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Apparently some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz were banned. What are the specific examples that prompted the ban? Is there a list of all of his works that have been banned, as I am interested in knowing if this ban is limited to his previous works or if it applies to his new shas project with Koren publishing as well?

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if you downvote the question please include an explanation as to why so that I can fix it. – alltheinterwebs Jun 25 '12 at 20:10
The letters you link to explains the reasons, and based on them it would apply to anything he published including the English edition. – Gershon Gold Jun 25 '12 at 20:11
Sorry, I tried to write a comment for my downvote but it didn't post. I'll try again. This seems like a leading question, since, as @GershonGold mentioned, the link provided in the question contains the answer. If it is not a sufficient answer, then you should specify more clearly what kind of information you are looking for. – Seth J Jun 25 '12 at 20:44
I think some of those letters explain why... – Hacham Gabriel Jun 26 '12 at 2:21
Dozens of extremely reputable and inmportant rabbis over the years supported the work of Rabbi Steinsaltz. Here are just two examples: haskamot from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and the Lubavitcher Rebbe for Rabbi Steinsaltz's Hebrew edition of the Talmud, upon which the new English edition is based: korenpub.com/EN/tal-haskamot.htm – user1652 Jun 27 '12 at 9:40

I have an old copy of The Jewish Observer that discusses the ban. It seems a couple comments in his translation of the Talmud implied that certain sages ruled consistently in a particular fashion (e.g. stringently) because their personality inclined in that direction. Some were worried that readers would infer that the sages were allowing their personal biases to influence their rulings, and doubt their authority. However, this does not appear to have been the intent of those comments, but merely to point out the consistent pattern among the sages' rulings. To my knowledge, none of his other works were banned.

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boric, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for the informative answer, which would be even more so if you'd edit into it bibliographic info (e.g. what month and year the JO issue is from). I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. – msh210 Jun 26 '12 at 18:31
seems to be a misunderstanding (I never read Steinzaltz's works, so I am not sure on whose part) of chabadlibrary.org/books/default.aspx?furl=/zz/oht/otb4/2/5/1303 (וידוע דב"ש וב"ה הי' נשמתם בשרשם מחו"ג שבדעת דמשה שלכך הלל מיקל שנוטה השגתו לזכות ושמאי מחמיר שנוטה לחוב) – Shmuel Brin Jun 26 '12 at 20:21
i think shmuel is right -- I recall as a child, learning about the personalities of hillel and shammai and how they affected certain behaviors and rulings in terms of the chumra and kula positions. if this is what triggered a response to Shteinzaltz then it should be applied much more liberally to many other people. – Danno Jun 26 '12 at 20:41
@baruch: if you still have access to the Jewish Observer, can you tell us the date it was published (and issue number, if applicable), thanks. – Menachem Jun 29 '12 at 5:35
@Menachem: I will try to dig it up and add that information. – Baruch Jul 2 '12 at 19:28

My Rabbi once told me that HaRav Shach ZSWQ"L didn't like the idea of changing the Surat HaDaf of the Gemara.

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If you read the link provided by the questioner you'll see there was more to it. – Dov F Jun 26 '12 at 1:40

The Internet was also banned, so if one is paying heed to bans, it makes little sense being on the Internet inquiring about it.

But, as for what prompted the ban, perhaps two factors were in play:

1) As Rav Mordechai Gifter said about Adas Korach:

And this is experienced in every generation, that of those who are diligent and precise in mitzvos, the fire of controversy moves them against their own will and against the will of their Creator.

2) As one commenter in the a Hirhurim thread writes:

IIRC, R Leiman thought that the ban was inspired by the fact that R Steinsalz’s English edition was being published by Random House, which had beaten ArtScroll to the secular and English speaking audiences.

Any other details are secondary.

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-1. This doesn't seem to answer the question, which sought a list of R'AS's works that prompted the ban and a list of works included in it. (Plus, item 1 seems unnecessarily snide.) – msh210 Jun 26 '12 at 15:33
true, though it answers the edited-out original "Why was this done?". a list of works presupposes that these works were what really prompted the ban. Snideness is sometimes the appropriate response to those who seek to ban, or drudge-up old bans and controversies. – josh waxman Jun 26 '12 at 15:35
I'm not familiar with the halacha regarding snideness as an appropriate response to a discussion of banned works. I would assume it is meritorious to try to understand why something was banned so that I can make an educated decision about it. I understand why the internet was banned and chose to ignore that ban, I may very well chose to do the same with Rav Steinsaltz's works, but I can't do so without understanding the nature of the ban in the first place. – alltheinterwebs Jun 26 '12 at 15:57
Who said halacha? This is the appropriate response, IMHO, because dignifying it with a 'real' response lends credence to the question, and the ban. (Snideness also does not mean that something isn't true.) But surely someone else can translate and summarize your link for you, if that is what you are asking. BTW, is that what you were asking for? – josh waxman Jun 26 '12 at 16:20
I would question the assertion that the first sentence in this answer is unnecessary. The whole answer is an attempt to challenge the assertion that this ban, and others, are meritorious. Just like the rest of the answer, that first sentence serves to point out possible hypocrisy of those who pursue or endorse bans. – josh waxman Jan 21 '15 at 12:21

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