Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

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








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











Home and Family
The Shtetl
by M. Steinberg

And who says Jerusalem is not one big shtetl? In most Jewish neighborhoods in the world, you have to put on invisible blinkers to see only `our' people and avoid what you don't want to see. Here you can fill your eyes with heartwarming sights...

In fact, a neighbor once gratefully boasted that she was able to send off nine children locally, to cheder, school and two kindergartens each morning -- without their having to catch a ride or even cross the street!

A very honorable looking gentleman in a long black coat was loaded down with five bags and holding his velvet talis zeckel under his arm. When he reached the garbage bin, he hesitated and sent most of the bags into the bin, carefully retaining one "good" bag and his tallis-and- tefillin.

A grandfatherly type with a graying beard was slowly walking his youngest, a two-year-old, up the stairs to kindergarten.

Women dressed for work were sitting at the bus stop, their Tehillim already open, to start the day with extra merits.

Women dressed in robes and tichels were waiting in the square to put their youngsters on the school bus so that they could begin their workday at home.

A fourteen-year-old in her school uniform was hurriedly hanging out the family wash on her back porch.

A little boy of six was escorting his two little brothers to school. Holding hands, they strolled at the pace of the smallest one towards their destination.

The greengrocer across the way was setting out his wares on the street and having just finished with the maaser mashgiach, was open for business.

A three-year-old was carrying milk and bread, tucked under each arm respectively. He stopped to check that he had the little piece of paper, his receipt, to hand over to his mother, as instructed.

Another article on nostalgia for the good old days? This all happened this very morning in the spring of 2001 in a north Jerusalem suburb. Bubbie (that's me) was not watching all the hustle and bustle from her rocking chair on the front porch, but sitting in the car writing notes for this article while waiting for her driver, who is lucky enough to live in the shtetl of today.


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