Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Shevat 5759 - Jan. 27, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly


















by Rifca Goldberg

I cried. Doesn't everyone cry at weddings? Chana, so tall and thin in her new gown. And the veil that I lent her. The veil that I wore twenty-two years ago. It matched the color of her gown perfectly.

Creativity Corner
A Cake from the Fruit of the Trees

by Devora Piha

Tu Bishvat, the fifteenth of Shvat, is the Rosh Hashona of the trees. The custom is to eat the fruits of Eretz Yisroel, the seven species: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates, plus any other fruits that grow in Eretz Yisroel.

More Creativity
The Family Tree

by Devora Piha

On Tu Bishvat we pay special attention to trees and the fruits that they give us. Trees also provide shade and can be a sign of an underground water supply.

Baalebusta Betterment
by Chaya Roizy Vorhand, Home Management Consultant

A few weeks ago, you wrote about a woman whose kitchen cabinets were so crowded, it was impossible to see what was inside. That sounds like the situation in my kitchen. Can you really help me?

Cooked Date Cakeby Yaffa Shepsel

A delicious, Tu Bishvat treat based on dates and wheat, two of the seven species. Easy enough for young children to make.


A little nonsense which makes a lot of sense
by Shaindy Butrimovitz

Taking my purse in hand,
I hurried over to my local fruit stand,
I looked at the apple, orange and pear,
The kiwi, papaya and other fruits rare,
Yet somehow I felt that it was not they,
From whom I should gain some insight today.
I know the Torah had great lessons to impart,
Some meaningful message to take to my heart,
Not just to be `grapeful' or `orange' you glad,
But something a little deeper was to be had.
I thought a little, and then a lot more,
And then I saw it, right there in the store.
The message I wanted was there the whole time,
So I present it to you: in concept and rhyme.

Ode to a Banana - or - A Peel to Appeal

by Shaindy Butrimovitz

Ode to a banana, from which we can learn,
The essence of friendship, care and concern,
How can we learn this from a fruit that we munch?
From the fact that bananas go around in a bunch!
Have you ever seen a banana grow by itself? It's rare.
They all grow together - helping and learning to care.
Separated only by human force,
Unity exceptional? It's only par for the course.
The way YOU can achieve such lovely PALity,
Is to overlook the faults in your friend's personality.
Friendliness and togetherness should be your pursuit,
As we can further learn from this crescent-shaped fruit.
Even though a "Borei pri ho'adoma" we make,
We call it a fruit, it's no mistake.
We consider it to be more than it really is worth,
As though it grows on a tree, when it comes from the earth.
By making our "ho'adoma" friend a fruit in our eyes,
Her every quality will surely rise.
But just as a banana is easily bruised,
Make sure your friend does not get abused.
Treat her in a proper way,
Be careful with every word you say.
Another thing with bananas - you discard the peel,
And just from the contents you make your meal.
So, too, with your friend, its not appearances that count,
But true inner worth, whose value will always mount.
And, of course, the banana has the shape of a smile -
The root and fruit of a friendship which will last a long while.
And on a more serious note, another Tu Bishvat selection

A Tale of Two Pomegranates

based on a piece by E.T.R.

Two pomegranates, on one kitchen table,
Both pinkish red - undistinguished by label.
But, I know, one was tended,
Cared for, attention showered unended.
Daily they came, checked, fussed, discerned,
Were continuously concerned,
That their precious fruit
Would develop, and in time,
Become export quality,
Reach its prime.
The other, however, was picked,
From that ownerless tree down the road.
It grew untended,
Visited by fly and toad.
Moulded by desert wind,
A street fruit - but outwardly, its twin.
"Mommy, can we play outside?"
My precious fruits, ownerless?
No! Not mine!
To bring themselves up?
No! Not mine!
"Come, my precious ones,
Let's sit 'round the table,
And I'll read to you,
From this book - a moshol-fable."
Weathered by wild winds,
Downstairs, outside,
Fending for themselves,
Pomegranates grow - ownerless - wild.
Downstairs, outside,
Wild laughter, unruly shouts,
Fending for themselves,
Street children, ownerless sprouts.
Later, after kissing
Each precious fruit of mine `Goodnight,'
I take a knife, and cut each pomegranate.
From which shall I bite?
One is wormy, riddled
With brown, rotting sections.
The other is perfect, each seed whole
Beautiful to my inspection.
Take two children - one a street-smart kid,
The other - a child, from a HOME,
The latter - protected, nurtured,
The former, left wild to roam.
They reveal their innermost selves,
Listen to their casual talk,
Test its quality, its tone,
Measured words? Or a scream, a rude squawk?
Just like two pomegranates, side by side,
One will be rusty-brown inside,
The other - will be fine,
Bursting with juice - clear like wine.

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