a translation to Megillas Sefer but later thought the better of it. As an English translation, besides losing the beauty of the original Hebrew, would leave the uninitiated English reader with misconstrued feelings about an outstanding Torah scholar.   </span>
</p><p><span>This is what he writes in an endnote of his dissertation:</span>
</p><p><span>“I am preparing a new critical edition of <span>Megillat Sefer</span> to be pub­lished by Mosad Bialik and an English translation of that work, including references and analysis, to be published by Yale University Press.”</span>
</p><p><span>R’ JJ Schachter promised us this critical edition of Megillas Sefer in his doctoral dissertation written way back in 1988. That along with Kolan shel Sofrim, which was supposed to be published by Machon Yerushalayim the likes of which we have never seen (at least for the most part). Does anybody have any info if they will eventually come out and when? And how about all the other works and glosses in manuscript? </span>
</p><p><span>“<span>Candid and brutally honest, about himself as well as about his interlocutors</span>”</span>
</p><p><span>I will accept the part about being honest about himself, but about his </span><span>interlocutors, please. I guess you chose that word to kind of get around this problem, but it isn’t clear enough. Yaavitz may have really believed the dirt he writes against his enemies, though naively so. See Sid Leiman’s Mrs. Jonathan Eibeschuetz Epitaph A Grave Matter Indeed, for some evidence. </span>

Axl said...

Jacob J Shachter's edition of Megilas Sefer is the "Chinese Democracy" of recent Judaic Scholarship. :)   At least the final product is guaranteed to be better.

Yitz S said...

I purchased the Wise version a few months ago from B&N. Their price was the same as Amazon's but had a 30% coupon code available at the time. They usually have various discounts available so it would be worthwhile to keep this in mind if you're considering a book purchase.

For the moment I will reserve my critique for a later time. But I'm wondering if anyone knows where I can access a copy of R. Schacter's dissertation?<span></span>

Ephrayim said...

<span>Somebody posted a link to their google docs a while back. Otherwise you can get it on ProQuest. If you don't have access leave me your email address in a hyperlink and I'll send it to you.</span>

Dov said...

Can i have access to Rabbi Schacter's dissertation? Please send to thx

Yitz S said...

Fyi, R. Schacter recently spoke about "Rabbi Jacob Emden's Megillat Sefer" at a workshop on "Egodocuments: Revelations of Self in the Early modern Period." See

Additionally, an audio podcast of his talk can be found here -

Yitz S said...

Ephrayim -
Btw, might you also have a copy of the article published in the Jubilee volume? :)
Thank you!

ploni said...

could the hyperlink be shared here please?

Maimon said...

I am amazed that none of the recent literature on 'Megilat Sefer' include the very important observation that the edition available to everyone here (at least for now): is a facsimile of the kahane 1897 edition with copious handwritten notes comparing the printed version with the manuscript version, including all the ommisions. This was apparantly done by none other than Gershom Scholem.

Marc said...

<span>This is a great observation. I had no idea about this. Thanks for pointing it out!</span>

Ephrayim said...

<p><span>Actually the notes there are from </span><span>פרופ' חיים וירשובסקי</span><span></span><span></span><span><span></span><span></span>. Hebrewbooks took it from NLI as it says in the notes, and left out the cover pages.  The original scan in djvu is available here at a much higher quality. Magnes actually sells this on a CD together with the rest of the polemical books here. I got the information from a thread on BHOL where another blogger similarly decided it was from Gershom Scholem.</span>
</p><p><span>Also on that thread somebody posted a link to Bik’s edition. There were also a few links to articles that contained criticism of Bik’s edition (and Bik himself).</span>

MS said...

Ephrayim, please mail to:


S. said...

"<span>Also on that thread somebody posted a link to Bik’s edition. </span>

Wow, thanks!  Been looking for it for a long time.

abba's rantings said...

"This is censorship in 2011. The original reads: R. Ber Cohen"

please explain

"since it was not published by an international academic publisher (understandably!), is destined to complete obscurity and irrelevance"

not published by academic press? well at least a better chance it will be affordable

S. said...

"<span>please explain "</span>

On pg. 5 (and many other places) of the Kahane edition it says "ר' בער כהן ע"ה." In this translation it says "a certain R..." Since the book actually says "Behr Cohen" in other places, one certainly could wonder if it was deliberately changed here, perhaps because something negative is being said about him. However, in the other cases negative (and sometimes positive) things are said about him too, and they weren't changed. I wonder if it was a sloppy editing thing rather than censorship. Actually, in the Bik-Shauli edition (p. 35) the name is spelled out entirely. In the Kahane edition, it is written as an acronym - רב"ך - as it likely appears in the manuscript (note that the index explains it!). My guess is that what happened was Rabbi Leperer did not immediately grasp the meaning of the acronym, wrote it "R...." and probably intended to get back to it and correct it. Rabbi Wise, completing the translation, either did not look it up to try to solve it, or assumed that if Rabbi Leperer did not know who it was referring to then he would not figure it out himself, but did not bother double-checking. I think this is the reviewers point. The work was begun but wasn't quite finished.

As for where it was published, while I agree that an academic press would have made it prohibitively expensive, and I am actually a big advocate of print-on-demand, the drawback is that there is zero promotion. If it had been published through, I don't know, Urim or something like that then many more people would hear of it. I expect - and hope - that this post, even though it is critical, generates some sales of the book because it is worthwhile, even with its flaws.

S. said...

Forget to mention that in the Kahane edition it appears on p. 16 and it says "הק' רב"ך" i.e., הקצין ר' בער כהן. I guess we see here that the Kahane edition was used, at least in this case, not Bik-Shauli - unless the manuscript itself was used, as is claimed in the preface. But if so, why not Bik-Shauli, who explains the acronym? The preface says it is based on the manuscript itself and his edition. That's why I think I am right, that it poor editing, not censorship.

S. said...

600 copies is not that limited for a book like this. First of all, how big could the buying public have been for the book? Secondly, how many original prints of the Kahane edition do you think survived? I bet less than 600. But they're around too.

Everyone who has access to a good Jewish library can in all likelihood see the Bik edition. In addition, if it is is circulating in a pdf (as it is) that would also explain the ease with which people have seen it. Add to that the fact that many readers of seforim are book collectors, why shouldn't people have seen it? I myself have seen it - in a library. I just didn't have a pdf until it was linked above.

Eliezer Brodt said...

2016 copies were printed of the Bick edition according to the # inside the flap in my copy.

Eliezer Brodt said...

Sorry 2166 copies

Elchanan said...

can you please send me a copy as well? Thank you!

daniel shain said...

I would also love of copy of the R Schacter's dissertation.


Orayach said...

Dunner's assertion that Rav Leperer did not use the manuscript is libel. Dunner needs to gather a minyan, prostrate himself on the Rav's grave and beg his forgiveness.
I hope that Rabbi Wise sues him.

Ephrayim said...

<span>Again the assertion is that it wasn't systematically used to produce an exact copy of the text as it appears in the manuscript. He might have </span><span>corrected</span><span> somethings based on the manuscript but certainly used Bik's edition as a base text. This is understandable because the manuscript itself has many errors which were already corrected in Bik's edition, so why try to </span><span>decipher</span><span> a text to correct it again. </span><span>Undoubtedly</span><span> the publisher planed to </span><span>utilize</span><span> the manuscript to check suspected passages, but this </span><span>methodology</span><span> does not produce optimal results. The </span><span>criticism</span><span> stands that one cannot claim that the text was corrected from the </span><span>manuscript</span><span> because the level of correction is </span><span>dubious as has been demonstrated.</span>

Rabbi Wise said...

Ephrayim! Is your surname Dunner or Schachter? Or are you being paid?

I was a Talmid of Rav Leperer and a Ben Bayis for 21 years. Over Shabbat and Yom tov I slept on a camp bed in the study of his home in Kenton.

Therefore I can witness ( in court if necessary) that a copy of the Manuscript never left his desk and it was indeed the primary source for the translation.

Anybody who says otherwise is guilty of libel and motzi shem ra of the worse kind - against a deceased Talmid Chochom who spent his life studying and teaching hundreds of talmidim who cannot defend himself.

You Ephrayim and Dunner are playing with fire - you should have more pity on your souls and those of your children!

Meir Henoch Hakohen Wise
now residing in Israel

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Wise, in your testimony, will you describe the specific manuscript that Rabbi Leperer used and that was on his desk, which you saw with your own eyes? What more information is known? Where is the manuscript now? Did you use this manuscript in your preparation of your edition? Can you please provide any information about this manuscript beyond terming it "the manuscript"? And Schacter and Dunner are not the only people interested in reaching truth about the edition of Megillat Sefer, though they have been the only ones willing, thus far, to discuss this in writing. But more will follow. Perhaps it is time that you offer your story, well in advance of any courtroom setting.

Ephrayim said...

Sorry I am not Dunner nor Shachter, and if you had read my comments at the beginning of the post this should have been obvious. But funny that that you accuse me of sockpuppeting when you are the one who is doing so. The comments and mode of expression in both your's and Orayach's posts are the same. As I suggested before, Orayach is non other then Wise himself. Even after I made the claim you did not refute it. The time of Orayach's original post also suggest that he resides in Israel. The very fact that you are even reading this now some 23 days after it was written suggests that it is the same person. I am only keeping a tab on this because I had signed up for the RSS feed so that I would know if anybody else wanted a copy of Schachter's dissertation which I offered above. 

Let me demonstrate the similarities a bit.

Orayach: "I can also personally testify that a copy of the Bodlian manuscript was on the Rabbi's desk constantly"
'Rabbi' Wise: "that a copy of the Manuscript never left his desk"

Orayach: "Dunner's assertion that Rav Leperer did not use the manuscript is libel"
'Rabbi' Wise: "Anybody who says otherwise is guilty of libel"

Orayach: "Do not speak ill of the dead" 
'Rabbi' Wise: "against a deceased Talmid Chochom.... who cannot defend himself"

Orayach: "I hope that Rabbi Wise sues him"
'Rabbi' Wise: "Therefore I can witness ( in court if necessary)"

So effectively what you have accomplished is that have proven yourself to be a deceptive fool. You have undermined any possible refutation with silly comments, which only serve to augment your ignorance. We now know the real reason for the lousy work is because Wise took what Rabbi Leperer did wholesale and published it without properly completing it or critically editing it. It is you who needs to prostrate yourself on the Rabbi's grave to beg for forgiveness for publishing a work that has put him to shame. 

Rabbi Wise said...

Another false accusation. Do you think that Rabbi Leperer had one talmid?

If more than one person has seen or heard the same thing does it make them the same person?

Al Pi shnayim aidim Yakum Davar.....

You are the perverse idiot with some hidden agenda.

My father said that it was better to lose an argument to an intelligent person than win one with a fool and my mistake was not listening to my inner voice telling me not to argue with a fool.

But " hachoshed bikasherim lokeh begufo" so I'll leave you to hashgacha.

Rabbi Wise said...

So, you " would hope that Rabbi Leperer would change his mind about publishing"

I visited Rabbi Leperer on the Thursday before his demise in the Northwick Park Hospital and he expressed his desire to see the book in print! Which is the only reason that I undertook the burden, though greatly encouraged by Chief Rabbi, Lord Jakobovits.

Any more false accusations?

Ephrayim said...

<span>Which part of "I would hope he too would change his mind before printing" do you not understand? But thanks for letting us know that that the late rabbi is at fault; I guess that's how a good talmid like you repays his rabbi, unwilling to take the blame for him.
Anyhow, your neglect of the real accusation at hand says mounds about you. Really, you should take up my preposition before your enemies catch word of the discussion that occurred here. The evidence speaks for itself. I recommend that you take a step back and try to imagine how a third party would see things. Even if somehow you are not Orayach, most people that would read my proofs would be convinced by them. It is in your best interest that your disgusting lies not be available on the internet forever for all to see. I will soon be unsubscribing from this RSS feed and you will have no way to contacting me, so you need to act before it is too late. </span>

Rabbi Wise said...

What a way to talk!
I have no enemies and have only had good feedback except from you. Even Dunner writes: R.Wise can be commended for bringing this work to print.
Did you miss the line in my in my acknowledgements where I take sole responsibility for any mistakes despite the fact that the majority of the work was not mine?
What part of that don't you understand?

Why would I want to contact you? You do have an overrated opinion of yourself!

Ephrayim said...

<span>'Rabbi' Wise I abhor your arrogance. But I am amused by your childish antics. I don't want to play your game, and I will be unsubscribing from this feed. I have made my point and see no further point in engaging in intemperate conversation with you. 
Anyone that would like to express their disapproval with Rabbi Wise may email him here.</span>

Rabbi Wise said...

That's good Ephrayim. Run away and hide.

I need to thank you twice.

Once for spreading my email address further. It is in the book!

A second time for removing your poisonous pen from this blog.

Today I received further royalties from the book which I will be donating to charity.

Nathe London said...

All of Rabbi Wise's students, congregants and admirers know where the Rabbi lives, his email address and his telephone number. His shiurim, derashot, advice and hospitality are legendary.

But who the hell is Ephrayim?

By the way, I enjoyed the book immensely. It's a gripping read.


Snag said...

Ephrayim, if you're still reading this thread, please could you email the dissertation to, thank you. said...

I have a mother. Rabbi Wise had a father. That obviously makes us the same person.

Actually it makes Ephrayim an idiot!

Meivin said...

I think that Ephrayim and Pini Dunner are the same person or why would Ephrayim want an apology to Pini and not himself?

Ephraim - come out of hiding you coward and answer the charge!

By the way - the book was a great read.


Adam said...

<span>Rabbi Leperer had many Talmidim. Is it not possible that he taught all of them to deviate from standard uses of paranthesis and quotation marks?</span>

Avreich said...

Best book I've read in years. If you only buy one Jewish book this year it's gotta be this one. It's a cracker. Wow!


Bookworm said...

I don't usually like hooks about rabbis but that was gripping. It opened up a new world to me. Get it now on amazon before it goes out of print.


Orayach Four said...

How come no one mentions Megillas Plaster?

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I would also like to get a copy of R. Schachter's dissertation - my email:

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