Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Elul 5759 - September 1, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Ur'ei Betuv Yerusholayim
Submitted by L.K.

Last week as I was waiting near a bus stop in Yerusholayim for a bus to Kiryat Sefer, a boy of around nine asked me to take him across the road. At that age, they don't like to ask, but it was a dangerous crossing [which had had its victims, heaven forfend] and he was a good boy to do so. However, I saw my intercity bus in the distance and knew that I would miss it if I took him over.


The Guide to Chodosh is issuing the following Yoshon alert:

The Chodosh season in the U.S. is starting. The following are the earliest estimated dates when Chodosh may be starting in the United States. Those who want to be certain to eat only Yoshon should avoid using freshly-baked bakery wheat products starting Aug. 14 in the Midwest USA and Aug. 30 in the East and Far West.

Focus on Gemach
by Sheindel Weinbach

The word gemach used to be synonymous with interest- free loans. While this aspect of gemilus chassodim is still very relevant in a country whose chareidi population is predominantly in kollel, and which cannot make ends meet even at the beginning (of the month), nevertheless, this word has focused on a newer connotation which has become much more prevalent in the past half dozen years: the clothing gemach.

A Challenge That Is Its Own Reward
by Tamar Wisemon, Tsefas

Shira, aged eighteen months, had just come out of her bedtime bath and was standing, shivering, waiting for me to diaper and dress her. Then Rachel, aged two months, started to whimper in the other room -- she was hungry...

Gzar Din and Gezer
by Rivka Tal

At this time of year, when we plead with Hashem to grant us, our families and the entire Jewish people a favorable gzar din (judgment), let us turn to gezer, the carrot. This vegetable has its symbolic counterpart in Yiddish, as well, when we pray that ess zohlen zich mehren unzere zchuyos - our merits should increase.

Poet's Corner
by Chaim Salenger

[This was addressed to the lost youths of our modern generation, but as we all strive to become baalei tshuva, ourselves, and have our tangles in our own thickets, we would do well to take the message to heart, each to his own degree and interpretation.]

"After being told not to slaughter his son, Isaac, `Avraham raised up his eyes and saw, and behold, a ram after...' What is `after'? After all of the generations (the people) of Israel will be in the grip of transgressions and tangled in troubles... In the end, they will be redeemed by the ram's horns" (Midrash Rabba).

It's a nice soft suicide,
We are grinning as we go,
We've been taken for a ride,
But to where, we do not know.
Go and find the human heart,
The human heart is in exile.
And so we say we're doing fine,
Occupied in our own decline.
And there we sit in frozen mood,
Shattering in pieces,
Filling up on foreign food,
But funny -- the hunger never ceases.


Through the vanities of time,
And the platitudes of youth,
We are wasted in our prime,
And we can't afford the truth.
Tangled in the thicket like the horns
Of a wayward ram.


Listen well, you'll hear the horn a-blowing,
Calling to the soul of man.
You can build a tower tall.
You can make yourself the king,
And though the hand of man is small,
He can do 'most anything.
With every strange success we score,
We say we're unassisted, and though
History moves in a logical flow,
We say that we're exempted.
And when the physical shell gets thicker,
You see the spark inside get sicker,
So we move around a little quicker,
Employing every diversion that's invented.
In an artificial light,
There's no wrong and there's no right,
Only thrills to ease the pain,
Tangled in the thicket...


Float around on a lavender cloud,
Thinking nothing serious,
When suddenly, you're on the ground,
In ways that seem mysterious,
To modify the crooked lines,
To clarify the alibis,
And whereupon you realize
That the bridge is rather narrow and precarious...

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