Sunday, January 16, 2005

Forbidden Books For Sale

Get them while they're hot! Nothing as controversial as this has been published since Henry Miller's The Tropic of Capricorn.

Gil Student writes:

Three books which are the focus of a major religious controversy will now be distributed by Yashar Books.

The books, which have been both acclaimed and condemned, include "Mysterious Creatures," "The Camel, the Hare, & the Hyrax" and "The Science of Torah" (now out of print and being revised) by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin. Rabbi Slifkin, known popularly as "the Zoo Rabbi," is an Orthodox Torah scholar and amateur zoologist who has sought to synthesize both disciplines in his writing. The controversy developed over passages in his books, including one that accepts dating the world as billions of years old, a view rejected by more traditional elements in the Orthodox Jewish community who date the beginning of creation to 5765 years ago. The author sought to demonstrate such a view of the age of the universe is consistent within the Orthodox belief system.

Many rabbis have recently condemned the ideas in these books as being beyond the pale of Orthodoxy. Yashar Books has consulted with a number of Orthodox rabbis and is comfortable in saying that different communities have different standards in this matter. We are happy to serve those communities that feel these books are acceptable. Therefore, while the issues are being debated throughout the community, with prominent Orthodox scholars on both sides of the issues, Rabbi Slifkin and his previous publishers have reached a mutual agreement to transfer distribution of the books to Yashar Books in New York.

If you personally have questions on this matter then we urge you to consult with your local Orthodox rabbi and act accordingly. More information is available at the Sefer Ha-Hayim Blog and at the author's website.

Yashar Books is a new publisher of Orthodox Jewish books for contemporary readers and thinkers, dedicated to providing open access to the world of classical and contemporary Jewish ideas.

For more information and orders, come to the reading room at Yashar Books.