Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

23 Kislev 5761 - December 20, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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












A Giyoret's View of Ahavas Hageir
by Ruth

Conversion to Judaism is not just a ceremony and it does not really take place on a specific day or in one place. For the true convert, the beis din and tevillah are only the final seal of approval; they are the culmination of a much longer process that involves much more.

Hashem's Bounty
by Bruchie Laufer

A soft rustling sound was made by Mamel's full length skirt swishing about as she walked up the stone path to her front door.

The Children of Teheran

by Yisca Shimony

The winter of 1943 was a sad one. The war in Europe was raging and the terrible news from abroad reached us daily. Here, in Yerusholayim, we feared the Germans conquering us, a horror which was compounded by tales of what was being done to fellow Jews abroad. Helpless and unable to change things in any way, depression settled into the hearts of people. And so the cold winter dragged on and on...

Central Telephone
by M. Steinberg

When I was a little girl in America, not everyone had a telephone in their home. We lived in a huge old mansion by the Atlantic Ocean and rented out sections of it during the year and more apartments in the summer when we retreated to a small corner of the premises in order to earn our annual bonus for the year.

Honored Friends...
by Batya Feigenbaum

I REALLY APPRECIATE your inviting me here today, and I am honored that you think I might have something to offer you. I understand that the topic I was asked to discuss is dealing with adversity, and I assume that I was invited here because I am a paraplegic. But I have no problem dealing with my adversity of being handicapped.

Happiness Essay
by Batya Feigenbaum

These days, my thoughts keep on visiting a small corner in my heart filled with pain for three young children, victims of the bomb in Kfar Darom. They will be handicapped for life; nothing will ever be the same. But who knows? Rather, we do know! For all the pain, physical and emotional, social and otherwise, they will probably be better, more sensitive people, having to overcome so much. They will affect the people all around them and will generate much respect for the way they accept Hashem's decree, as their parents already have.

Finding the Good in Your Child -
How to Help Your Child Build a Strong Self Concept

by Masha Wolf, Child Therapist and Consultant

Part II

In the first part, we discussed "finding islands of competence and success in children." We stressed the importance of labeled praise -- making praise specific. We carry on with

The Voice of Tehillim
by Varda Branfman

Part I

During my first months in Jerusalem, I soaked up masses of information about everything related to Judaism, from the kosher species of birds and animals, to the order of the sacrificial offerings in the Temple, to the proper observance of the Sabbath, etc. I did nothing else but attend classes, read books on the subject, and engage in discussions about the same with the people I was meeting. I was emerging out of the cocoon stage from an assimilated American Jew and flying at dizzying heights as a Torah Jew forged in eternity.

Anashaim Achim

by A. Harel
Reviewed by Sheindel Weinbach

A very good friend of mine gave me a very personal gift for my birthday. She made a poster board out of newspaper clippings with my picture on it announcing an exclusive interview which she followed up with an imagined exclusive interview. I was very touched and overwhelmed and decided to frame the `front page' as is and hang it in my room.

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

Blood pressure treatment is a fast changing field. New medications arrive daily and we have progressed a lot from the time when we used powerful medications to reduce blood pressure that caused all sorts of side effects such as depression, weakness and excessive urination.

Poet's Corner

The Rambam says that when society has become too corrupt and a Jew feels it insinuating itself into his very being, he must flee to the desert or to caves to preserve his Jewish sanity.

This is what the Torah-true Jews did in the times of Chanuka, when Hellenism threatened to become overwhelming. Actually, everyone needs his own inner cave to retreat to, where he can commune with his own thoughts. But the real thing -- that's a different dimension altogether in time/space continuum. Join us.

Cave Dwelling
by Varda Branfman

[Soon to appear in a new collection of poems and essays, which you will not want to miss: I REMEMBERED IN THE NIGHT YOUR NAME]

Hood of warm air
Easy as pulling the covers over your head.
You leave the clear night and wide open field
To enter the cave.

Earth hollowed by
Antedeluvian yawn
Cave walls smooth
As the roof of your mouth.

Cave reared up out of the earth
Without bulldozing trees and
Picking out rocks
Or sinking foundations.

You enter into
Slumbering earth.
Your entrance doesn't awaken

Cave exhaling
As you bring in sacred books
To read by candlelight,
Turn the axis of reality
Before your eyes.

The caves
Sheltered whole families
Who stayed long after the Greeks
Left the open fields
And sailed off the edge
Of history.

You expect this dwelling
Will bring you back,
Back before anger,
Before regret,
Before exile,
Back to heartbeat
And simple longing.

Back to the smell of your own skin,
Warm, close air
In a womb of earth.
When you speak,
Words smooth down
And softly echo back.

The suede of cave tones
Erases difference between
Faces and ages,
Beginnings and endings,
And flight.

A group of you gather
To read ancient texts,
Taking turns dozing off,
Each sleep joining ancient sleep,
And breath matching breath
Of distant stars.

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