Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nisan 5766 - April 4, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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











Home and Family

Dressed to Match
by Rifca Goldberg

"Dovid," Rina Green said, adjusting her handbag onto her shoulder, "I'll be late for the PTA meeting if I don't hurry. Would you please put the twins to bed?"

"Where are they?" Dovid Green asked, looking up from the gemora in front of him.

"I think I hear them coming home from masmidim."

Rina opened the front door just in time for nine-year-old Uri to dash in with Reuven, Uri's identical twin, hot on his heels. Reuven looked up from his shtender while his wife's hand was still on the doorknob as the two boys raced in. In the presence of their father, they stopped abruptly.

Rina took in the sight before her. Uri's shirt was ripped at the sleeve as well as missing three buttons. Reuven looked like he'd rolled in the mud.

"Reuven! You look like your shirt is MADE from dirt." She sighed, waved goodbye to her husband, and saying, "Good luck," she stepped out the front door, shutting it quietly behind her.

"What exactly have you two been up to?" Mr. Green asked, stroking his beard.

Red-faced, Reuven pointed an accusing finger at his brother, "All I did was ask for some of the candy he got in masmidim. His pekele was a lot bigger than mine! So he pushed ME and then I ran after him. Tattee, he can't get away with things like that!"

"It was MY candy!" Uri hissed. "He downed his in two seconds and then expects me to give him all of mine!"

Mr. Green looked at his son, "So you pushed Uri into the mud?" Reuven looked down uncomfortably, "Yes. But I ended up in it somehow..."

Mr. Green continued to stroke his beard thoughtfully while his sons stood fidgeting before him. Mr. Green was thinking, "How can I get these two to stop fighting so often? We've spoken to them so many times already. We've tried charts with prizes. We've tried punishments. We try to keep them busy enough that they won't have time to fight. But here they are..." He looked at Reuven's filthy shirt. What had his wife said? That Reuven's shirt was made from dirt... He smiled. Both boys relaxed somewhat.

"Sit, both of you. I want to tell you something interesting I learned lately."

They each took a chair and sat.

"Fighting is a pretty bad thing to do, isn't it? The opposite of sharing and caring. We've spoken about it often enough, no?"

The boys looked at each other and then down at their mud- splattered shoes.

"I learned that if a Jew sins, at that moment he's clothed in the opposite side of holiness! That means, by way of a moshol, that the front of Reuven's shirt is made out of anger, his sleeves are made out of jealousy, and his pocket is filled with not listening to his father. Uri's ripped sleeve is made from a certain amount of selfishness. The missing buttons perhaps imply a certain 'missing' or lack of ahavas Ysrael. What do you say?"

"Honestly!" Uri muttered under his breath.

"Not to mention," Mr. Green continued, "the back of the collar that is made up of chutzpa."

Uri looked towards the back of Reuven's shirt without even thinking, then stopped himself. They both began to giggle. Mr. Green smiled, "Sounds pretty strange, doesn't it? Now what are your pants made out of?" Uri smeared some of the dirt near his knees, "Boredom, maybe. Wanting to fight for no real reason."

Reuven put his hand over his mouth, trying to stifle a laugh. "Let's go change."

Upstairs, Uri helped tug off Reuven's shoe, they were both careful to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, then Reuven got the broom and began sweeping up the dirt that had crumbled onto the clean floor . . . A short while later the twins came back, arms intertwined, dressed in matching green and blue plaid shirts tucked neatly into their dark blue pants, their tzitzis hanging in orderly fashion over their belts.

"Look Ta," Uri said, "Reuven's shirt sleeves are made from chessed, since he helped me to find my shirt."

"And the back of Uri's shirt is made from doing what's right since he apologized to me."

"And both of you," Mr. Green pulled them each close to himself, "are made from goodness and teshuvoh and mitzvos! Not to mention that as clean as your outer clothing is now, it matches with the good middos you're displaying, which is a lot more important than just wearing clean shirts!"

Right then, Mrs. Green opened the door, carrying groceries. "I stopped by the store on the way home." She put the bags down. "Well, don't you two look clean and nice! And you're dressed to match as well!" The twins smiled at the double meaning that their mother wasn't even aware of and ran to put the groceries away.


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