Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Sivan 5761 - May 30, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family

A reader from England wishes to know more about Rabbi Zobin's FRAMEWORK program. Here it is:

THE FRAMEWORK PROGRAM has been developed over the past 20 years to deal with most of the problems which arise in "yeshivishe" education, from pre- kindergarten to kollel and after.

Much of the regular remediation is based on secular, non- Jewish sources and therefore, either misses the mark or is unnecessarily tedious and time- consuming and is usually not suitable at all for older talmidim over the age of 12.

For example, recently FRAMEWORK was called in by a famous Jerusalem cheder to help 15 children in grades 1-3 who could not read and/or were not participating with their classmates in class. After about only 8 hours (average) of remediation per child, all the children were mainstreamed and reading well enough to join in their lessons.

A twenty-year-old bochur had been told that he would never be able to read and he was rejected by all except one yeshiva because of his very low level of learning. He applied to FRAMEWORK for help and after two sessions of guidance in how to learn gemora, he was sitting in the beis hamidrash learning by himself, and after three more sessions devoted to reading remediation, he could read selichos with total accuracy.

A central feature of the FRAMEWORK program is a comprehensive screening schedule which takes only about 30 minutes yet surveys reading efficiency, educational profile and side issues which might be interfering with the students' ability to "learn to learn." The schedule is non- psychological but is based on solid, well established physiological and data-processing principles.

Remediation is based on relating to each person's "educational profile" and dealing with the cause rather than trying to improve the effect. The techniques are stimulating and challenging even for older people and so enjoyable that when the remediator called out boys from the cheder mentioned above, he was besieged by other children asking to be taken and complaining bitterly about being left out of the program.

Rabbi Zobin can be called in Jerusalem at 02-537-3340 for more information. His e-mail address is:

Another reader from England showed interest in our article on graphology for a specific problem child. The expert interviewed was Rabbi Noam Stern from Bnei Brak, but we are sure that there are chareidi graphologists in England as well. His phone number, incidentally, is: 03-619-6896.

And a letter from Devora Piha:

Two words to describe the Home and Family articles are IN DEPTH. These articles contain rich words that are tools to inspire us to think about areas in our lives that have been passed over or forgotten.

I have personally been affected and redirected for the good after reading articles by Rabbi Zobin, R. Chadshai [translated from Bayit Ne'eman], the open forum on children with Down's Syndrome, readers' points of view and fiction and non-fiction writers. The Home and Family section is very alive with ongoing back-and-forth dialogue and encouragement between the editor and readers.

Wow! Thanks, Devora. You deserve a good word, too, for enhancing our CREATIVITY CORNER with your excellent ideas on beautifying our lives through Torah- and mitzva-content!

And as a reminder, readers, we LOVE your mail. Can be sent directly to Weinbach at Panim Meirot 1, Jerusalem, or FAXed to 02-538-7998. And if your comments are seasonal, get them in early enough.

An important note: Send your name and address/phone number on all material, especially on FAXed material, since things go haywire sometimes. And check with us if your FAX did come through. To date, I cannot contact some of the authors of articles I WOULD have used...

And a third reader signals a red light about the wording in our Teaching Love for Torah series, where the mother ASKS her husband to prepare Table Torah.

She suggests we do our guiding much more subtly and not tell our husbands how to lead the Shabbos table. A point that another reader made as well -- not to make the atmosphere contrived or tense, but much more natural and cozy. True, the table is not a classroom.


Another reader offers her thoughts upon her reaction to an urgent call that went out in her neighborhood for a certain type of blood. "I wanted to drop everything, to respond, but was disqualified as a nursing mother."

And then she gets to thinking if her priorities are not lopsided. "If I loved my fellow Jew so much to make a dramatic gesture, what had happened to me the night before, when I was furious with one of my daughter's teachers, ready to go on the warpath... (Was it MY pride that had been hurt?)

"In a split second, I realized how small I was, where I could try to improve, to look at myself squarely in the mirror." She prays to go away from the Festival of Mattan Torah with an ongoing attempt to include all of Klal Yisroel in her "one person, one heart", especially those close to us, in our daily lives.


Another reader:

A simple project for enhancing a Shabbos table: take an empty bottle or jar, preferably with an interesting shape, soak to remove label and help children decorate in either of the following ways:

VERY SUPERVISED: You will need wax crayons and a long candle.

Light the candle and hold the crayon over the flame until it begins dripping onto the bottle. Rotate the bottle and alternate the colors to get a very beautiful effect.

OR: Use ready made stickers of different shapes and sizes, colors -- of course, and paste all around the bottle. You can use fabric swatches or cut out your own shapes from colored paper of different types. You can cover with a layer of Elmer's glue to get a shiny glaze on the bottle.

You've got your Shabbos vase. Now:

Take a nature walk in your own neighborhood, to HEFKER lots where things grow wild. Pick interesting branches and leaves for your Shabbos table and change each week. Pine branches with cones, wild thorns, wild "wheat" stalks. Once you start looking, you will see a beautiful new world with your old everyday eyes. A great exercise in appreciation! A project children will wish to perpetuate, changing the bouquet each week. With or without water.


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