…if ArtScroll’s mikraot gedolot becomes the standard, anyone who uses the commentaries of R. Hoffmann, R. Kamenetsky, Cassuto and so many others will be very confused. These commentaries will cite Rashbam and explain his words, but the reader who opens up his ArtScroll mikraot gedolot to see what Rashbam says “inside” won’t be able to find it. If he doesn’t read the Seforim Blog, he won’t know what is going on.
For over a hundred years people studied Rashbam’s commentary without any problem. Different interpretations were offered, all in order to make sense of Rashbam’s words. Around fifteen years ago a few people, none of whom have any scholarly or religious standing, started making noise that there is heresy in Rashbam’s commentary on Genesis chapter 1. This led a couple of haredi publishers to delete some or all of the “problematic” comments (different editions have different deletions).
ArtScroll has chosen to follow this regrettable path.
ArtScroll chose to include Rashbam’s commentary to Genesis chapter 1 in its recently published mikraot gedolot. However, ArtScroll also chose to delete those sections of the commentary it didn’t like, assuming (without any evidence) that these sections were written by heretics. This is censorship of Rashbam. That is all people need to know.
ArtScroll has done some great things. They have also done some pretty disappointing things. But as I said in the prior post, nothing comes close to this. Deleting comments of one of the greatest rishonim is simply outrageous. Some have said that what ArtScroll did is unforgivable. I think this is going too far. If ArtScroll acknowledges its error and reinserts that which has been removed, I think that we all would be very happy to put this behind us. One of the most important aspects of a Torah personality is the ability to recognize when one has made a mistake and rectify it. If ArtScroll is able to do this, it would lead to great admiration.
On the other hand, if ArtScroll refuses to acknowledge that it has made a terrible error, even after seeing the evidence presented in this post, then one must conclude that ArtScroll is knowingly suppressing the words of a great rishon. One can only hope that ArtScroll does not wish to have this blemish permanently attached to its name.
Marc B. Shapiro, “ArtScroll’s Response and My Comments”, The Seforim Blog (14 January 2015) [http://seforim.blogspot.com/2015/01/artscrolls-response-and-my-comments.html]