Jul 2, 2010

Not So Beautiful

I have enjoyed Hanoch Teller's books in the past but his new book, written after a ten year hiatus, has me disappointed with the very first story.

Why was this story told with pseudonyms when the story was written up years ago with the real names of the people involved?

1) He says the woman was blind from birth when she became blind in her 40's.

2) In his rendition, the woman knew she would be able to see if she could be operated on when in reality, the woman had been told her blindness was genetic and nothing could be done.  A remote possibility that laser surgery could help her was something she planned on exploring.

3) He has the heroine of the story attending a Bais Yaakov school when she actually attended Beis Rifka.  Why not give the girl and her community the credit due them?

4) In his rendition, the idea of seeing an eye doctor is that of the young girl when what really happened was this was a response of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.  Why not give the proper credit?

5) He has them dropping out of the blue on the the local ophthamologist when in reality, they got a recommendation to a specialist.

6) He says the young girl's mother dreaded confronting the doctor about the cost of the surgery when in reality the doctor waived the fee (beyond what the government would cover) immediately.

7) The newly sighted woman made a Seudas Hoda'a to thank the community of Crown Heights who stood by her.  In Teller's inaccurate recounting of the story the many people who played a part in helping out are set aside.

R' Paysach Krohn is to be commended for verifying the details of the stories he tells.  Unfortunately, Teller and another popular story writer don't bother.  They hear a story or read a story and write it as they please, with embellishments and no interest in verifying it for accuracy.

When the talmidim of R' Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, delivered a Torah discourse, they viewed it as the Oral Law and when they heard a story from him, this was considered the Written Torah.

In the Written Torah, every detail matters.

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