Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Av 5759 - August 4, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Part II
Loving Chezky - A Mother and Son On Two Separate Wavelengths

by Miriam Luxenberg

Update: Chezky was born, overriding doctors' insistence on an abortion. His mother describes a strange love-hate relationship, which the reader has yet to encounter. We begin with the last paragraph of last week's first part:

So why am I writing about loving Chezky? What could be so difficult about loving such a lovely boy? I guess you could compare it to shidduchim. It looks good on paper, but the chemistry is all wrong.

Hashomrot - One Phase of Shemiras Haloshon All Year Round

While the Yom Iyun on Shemiras Haloshon was covered in the body of this paper, we would be terribly remiss in not reporting at least one facet of this year-round preoccupation for us, females of Am Yisroel. It is our `baby,' after all. We have chosen "Hashomrot" for girls.

Creativity Corner:
Modesty - An Adornment for Life and The Use of Paper Dolls

by Devora Piha

Part II

Paper dolls are an offshot of the period of mass publication, printing and wide availability of paper. They originated as a jumping doll or puppet called Pantins that danced when the strings in the backs were pulled, and were brought via the French or British to colonial America in the mid 1700s. Paper dolls without moving parts soared into popularity in the eighteenth century along with the development of color printing.

Tomato Time
by Rivka Tal

Reintroducing you to the tomato! The tomato is a member of the nighshade family, along with the potato and eggplant, fruit of a vine native to South America. By the time European explorers had arrived in the New World, the tomato had made its way up into Central America and Mexico.

Poet's Corner
Bais Yaakov Memories
by M. L. Mashinsky

[In memory of Rebbetzen Vichna Kaplan, z'l, whose 13th Yarzeit fell on 15 Av. We regret that we were unable to print this in time.]

Listen, my children, and you shall hear,
The story of one whom we all revere,
As the "Brisker lehrerin" she was known,
And we all rejoice in the seed she has sown,
And its precious fruit, scattered far and near.
Sara Shenirer's disciple, in mind and heart,
She learned and taught, right from the start,
The struggle was great, the rewards were small,
So it seemed then, but she gave it her all,
She passed on her knowledge with skill and with art.
Brave and determined, she made her way,
From Baranovitch to Brisk to the U.S.A.
To the "treifene medina" with so much to fear,
"Learning? For girls? What a queer idea!"
But she persisted, come what may.
Whom would she teach? And where? And when?
But nothing fazed our dear Rebbetzen.
Seven girls came, and listened and heard,
They loved and obeyed each golden word.
What a treasure the Torah became to them!
On Hooper and Lee, over the A & P store,
They learned chumosh and Rashi, hashkofo galore,
When on tzniyus the Rebbetzen shyly began,
All the girls answered as one:
"But Rebbetzen, why didn't you tell us before?"
Learning together, what a beautiful sight!
Can there be more nachas or greater delight
Than to find the seed grown into a tree,
Blessed with fruit that continues to be
Bountiful, sweet, unblemished and bright?
With Rebbetzen Kaplan as teacher and guide,
Bais Yaakov's fame spread far and wide,
On South 8th, an enormous building was found,
That first class, a handful, rattled around,
But the place was soon packed, from side to side.

That rickety structure, those wooden stairs creaking,
The jam-packed classrooms, the pipes often leaking,
What a happy thing it was to be
A Bais Yaakov talmida at one-forty-three,
And to hear our own dear teachers speaking.
Rebbetzens Wachtvogel, Springer, Pincus and Bender,
Godlefsky, Rottenberg and Chotokov, all gentle and tender...
And who can forget the mussar session,
With Rabbi Godlefsky, full of fire and passion,
That's the Bais Yaakov that we remember.
After so many years, when Bais Yaakov outgrew
The place on South 8th, there was nothing to do
But to move on to a new home in Boro Park
Where, carefully, they continued to fan the spark
That had built a Jewish generation anew.
A young generation in navy and white,
Crisply checked uniforms, cheerful and bright,
That's what you see when you open the door,
They fill up the building to the top floor,
Their learning, their midos -- a teacher's delight.
Yes, Bais Yaakov has left its mark,
On those that captured that precious spark,
From the torch that continues to glow and inspire,
That kindles a radiant flame and fire
To light our path all over the golus so dark.
May it continue to guide our ways,
To illumine the night with its shining rays,
Let us carry proudly the banner of Bais Yaakov,
And trust in continued help from Above,
To hasten Moshiach's coming, soon, in our days.

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