Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

9 Nissan 5764 - March 31, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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












The Door
sadly enough, based on a true story
by Yehudis Gershon

"There's the door, young man."

"But, but Rebbe Katz, I didn't mean to..." replied Shimon.

"Enough's enough. You've interrupted this lesson one time too many. You've had sufficient warning. Now leave. Wait in the hallway till further notice."

Doing a Mitzva Fast
a true story by Rivka Glick

The lesson of the matza -- not to let things sit and sour. Good intentions are not good deeds if you let those diamond opportunities slip away.

Mixed Families, Unmixed Blessings
by R. Chadshai

It is quite a challenge to a mother when the oldest is twenty or more, and the baby is three months old. Small children need actual physical care, i.e. feeding, dressing, bathing and putting to bed. But older children present mood swings, teenage problems, doubts, uncertainties, all time-consuming issues.

Motty's Moment
a true story by Devora Halpern (with some editing)



A three-wheeled vegetable trolley clattered against the green dumpster. Mrs. Isaacs wiped her hands with an air of finality and walked back to her apartment, satisfied that the piece of rubbish was finally where it belonged.

Pioneers of Settlements in Eretz Yisroel

by Yisca Shimony

A young woman, Liebe Shlesinger, stood at the entrance of the large and brightly lit dining room, holding in her arms her two infant daughters, Sara and Shoshana. Close by stood Zeidel Dovid, her oldest son, hardly much more than an infant, himself.

Our Second Seder
by Sudy Rosengarten

"Hey, get a load of what just fell in!" Amy gasped, retreating.

Keep Smiling

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

Teach it Diligently to Your Children
by Bayla Gimmel

"What a large amount of karpas," my sister was thinking. "Why on earth do they need so much, and why go to the trouble of making it so fancy?"

Why? Why? Why?
by A. Ross, M.Ed.

Why do children ask so many questions? Why are they never satisfied with the answers? Why do they frequently ask the questions in loud penetrating voices at the most inopportune moments? Why is `because' not a satisfactory answer?

Pesach -- when we WANT the children to ask.

Observations: The Latest Nutrition Guidelines -- Cut Salt, Up Potassium
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

A US nutrition report suggests lowering the maximum amount of salt Americans should allow themselves each day, even though the average person already consumes far more than the old maximum.

Observations: Even Light Alcohol Consumption Impairs Driving
by S. Fried

Even slight consumption of alcohol causes physiological stress and impairs the driver's ability to keep the vehicle centered in the lane, according to a study at Ben-Gurion University.

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

Flying is for most of us a terrible experience -- inadequate food, dry air, swollen ankles. The key, according to experts, is to drink a lot and walk a lot in the plane. Clots in legs that have made it to the lungs have been known to occur, in a new disease called "economy class syndrome." Even exercising your legs in the seat will help. Try to avoid alcohol and sedatives.

Antioxidants: The Color Connection
by Dr. Reuven Bruner, Ph.D.

When it comes to protecting your health, experts say to go for fruits and vegetables in the richest hues. The latest research can't say for sure whether colorful antioxidant-rich foods help stave off Alzheimer's, the disease that riddles memory and strangles brain cells with plaque. But a diet low in saturated fat with fewer calories might work better, especially when combined with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

New Developments in Treating Abdominal Hernias
by M. Samsonowitz

A hernia is a tear -- an opening in the body that should not be there. Hernia operations, which constitute 30-40 percent of all operations done in hospitals, are standard procedures which have been performed for years. But developments in recent years have brought welcome news to hernia patients, especially to women.


Renewal of Creative Forces

by Tzipora Zien

A barren branch, a patch of mud,
The rock strewn hills and plains,
Have suddenly begun to bud,
With heliotrope and yellow stains!

This verdant vegetation strewn;
Our country's own spring-greening.

A flock of storks on mighty wings,
Is elegantly soaring,
The swallow softly dips and spins,
Our energy restoring.

The sparrows flitted; feathers flew,
And fluffed at their spring-preening.

The seasons come and many go
With Rosh Yeshivos sighing,
They meet with forty boys or so,
Their traits and gifts espying.

Thus surely their yeshivos grew
And thrived through such spring-gleaning!

We mothers know our duties well,
Both home and heart protecting,
Our deeds and prayers their stories tell
In gestures worth collecting.

Our niche in history is hewn,
And polished with spring-meaning!

Though in the unforgiving mirror's glare,
The wrinkles slowly start to show,
Replace that blank and thoughtless stare,
With warm and friendly smiles that glow.

You'll reach your station with the flow,
And keep a fresh spring-leaning!

The Source of all creative urge,
The Impetus of life,
Has given us the power to purge
Those vessels which are prone to strife.

We gain significantly through
A Pesachdig spring-cleaning!


Occupations are Greener on the Other Side...

by Tziporah Zien

There's so much I would do,
But have no time to help.
I must first clean the closet,
And tidy up the shelf,
And then I need to wash the clothes
And hang them up myself.

There's much I'd do to help,
Though no one asks me to.
Why doesn't someone make a plan:
A great collective view --
Some future project, well designed,
And sorely overdue?

I'd love to pitch right in!
Just tell me what's the job.
Two hands I've got and fingers,
For scrubbing doors and knobs.
Does no one need my elbow grease
To rub out public blobs?

There's so much to be done
But who can find the time?
I'd love to be involved in schemes
To rid the world of crime,
Why can't we shape together some
Communal paradigm?

Alas, I've found no partner
To share my dreams with me.
Must good intentions perish
In anonymity?
I'm left to try to grasp alone
Some small eternity.

I guess one needs a lesson
In playing out one's role.
To work in one's own corner,
And eat from one's own bowl.
One's private acts are relevant
And face a strict patrol.

The import of a work force
Is more related to
The one who doles out duties
And not the working crew.
If her Creator hands her tasks,
No greater work she'd do!!!


Of Cell Phones

by Ruth Fogelman

Before the cell phone was invented,
When I was in the middle of a conversation
With anyone on the street or on the bus,
It would not be interrupted by an electronic tune,
Purported to be a ring.

Before the cell phone was invented,
When I heard a solitary person talking alongside me,
I would think he had a mental or an emotional problem,
But today, I see people talking into a piece of plastic
Attached to their ear, and I have to remind myself:
Yes, today this is considered normal.

Before the cell phone was invented,
I could have a quiet bus ride reading a book or article,
But today, the person next to me, behind me and in front of me,
Have private conversations,
I would rather not hear.

Before the cell phone was invented,
Rude rings would not interrupt shiurim, lectures and performances,
Today, even if an audience is reminded to turn off cell phones,
They still ring --
And sometimes -- it's the lecturer's phone...

Before the cell phone was invented,
I could stand at the Kosel on a weekday morning
And hear the hum of prayer.
Today, people around me might listen
To the voice from that palm-fitting plastic case,
But it is not Hashem's voice they hear.

Before the cell phone was invented,
Silence had not yet become a scarce commodity.

But before the cell phone was invented,
I couldn't call up my daughter
To see if she was on her way home,

I couldn't call my friend in the bank line
After her husband told me she was out.
I'd have to practice more patience,
And wait for her to return home.

Before the cell phone was invented,
I couldn't call from the bus,
(On someone else's phone),
To say I'm on the way, or stuck in a jam.

Since the cell phone was invented:

Do we communicate more?
Do we listen more?
If we're always chatting with our friend,
Will we ever find time to talk to Hashem?


A Heartfelt Smile

by Perach Mosesson

I open up my tired eyes,
Lie in bed for a short while,
Say modeh ani, wash my hands,
And put on a happy smile.

Across the room, Avi is staring,
Phone in hand, he wants to dial,
Sorry -- it's too early for calls,
Wish him a "Good morning!" and flash a smile.

Dressing children, pushing forward,
In and out of rooms I file,
"Don't forget to make your beds, please,"
Coaxing with a hopeful smile.

Shmueli provokes his baby brother,
Pulls his ponytail, fun to rile,
Come now, boys, no time for fighting,
Towards the kitchen we all smile.

Frothy white milk floods the counters,
Rice Krispies splattering tiles,
Not to worry, I'll just clean it,
Grab a rag and buff my smile.

Hear some outbursts, "He'll make me late!"
Reassure and reconcile,
Pull on jackets, plant some kisses,
Send them all off with a smile.

Time to tackle my greatest foe,
Shirts, pants, tights, socks in a pile,
Tell myself that I shall conquer,
Lift my head with fearless smile.

Washing dishes, floors and windows,
Running errands, walking miles,
Getting home to greet the children,
With a loving, welcome smile.

How can I become this mother?
Magic potion in a vial?
All it takes is lots of practice,
And a dauntless, heartfelt smile.

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