Nosson Scherman

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Nosson Scherman
Born Nosson Scherman
1935
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality American
Known for General Editor of ArtScroll

Nosson Scherman (Hebrew: נתן שרמן‎, born 1935, Newark, New Jersey) is an American Haredi rabbi best known as the general editor of ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

Biography[edit]

Scherman was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where his parents ran a small grocery store.[1] He attended public school, but in the afternoons joined a Talmud Torah started in 1942 by Rabbi Shalom Ber Gordon, a shaliach of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn.[1] Rabbi Gordon influenced many of the 200 boys in his afternoon Talmud Torah to enroll in yeshiva, including young Nosson Scherman,[1] who became a dormitory student at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas at around age 10. Afterwards, he studied in Beth Medrash Elyon in Spring Valley, New York[2]

Scherman worked as a rebbi (teacher) for about eight years at Torah VoDaas of Flatbush, later known as Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Afterwards he was a principal at Yeshiva Karlin Stolin of Boro Park for six years.[2] During his tenure as principal, he was recommended to Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, director of a high-end graphics studio in New York[3] named ArtScroll Studios,[4] as someone who could write copy, and they collaborated on a few projects[2] of brochures and journals.[4]

In late 1975,[4] a close friend of Zlotowitz, Rabbi Meir Fogel, died in his sleep, prompting Zlotowitz to want to do something to honor his memory. As Purim was a few months away, he decided to write an English translation and commentary on the Book of Esther, and asked Scherman to write the introduction. The book was completed in honor of the shloshim (the 30-day commemoration of a death)[4] and sold out its first edition of 20,000 copies within two months.[4] With the encouragement of Rabbi Moses Feinstein, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, and other Gedolei Yisrael, the two continued producing commentaries, beginning with a translation and commentary on the rest of the Five Megillot (Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Ruth),[5] and went on to publish translations and commentaries on the Torah, Prophets, Talmud, Passover Haggadah, siddurs and machzors. The name ArtScroll was chosen for the publishing company to emphasize the visual appeal of the books.[6]

In its first 25 years, ArtScroll produced more than 700 books, including novels, history books, children's books and secular textbooks,[3] and is now one of the largest publishers of Jewish books in the United States.[7]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Zlotowitz and Scherman are the general editors of ArtScroll's Talmud, Stone Chumash, Tanakh, Siddur, and Machzor series. They co-authored Megillas Esther: Illustrated Youth Edition (1988), a pocket-size Mincha/Maariv prayerbook (1991), and Selichos: First Night (1992).[8] They have also produced a host of titles on which Scherman is author and Zlotowitz is editor.

Scherman contributed translations and commentaries for ArtScroll's Stone Chumash, the ArtScroll Siddurim and Machzorim, and the Stone Tanach. He served as general editor of the 73-volume translation Schottenstein edition of the Talmud from 1990 until 2005.

Scherman attributes his strong English language skills to the stronger general-studies departments that yeshivas had when he was a student, and his correspondence with two out-of-town high school classmates, Mendel Weinbach and Nisson Wolpin. He has said: "During the summers we used to write letters. Does anyone correspond today? We wrote to each other – that helped. We tried to outdo each other; we were big-shot teenagers. The only way to learn how to write is to write."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Horowitz, Rebbetzin Faigie. "A Nostalic Look at Jewish Newark". Hamodia Magazine, 28 June 2012, pp. 14– 18.
  2. ^ a b c d Hoffman, Rabbi Yair (3 December 2009). "The ArtScroll Revolution: 5TJT interviews Rabbi Nosson Scherman". matzav.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Ephross, Peter (13 July 2001). "In 25 Years of Publishing, Artscroll captures Zeitgeist". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Resnick, Eliot (6 June 2007). "'Our Goal is to Increase Torah Learning'". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Zlotowitz, Meir (1986). The Five Megillos: A new translation with overviews and annotations anthologized from the classical commentators. Mesorah Publications Ltd. 
  6. ^ Eller, Sandy; Shidler, Yosef (17 March 2010). "Brooklyn, NY - VIN Exclusive: Behind The Scenes At Artscroll [video]". VIN. vosizneias.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Berger, Joseph (10 February 2005). "An English Talmud for Daily Readers and Debaters". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Titles by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz". ArtScroll. 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2010.