Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Shevat 5761 - January 31, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network












On the Subject of Black Clouds
by Varda Branfman

It appears like a black wisp far away on the horizon. You hardly register it in your field of vision. But then it can only be seconds before it puffs up into an enormous black cloud that races over to you and completely fills your private space.

Hat is (part of) the Question
by Susan Yaakobi

She didn't know what gave her the sudden desire to go to shul that Friday night. Maybe for lack of anything better to do, a mixture of curiosity and nostalgia -- I wonder what it's like to go to shul for the first time since I was a schoolgirl, and be able to understand some of the siddur.

One Person's Opinion

by L. Kohn, Jerusalem

In our culture, we are programmed from birth to love food. Rich sweet foods are connected to love and warmth. We associate grandmothers and parties with cookies, cakes and chocolates, not with celery and carrot sticks. Emotional nourishment is linked to physical nourishment. Many words for those we love are words used for food: e.g. sweetie, honey, sugar, zisskeit, motek etc.

Day of Royalty
by Rifca Goldberg

Sometimes you have to be hit over the head until a new idea takes hold. One of the oldies was: shidduchim is such a great chessed that no money can ever repay the favor. The problem is that according to Halacha, this does not hold true.

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

As we mentioned last time, there are diseases of the lungs that come from other places. One of the most common ones is probably the most serious illness I see. It is called by a scary name: "Congestive Heart Failure" or CHF; but it really isn't failure in the sense that the heart stops working. Rather, the heart begins to pump inefficiently and instead of blood going forward, it backs up into the lungs and they fill up with fluid.

Poet's Corner

Journey of a Soul
excerpted from a poem by

Dov Patkin

There is the short way that is long.
This is the journey I traveled for nine months,
I was coming at last into the world.
Not just any world, for I had heard that I would merit being born
Into a religious Jewish Home.

To me, this means that my parents will be
Loving to me; they will treasure me,
They are above seeing the world superficially,
They will see my soul.
Full of trust
They know that nothing happens
but with HIS WILL.

I am so excited.
I already see my father,
Praying with his pure heart,
And my brothers and sisters -- waiting to see me,
Waiting to hear him announce
"A Bris," "A Kiddush."

The moment is coming...
I'm afraid -- the world looks so BIG
Please, Hashem, Help!

Suddenly... I AM BORN
I feel very much alone
So helpless, I need reassurance
Loving arms around me.

But I am part of a
Good Jewish Family.
That means -- people who can
see beyond their selfish selves
Who can feel the suffering of another
Who do not wish to cause others pain
That means -- people who will not be ashamed
because my exterior is
"a little different"

So I relax. It WILL be alright
And I wait
For my mother to bring me to her heart
And ever so slowly
I begin to wake up
For there is no fond look of love


But wait -- there is my father
Who shines with piety and love of Hashem
Just like when he makes lechayim to the Rebbe

What? Can my little ears
believe what they hear?
"Don't worry -- I told the children
Our baby died in childbirth.
I've arranged for her immediate adoption.
We'll be rid of her soon."

But wait --
Surely, all is not lost!
They are just overwhelmed,
Certainly the rabbi will guide them
to see me as I really am
He will tell them
that Hashem has sent me
into their care.
But no salvation comes.
"DON'T BRING HER HOME" the rabbi rules.

My head is reeling,
lips parched, eyes swollen
My little chest heaving
From constant sobbing
No! No! No!
My breath comes in weak gasps.
Why not die?
What do I have to live for?
Tears stream down my little round face.
My litle slanting eyes also know
How to give forth fountains of tears.

I am left alone in the hospital crib.
My parents have gone.
Then IT is there...
a cold metal CROSS
dancing before my eyes.
"Yes, we'll take her...
This is the third Jewish child we'll have picked up today..."

"Hashem! Why must this happen to me?
What did I do wrong?
Save me! Save my soul!
For Your sake!"

With a rush of slick wings,
Satan dances in,
The die is cast!
This soul is MINE!
Let's finish the business.
The father agrees
The mother agrees
The Rebbe agrees
So -- SIGN!"

Then it happened
I don't know why I did it.
I just did.

A little smile
That brought sunshine
And a breath of fresh air
Penetrating warped minds
Cracking an opening
into ice-steel hearts.

Suddenly the pen in my father's hand
Feels heavy, made of lead. It will not move.
All eyes on my father,
He gives another glance
At me, smiling to him.
"No! I will not sign. Look at her, dear wife,
she is smiling to me!
She needs us!"

Tears of realization
Of understanding
Flow down my mother's cheeks.
She takes me to her heart
And I smile up to her.
I forgive; I understand,
I know that all is from Hashem.
After all, am I not
a soul from on high?

Tears of joyful acceptance from my mother
My good Jewish mother
Wash away my agony.
I am home,
After a long journey.
* I am saved, but
How can OUR souls rest
when WE know Somewhere
Right now
A little Jewish heart
A little Jewish soul
Is alone?
How would YOU like it
If she was you
And you were her...

[Ed. A poem with an urgent message.

This is the author's approved revision, but the unabridged edition can be obtained directly from Dov Patkin at Kiryat Shomrei Emunim Block 2, Jerusalem, tel. 02-5829944. He encourages people to call, if only to talk... His blessing to the editor:

"May Hashem give you brocho vehatzlocho to be the messenger to save many souls and help bring the geula sheleima"

- which can only happen when ALL the souls have descended from the Heavenly Throne down to this world!]

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