I was looking on Mi Yodeya for questions related wearing costumes on Purim and came across "Are Sephardic Jews allowed to dress up in costumes on Purim?".

I was excited to find a Rama (OC 696:8) quoted and upon clicking it was shown:

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Since it was a bit difficult to read, I then went to Sefaria and searched for the same and was given:

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Personally, #2 is easier for me to read and I think is more accessible.

My question:

Is there/ what is the policy re: updating a source quoted on an old answer or question?

Essentially should we go by what we feel could be easier to read/ access, and utilize new resources that didn't exist when the question was originally asked OR should we say, no leave as be- perhaps the author wanted davka that source to be used- be it since it has tzuras hadaf(form of the page) or other rishonim on it etc

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    Great question I’ve been wondering @Alex’s stance on this for a while considering his seldom usage of sefaria
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Mar 19, 2019 at 5:02
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    @Dr.Shmuel I'm not such a fan of Sefaria links for several reasons, some enumerated here. Primarily, I don't trust some of their translations, people usually don't distinguish between the translation and the elucidation, it's merely a textual rendition which can easily have mistakes, and it loses the tzuras hadaf and all that goes with it (e.g. commentaries). Though if you have questions about my stance on something you can always feel free to ask me.
    – Alex
    Mar 19, 2019 at 5:14
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    Note that the above should not be taken in an overly negative fashion. I think it's a good resource; I just don't prefer it for linking on Mi Yodeya. And as I noted in my answer below, anyone can disagree (and I'm sure a bunch of people do).
    – Alex
    Mar 19, 2019 at 5:16

3 Answers 3


This is my approach; others can feel free to disagree:

For my own posts I specifically link to certain resources and not others. I prefer linking to something which actually contains the original version, rather than a mere transcription of the words. This retains the tzuras hadaf, as you noted, and often contains other useful information (e.g. various commentaries).

If I deliberately linked a particular type of source I would not appreciate if someone changed it to a different type of source. I also won't edit someone else's post to change it to the type of source that I prefer.

If my post doesn't contain a link at all (usually because I couldn't find a source that has the type of link that I want) I don't refuse edits that add other types of sources (e.g. Sefaria). Similarly, if I am editing someone else's post where there was no link to begin with, I usually add the type of link that I prefer (unless I know that that person prefers a different type of link).

In short, I think different people should be able to have different preferences for types of links, and those preferences should be respected by editors when feasible.

In your particular example, there is another alternative. Since your concern is that the link is to an unclear print, you might perhaps change the link to this which is a new and clear edition of Shulchan Aruch. This way you solve the problem of the unclear text, but you still retain the original poster's preference of an actual page from a book, since I assume that it is unlikely that the person specifically wanted an older less clear edition (though there might be some cases where such an edition was cited specifically for historical purposes, such as the original editions of Shulchan Aruch that I cited in this answer).


I agree with Alex's answer.

I think that the general rule to apply for editing someone else's work is that you should make sure that your edit improves the post without violating the [on-topic] intent originally expressed in it, sort of parallel to "zachin le-adam shelo befanav". So, like Alex says in his last paragraph, if you have a reference link that you believe is a strict improvement upon the original one without losing any features of the original, that substitution would seem to be a good edit. If you're not sure, or if the author disagrees with your preference, you can try to work it out in comments.

Let me add one more suggestion: If the original reference link has some virtues, and you have another link that provides other helpful features and isn't objectionable, you can add a footnote that provides the additional link.1

1. E.g. Hebrewbooks edition with the traditional layout; Sefaria's Davidson edition with English elucidation

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    Another possibility if you're not sure, and especially if the author is active on the site: offer the new link in a comment and let the author decide. Mar 19, 2019 at 20:16

When I add an archive link to a post, I add it in parentheses after the original link. You could do the same thing. See here for an example: https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/30285/603

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