Crown, Keren & Koreen (aka Koren)

gohebrew's picture

Eliyahu Korngold, later Koren, was considered one of the greatest Hebrew type designers during the mid 20th century.

Koren's landmark work, named after his Israelized surname, was initially created in the 1950s. The design was based upon a hand-written document of the section of the Prophets, attributed to the Moshe ben Asher geneza, of scrolls belonging to the Karaite community, a pariah sect to normative Judaism.

This design was drawn and redrawn many times, both before and after his employment by the Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd., which he founded in 1961. Koren spent most of his career at the Jewish National Fund, where most of this typeface design was created, under the JNF's auspices.

The design was finally used in the Koren Bible in 1962, but was never created as an outline typeface. Koren printed his siddur in 1981 at the age of 74. Instead, a digital type company in Israel used its software code for two products: the Koren Bible typeface, and its own identical typeface. Later, the Israeli company called 'Koreen' (and widened one letter). Koren approved the design.

Shmuel Guttman created another typeface, called 'Keren', in digital form in 1993, prior to the Koren Bible digital typeface. His typeface features many significant differences, but maintains the basic look-and-feel of the Koren Bible design. Koren never approved Guttman's design.

I also created a set of typeface software, which I called 'Crown'. They are based upon large drawings created by an unnamed talented graphic artist, perhaps from the former USSR. The software was created in the United States, where it was registered for US Copyright at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in 1989. My design is based upon ancient manuscripts as well, and modified to comply with the various instructions, as expressed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliyahu_Koren, regarding legibility and readability.

david h's picture

> your words and...

which words? That stuff: .....אמא אן יקרא קראה בן ?

gohebrew's picture

What differences?

gohebrew's picture

JS,

Koren invented the protrusion to the right by drawing it unnaturally. Then, it became like Letraset.

This is athafcha mamash. It no longer was ben Asher's gimel.

gohebrew's picture

David's MS samples seem to be a testimony of ben Asher script, which was large, clear, and readable, while ben Naftali's was cramped, unclear, and small by comparison. As David writes that their pointing of nikkud was nearly identical, with a few exceptions. Perhaps, Saadia Gaon, who preferred ben Naftali's work, disagreed with ben Asher's concoctions.

The top manuscript appears to be a letter or non-religious document. I assume that it was ben Asher.

The bottom manuscript appears to be notations about certain nikkud pointed words with comments. The shape of the kuf, with left lower vertical bar reaching up to touch the top horizontal bar appears unique, like Narkiss and David at times. I assume that it was ben Naftoli.

If however the authors are reversed, it is very puzzling.

John, you are much more articulte with intent than David.

david h's picture

> a testimony of ben Asher script... while ben Naftali's was cramped, unclear, and small by comparison...

?????

The scribe/author is ben Uzziel! The author of Kitab al-Khlif. Both samples! Who said anything about ben Asher/ ben Naftali?
The first sample is Judeo-Arabic. The second sample is Hebrew + Judeo-Arabic.

gohebrew's picture

Both samples are from the same scribe? this is hard to believe.

gohebrew's picture

>> Who said anything about ben Asher/ ben Naftali?

That's what we were talking about.

ok. so, i got this wrong. back to bottle washing.

gohebrew's picture

David,

What does this show us?

david h's picture

> Both samples are from the same scribe? this is hard to believe.

"Drastic times" call for "drastic measures"; that was the only way to end this new theory -- "Koren invented... It no longer was ben Asher's gimel", ben Naftali's was cramped, unclear, ben Asher is better etc.etc. etc. So, for our purpose sample 1 is Kitab al-Khlif ; sample 2 is Kitab al-Khlif. Not ben Asher/ben Naftali handwriting!

quadibloc's picture

Not finding any Google results for "Kitab al-Khlif", I managed to find one result in a search for "ben Uzziel" which was for Mishael ben Uzziel, rather than Jonathan ben Uzziel, which allowed me to find out that the usual transliteration of the work in question, the "Book of Variants", or "The Book of Differences between the two Masters, ben Asher and ben Naftali", is "Kitab al-Hulaf".

gohebrew's picture

David,

Do you have samples of "Kitab al-Hulaf", "The Book of Differences between the two Masters, ben Asher and ben Naftali", the "Book of Variants"?

gohebrew's picture

If I understand correctly your words, John S., and those implied by David, the content of the manuscript is about the different approaches of ben Asher and ben Naftali, and were scribed by the sample person, Mishael ben Uzziel, who is the author as well.

These two manuscripts, Kitab al-Khlif and Kitab al-Halaf, are not visual examples of the handwriting of ben Asher and ben Naftali. This does not concern us. Rather, they have descriptions of their different approaches. These descriptions then define for use the differences between ben Asher and ben Naftali.

Davis says that these differences between ben Asher and ben Naftali are minor.

David wrote:
"The hillufim refer mainly to the placing of raphe & dagesh; in some cases to the vocalization & ta'amim; the placing of the ga'ya. The differences between ben Naphtali & ben Asher were only of minor significance!!! They agreed in many things.
ben Uzziel, the author of Kitab al-Khlif, does not mention whose reading deserves priority."

ben Uzziel had no preference to either one's approach, said David. Though Saadia Gaon preferred ben Naftali.

Futher, only some scholars believe that ben Asher was a Karaite. Hence, Saadia Gaon objection to ben Asher's approach may regard a technical issue, and not because he viewed him as a Karaite, which he likely did not.

Is this correct?

quadibloc's picture

What has me confused is this quotation: "If he [the reader] follows the reading of ben Naphtali, it obligates him to read all of them with raphe and dagesh as he, ben Naphtali, does." I would have thought that if we're talking about rules for placing vowel points and accents, it doesn't matter what rules the reader prefers, if he is reading something written by a follower of ben Napthali's rules, he should interpret the points according to those rules, and if he is reading something written by a follower of ben Asher's rules, the pointing should be read according to those rules - because the goal, when reading a text, is to arrive at the vocalization of that text which was intended by the scribe.

Which can, of course, be accepted or rejected as an accurate depiction of the vocalization intended by the author depending on which school of textual criticism one follows. But one doesn't try applying a set of vowel pointing rules to a written text which don't match the ones it was written with.

I would have thought that this would be obvious even to people who didn't look at things with the "modern perspective".

raphaelfreeman's picture

May I make a request when discussing the Koren font? When posting examples of the font, please use the real font and not Gutman's or Masterfont's old versions that was available from places like myfonts. They are not the real thing. They are interpretations of the font.

The real Koren font that Eliyahu Koren designed is now available for purchase from Masterfont, but gohebrew does not have this typeface. Therefore ALL the samples that gohebrew is posting are NOT THE KOREN FONT!!!!

So please, when discussing the influences of the Koren font, please discuss the real thing and not other people's interpretations of the font.

Thank you.

gohebrew's picture

>> Masterfont's old versions

Are their different versions?

gohebrew's picture

When I post samples, and use Gutmann's font, I call it "Keren", as he did.
When I post samples, and use Materfont's Kareen, I call it either "Kareen" or "Koren", because Raphael said that they are the same. Plus, Tzvika of MF received E. Koren's approval, that his Koreen is a replica of Koren.

Did E. Koren approve Materfont's old or new version?

--

My Henri is a version of Hadasa approved by Henri Friedlaender. The others were not. Do you see the difference?

gohebrew's picture

Why was ben Naftali occupied with a rafe and a dagesh, and ben Asher was not?

What is a rafe glyph?
What is its function?

Are there different views for a dagesh?

raphaelfreeman's picture

When I post samples, and use Gutmann's font, I call it "Keren", as he did.
When I post samples, and use Materfont's Kareen, I call it either "Kareen" or "Koren", because Raphael said that they are the same. Plus, Tzvika of MF received E. Koren's approval, that his Koreen is a replica of Koren.

Did E. Koren approve Materfont's old or new version?

Okay, let me try, once again, to clear up this confusion. There are many variations of the Koren font out there. Gutman did one, Masterfont did one, heck even you did one! Gutman's Keren was not done with permission of Koren. On the other hand, Masterfont did, he asked Koren to look it over and pays royalties every month to Koren on sales of the font. However, it is a variation. It's not the original font.

About 4 years ago, Koren decided to digitise the font. We decided to use Masterfont as our font foundry so now Masterfont sells 2 versions of the Koren font, the "variation" that they created many years ago with the consent of Koren and the real Koren font that we use at Koren.

I'm using the word "variation" so that this thread doesn't dissolve into a legal argument of rights etc on the font.

Again, since the difference between the variations and the original are quite large when it comes to this forum (although of course to the ordinary guy in the street the differences might not be noticeable), I would request only posting the original real Koren font for comparisons and not Gutman's or Masterfont's variations.

And yet again, the real Koren font is now available for purchase (and has been for at least a couple of years) from Masterfont.

gohebrew's picture

I am confused: is MF's version that they sell,, called Koreen. identical to MF's Koren, as your have said?

GoHebrew has inquiries to sell copies of its Crown? GoHebrew intends to no matter your position, this is permitted by US Copyright law. Our customers are purchasing the software on US soil.

Can GoHebrew secure a license to pay a royalty based on sales from Koren Publishing LTD, even though this is not required?

In addition, GoHebrew will offer CrownBible, Shmuel, and ShmuelBible, without a royalty.

CrownBible and ShmuelBible feature a lesser difference between the thinner and thicker strokes for improved Bible reading.

Shmuel has many of the design characteristics of Shmuel Gutmann's Keren.

Each font will be a true OpenType font, support Unicode fully, have all Hebrew grammar glyphs, and useful typesetting glyphs, unavailable from other venders, such as MasterFont.

raphaelfreeman's picture

I am confused: is MF's version that they sell,, called Koreen. identical to MF's Koren, as your have said?

What I have said previously in other threads, but will repeat for the purpose of clarification, was that Masterfont called their variation of the Koren font, MFKoreen and MFKoren. However, these MFvariations are both the same font (perhaps one has slightly improved kerning due to technilogical advances), ie a varation of Koren, but neither is the real Koren font.

They also sell the real Koren font which is sold under the name Koren Tanakh (and also Koren Siddur for the siddur version of Koren).

In terms of licensing, this is not a conversation for this forum, but I can be contacted off-line.

gohebrew's picture

Raphael,

I want to send you a proposal, but neighter Koren Publishers Ltd., or Jerusalem Type, show an email address. Plus Jerusalem Type's contact form bombs.

raphaelfreeman's picture

Jerusalemtype is no longer operating.

My address is my first name @korenpub dot com.

gohebrew's picture

Thanks.

gohebrew's picture

Every kosher edition of the Bible or Old Testament must have a secondary commentary in a spoken language - The Talmud

?No valid edition edition of the Bible may appear alone without a commentary because the Bible may not clearly understood on a literal basis - The Tslmud

See examples from Orthodox publications

raphaelfreeman's picture

I am going to quote a couple of Rabbis that perhaps will allay any halakhic concerns.

"To my rabbincal colleagues and students throughout the world,
I hereby recommend the publications of Eliyahu Koren, who has performed a great service in publishing the Holy Scriptures according to Jewish tradition, with careful regard for accuracy in spelling, vowels and accentuation, open and closed Portions, and the like.
I call upon my friends and students to assist the representatives of Koren Publishers Jerusalem by distributing the Tanakh in synagogues and Batei Midrash, in schools and in private homes. This crucial initiative is worthy of our added encouragement and assistance.
"...and joyous are those who hold her fast!"
Respectfully, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Thursday, 26 Tammuz, 5726

And if The Rav isn't enough for you, here's Rav Moshe Feinstein on the Koren Bible:

"I have just viewed the full Koren Bible printed in Jerusalem. I was impressed by the great meticulousness with which the parshiyot in Prophets and Ketuvim are distributed, according to traditoin and the Talmud. The Book of Prophets, too, is divided into parshiyot as well as sdarim symbols which have never been printed until this day. In addition, Koren's editors were very scrupulous regarding vowels and vocalization (taamey mikra), pleasing to the eyes of the great Rabbis of Israel. I consider it of great importance that every Jewish home possesses this comprehensive Tanakh... Most Tanakhim include mistakes and typographic error which may have become embedded in many editions. Yet the Koren Tanakh is well proofread and very reliable, as testified by its users. Therefore it is advisable that such a Tanakh be found in every house as well as each synagogue and Beit Midrash, all the more since it was printed by a Jewish concern.
26th of Tevvet, 5726, New York.

For those who are not familiar with the Jewish world, these two Rabbis, Rabbi Soloveitchic and Rabbi Feinstein represent two of the greatest halakhic authorities of the 20th century in the United States and perhaps in the entire world. (There are of course others)

To my knowledge, no other Bible has ever received such praise and in such a manner.

raphaelfreeman's picture

Just thought it might interest you to know that the in the case of Koren vs Microsoft where Microsoft were being sued for providing Gutmann's rendition of the Koren typeface in it's software, Microsoft were found guilty and Microsoft, as well as being fined are no longer allowed to sell software with the Gutmann Keren typeface.

It's nice when the court rules in favour of the designer!

gohebrew's picture

Why wasn't Gutmann himself stopped? Is it because that he never had Microsoft's big bucks?

Regarding GoHebrew's Crown, I redrawing it in the Brooklyn, NY, based on a design created in Rochester, NY, to avoid any legal questions, except by those who use it in Israel (use I don't an Israeli court would oppose).

It's much better than the Koren you have, but Gutmann's design is a definite improvement, as I pointed above with scanned examples.

quadibloc's picture

Every kosher edition of the Bible or Old Testament must have a secondary commentary in a spoken language - The Talmud

Is this not somewhat complicated today by the fact that people do speak Hebrew nowadays? There are still people who use Aramaic as their spoken language, but IIRC, they're not Jews. Does this mean that for a Tanakh to be kosher, it should have the Targum present in translation - into English, Hebrew, or even Yiddish?

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