Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Edited Humash?

I'm a blogging roll today !

It's come to my attention that a brand of Haredi Hasidic Judaism[1] has released a new Humash [2] for their girl's school. Which is great, except that it has come to light that this version has edited out various parts of the Torah [3], including the Genesis creation account and the 'sexual' parts of the Hebrew Bible. Which is great if that is what they want to do; personally I am not sure how you can study the Torah properly with bits missing and to be honest Haredi are very sniffy when it comes to adherence to one's religion and one's religion is based around the Torah. Orthodox Jews believe that "This, The Torah of Moses, shall not be abrogated, nor shall there be any other Torah from G-d save it". 

I and others of my family have often been criticised by Haredi  and those outside of our faith who seem to like their brand of Judaism, for seemingly saying 'to hell with Halakhah'. Except we never do, what we do is to work with The Torah, Tradition, Reason, a dipping into mysticism & Zohar and the Hebrew Bible, to understand it and apply it, not to work against it. We certainly do not edit parts we don't like out. We grapple, struggle, debate & learn to understand these passages. Precisely because we are not Reform Jews we simply can't dismiss them as being irrelevant or out of date, which to my mind at least is never a very satisfactory answer to a curious and intelligent mind. 

Not that I'm suggesting that this movement is now doing what Reform Jews do and not that I'm saying  what Reform Jews do is wrong, but that Haredi Orthodox always like to tell everyone else what the rest of us are doing wrong . Heaven forbid that I would do so. Just don't go around calling me a heretic when a Haredi sect goes around taking bits out of the Bible that they don't want to teach, deal with or cope with. At least I am my family try and deal with the text as it is without heavy edits. You know, the way it should be .


[1] the Skverer dynasty (or school or sect), who reject material in favour of spiritual, a bit like monk in Christianity, see their history here

[2] Humash is the word for The Torah in printed form, rather than the scrolls we use in Shuls. It is where the word Pentateuch comes from.

[3] See here, here and here 


  1. Hi David,

    Thanks for this bit of news. It is one thing to try and interpret holy texts, but to leave stuff out. Tut, tut.

  2. You Should Know Better9 July 2014 at 17:09

    More anti-Haredi attacks. Disgusting. We uphold modesty and Torah truth. You do not.

  3. Yossie Abrahams9 July 2014 at 18:03

    Very strange.

  4. Weird. I could almost grasp the logic if that was about some of the genocide and other murders in the Torah, but just to exclude the sexy bits is a bit odd. I don't know what the hebrew means, but isn't half of it euphemism anyway (it is in the English 'he knew her not' etc)?

  5. *Sigh*. How can you learn what is termed by them as 'authentic' Judaism if they have big bits missing out of it???? Just bonkers!


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