Friday, June 15, 2018

Graphic Genius Generates Gadlus - R' Meir Zlotowitz ZT"L

I was impressed with the recently published biography on Artscroll founder R' Meir Zlotowitz ZT"L.
Here are my thoughts:

1. Rabbi Yisroel Besser did an excellent job, capturing the essence of RMZ was all about. I really enjoyed his biography of R' Shlomo Freifeld, yet I noticed a significant maturity in his writing between these 2 bestsellers.

2. R' Dovid Feinstein attributes the Artscroll success to RMZ's selfless act of publishing the first Artscroll (Megillah) to perpetuate the memory of a friend who had passed away. (page 14)

3. RMZ mentioned to a friend early in his life that one day he would translate shas. This is somewhat contradictory to what is mentioned later that R' Yaakov Kamenetzky predicted that they would one day translate shas and when they are ready he would write a haskama. (page 47 and 94).

4. He received Smicha from R' Moshe Feinstein. (page 55).

5. He defended and was strongly unapologetic about publishing hagiographies. (page 84).

6. He dismissed one writer who claimed Rashi was incorrect about something and then rewrote Sefer Yonah himself. (page 86).

7. He cared very much about his workers, telling one unionizer that he insisted on AC even in places where it wasn't required. (page 117).

8. It was R' Aharon Shechter Shlita who came up with the catchphrase of "Elucidation" of the Talmud. (page 127)

9. It is an undeniable fact that the rolls of Daf Yomi learners swelled due to the Artscroll Shas.

10. He issued an industry unprecedented recall of the Sukkos Machzor, when it was found to contain mistakes.

11. He designed many of the fonts himself (see my discussion with S. regarding this point on my ArtScroll post). (page 194).

12. He was against the industry standard of producing books that fall apart so that users would need to buy new ones. (page 198)

13. He wouldn't go to shul late. If it was 8:35 and davening started at 8:30, he would go to the 9:00 minyan.

14. He encouraged R' Dovid Feinstein to go on vacation and would accompany him and serve him. (page 335)

Yehi Zichro Baruch


  1. Thanks!

    For further elucidation, you might want to check out this -

  2. Thank you for sharing. That interview was really eye-opening.


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