Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Tishrei 5760 - September 15, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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by Chaim Walder

It was an unusually hot and sticky summer night. The small fans in the dingy dining hall only seemed capable of cooling off the hovering flies. The Bar Mitzva boy sitting next to the Rabbonim was totally encased in his new suit with his hat perched stiffly on his head. The guests were still busy with the complicated task of drinking and eating while wiping their brows when Shalom-to-you-Moshe came walking in.

Sefer Torah
by Rifca Goldberg

Simchas Torah. Men swaying as they finish davening maariv and then... they begin to bring out the Sifrei Torah. Each one more exquisite than the next. Each crowned with delicate swirls of dark yellow gold. Four clad in blue velvet with ruby gems, four with deep burdundy trappings with fine silver fringes.

Preparing For The Future ; Maintaining a Dislike for "Bread of Shame"
by R' Zvi Zobin

Mrs. Alter was one of those old-timers they don't seem to make anymore. A proud lady who had been brought up in the East End of London in the hard times after the First World War, she was telling us how members of the local "Golden Age" organization called for her every Tuesday afternoon and took her by special car, as she was handicapped, to a nearby club. There, she spent a pleasant few hours of activities and after a nourishing supper, the same car drove her back home.

The Esrog
by Rivka Tal

"And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of the hadar tree, branches of palm trees and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before Hashem seven days" (Vayikra 23:40).

The Asher Yotzar Miracles - Part II
by Sheina Geffen

The first part of this series emphasized the importance of reciting the Asher Yotzar blessing with full concentration, standing stock-still for the duration of the twenty seconds it takes each time. Not very much time to devote to thanking Hashem for such a vital process that keeps us healthy. All told, only two minutes a day, well invested in keeping a person healthy.

Remembering Succos - Sink, Swim or Sail: The Succa Scenario

by Malka Adler

No doubt the Succos of 5758 (1997) will go down in the annals of Israel's history as the most memorable, at least, weatherwise. The weird weather conditions were obvious as early as the previous day. I was trying to maneuver my way through the busy, bustling streets of Geula. Colored lights glowed. Succa decorations dangled alongside strings of portraits of radiant Rabbonim and Simchas Torah flags that would have flapped in the breeze, had there been any.

A True Life Story - How NOT to Bake a Cake
by Rivka Tal

Ladies, all these things happened to ONE cake. Probably better this way. But Rivka still has her credentials by us, I'm sure.

Poet's Corner
by Ruth Lewis

A loose handgrip,
A casual backward shuffle,
Half walking, still talking politics,
Singing barely heard.
Onlookers attach themselves.
The circle grows,
Fills the room below.


Turning slowly,
Against the white-tiled floor,
As a necklace is revolved
To show each bevelled link
To best advantage.
Framed, one by one,
In the diamond-shaped holes of the latticework,
Are faces: ruddy, refined, joyous, austere --
Eyes: alert, adream.
This first dance
Is slow, serene.
Old men join in, and tourists, visitors.


A tighter circle forms,
A wheel. Light, buoyant.
Spins, reverses, spins, reels,
Faster, faster.
Lifts a question,
Crashes an answer.
Axles forge, dissolve.
Spokes form, break away.
Points of light glance off silk shoulders.
Sheets of white light slide over caftans,
Brown, black, blue-striped, silver, gold;
Hats of black velvet, ringed in fur.
Sidecurls jouncing, knotted fringes flying.


Faster, faster.
Faces firelit, flame-red.
Shoulders locked, fused
Into a fortress.
Leaping, laughing.
Joys turns to song,
Turns into a march of


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