Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Shevat 5764 - February 4, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network












Our Children of Truth and Our Truth
by Y. Baharav

Part I

"How greatly did Chazal emphasize the virtue of truth and said, `The seal of Hashem is truth' (Shabbos 31a). Hashem created everything but the trait of faleshood and the trait of injustice." Each of the negative character traits is sometimes necessary, but the trait of falsehood would be unnecessary, were people not to sin.

Almost Home
by Bayla Gimmel

Recently, I spent some time in another city. Several times during the course of the visit, I did some marketing at a shopping center about two miles from the place where I was staying.

Putting Out the Fire
by A. Brenner

When we found out that the rebbes in my son's cheder were allowed to smoke in front of the students (though not in the classrooms during the lessons), my wife and I decided to try to clean up the air of the cheder. Our sons have asthma, so cigarette smoke is no joke.

Adventures in Carob
by Varda Branfman

It was the taste. Why we were so crazy about the taste, I don't know. It wasn't like us to take so much interest in something like that. The carob bar was unusual in that it had absolutely no sugar. It was the milk powder and the natural sweetness of carob.

Keep Smiling
by Rabbi Avrohom Schwartz

Short inspirational pieces by Rabbi Avrohom Schwartz, Kiryat Sefer, author of A Handful of Light, Hearts on Fire and others on Mussar and Hashkofa.

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

The last thing I want to say is about the most dangerous of rhythm disturbances. Sometimes -- especially in older individuals -- there develops a block between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. This leads to the bottom chamber beating independently.


Thank You, Tree

by Rosally Saltsman

Thank you tree

For the paper to write my stories and ideas on

For the paper to capture my child's smiles on

For the paper to communicate with friends on

For the paper to print stamps for my son's collection on

For the paper -- after I eat chocolate ice cream -- I wipe my mouth on

For the paper I write all my lists and plans and dreams on

For the paper they print the books that inspire me on

For the paper my son draws the pictures I frame on

For the paper they print the money/checks that I earn and spend living on

For the paper I use to dry my tears with

For the paper I use to decorate the succa with

Thank you tree,

Far away in the rainforests of the Amazon

Can you hear me, tree?

Tree? Are you still there, tree?


by Ruth Fogelman

The warm sand trickles through my toes,
The white, luminescent clouds fill the sky,
Protecting me from the burning desert sun.
I march with the thousands of my tribe.
Our hoisted flag flaps in the arid breeze.

I cannot see the two acacia arks;
One holds the sets of the Divine Words,
The first set, shattered, the second, whole, in Moses' hand;
Within the second ark, the bones
Of Great-Grandmother's great-grandfather.

I loved to sit on Great-Grandmother's knee,
She would sit, stroke my long, black hair,
Her wrinkled, leathery hands calloused,
From a lifetime of backbreaking work,
And tell me stories of her great-grandfather.

"Great-grandfather was cast into a pit
In his homeland," she said;
"He was hauled out by merchants,
Sold to sons of Ishmael on route to Egypt,
And to Pharaoh's minister.

"Great-grandfather was thrown
Into Egypt's darkest dungeon
For a crime he did not commit," she said;
"After many moons,
Pharaoh himself ordered his release,
Replaced his dirty rags with robes of royalty
And raised him to honored viceroy of Egypt," she said.

"Great-grandfather stored in giant warehouses
Egypt's wheat and corn
And during the Great Famine,
He rationed it to Egypt's rich and poor.
From his homeland his family came
For the Famine stretched across many lands," she said.

"And that is how we are here,"
Great-Grandmother would say,
Her palms, deeply lined, turned heavenward;
Sitting on her lap, I gazed into her dark, heavy-lidded eyes;
In front of them danced generations past.

I danced with Great-Grandmother
When we crossed the Reed Sea
And joined Miriam in her Song.
Great-Grandmother died
Two years after the return of the Spies,
But her oft-told tales live on.

And now, her tales I tell my children
While through the wilderness we trek,
Back to the Land;
With the Commandments for Today and Tomorrow,
And with the bones, unearthed from the Past,
Of my great-grandmother's great-grandfather.

A Rainbow of Fruit

by KSR

Sour, bitter, sweet and crunchy,
Pungent, tart, luscious, munchy,
Tasty, zesty, nectarous, delectable,
Juicy, chewy, soft and impeccable.

Apples, pears, bananas and grapes,
Kiwi, oranges, grapefruit and dates,
Carob, pomegranate, quince and fig,
Tangerines and pomela, little and big.

This fruitful list goes on and on.
All can be found in the local yarkan.
Apricots or plums? A little of each
And don't forget about our friend the peach.

Just peel a little, (check) and bite right in.
Cut into pieces, thick or thin,
Arranged on a plate or straight from the bag,
Just don't leave on the sticker tag.

Once upon a time, someone said,
That man cannot live just on water and bread.
But really, he could, if truth be told;
That would be enough for young and old.

But Hashem made the world, as we know,
Not only to survive, but to live and grow.
He made it fun to be alive;
He did not want us to just survive.

So He made the fruits a rainbow of colors,
Purple, green and so many others,
Yellow, orange, blue and red.
Not only our stomachs, but our eyes are fed.

The flavors are also full of variety,
So sweet, yet good for those who are dieting,
The shapes and textures are pure delight,
Begging you to taste, to take a bite.

B'chein, bechessed, uv'rachamim,
When we look at fruits, it really does seem
That Hashem loves us so, that He wanted it to be
A treat for us to eat, taste and see.

Sour, bitter, sweet and crunchy,
Pungent, tart, luscious, munchy...

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