Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Tishrei 5760 - September 15, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Sefer Torah
by Rifca Goldberg

Simchas Torah. Men swaying as they finish davening maariv and then... they begin to bring out the Sifrei Torah. Each one more exquisite than the next. Each crowned with delicate swirls of dark yellow gold. Four clad in blue velvet with ruby gems, four with deep burdundy trappings with fine silver fringes. Now my husband is being given my favorite, the smallest, a singular pure white Sefer Torah with intricate gold leaves in a graceful circle around the center of its robe. Sparkling emeralds leave me feeling in awe of its perfection. I could look at it all day! I can't wait for my husband to come close enough to the women's section so that my little boy and I can steal a kiss and I can feel its silky smooth softness.

Before the dancing even begins, I notice a rather unpleasant odor arising from my toddler standing next to me. I moan, quickly head towards the exit, then home to take care of this little fellow of mine. But I long to stay...

An hour later, I come back with a clean, well-fed child. They're up to the last hakofa. I settle myself down with Benny and look anxiously for `my' Sefer Torah. There it is, in all its splendor! So beautiful. So lovely. The dancing is about to begin, again.

"Mommy, my ear hurts." I look down at my five-year- old Sorele. Her cheeks are flushed. Her eyes are glazed. "I want to go home, Mommy." I gaze once more at the satiny white treasure in the center of the dancing. "I didn't get to kiss it," I think to myself resentfully. "And I'll never have the z'chus to hold a Sefer Torah." A pang of jealousy sweeps through my innards. Why do I have to be responsible for the constant baby care? The continuous "Mommy! I want..." "Mommy! Give me..." Hardly a moment to myself. Even when I try to daven minimally, I get interrupted repeatedly.

Sorele's pulling on my hand. Minutes later, I inch my way homeward with Benny pulling on my skirt and Sorele sniffling by my side. I sigh. The singing, the dancing, the Sifrei Torah, all vanish behind me. Soon Eli and Shmuel join us, sand in their hair and shoes. At home, I give Sorele Tylenol and lay her in her bed with her favorite doll. I go into the kitchen and make the boys pekelach. They run out, back to shul. Or is it back to the sandbox?

Benny and I are now left alone. I would love to go back to shul, but hakofos are definitely over. Anyway, I can't leave Sorele alone. I can see why women are exempt from most of the mitzvos revolving around the shul.

I watch Benny as he sits on the floor looking at his tzaddikim album. Such a lovely child. I lean over to caress his silky peach-soft skin. I gaze lovingly, reverently at his china-white complexion set off by deep green eyes like sparkling gems. His small head crowned with blonde ringlets -- delicate swirls of gold topped with blue velvet. The smallest in the family, and in some ways, my favorite. It amazes me how Hashem creates such perfection, such promise, in these beautiful miniature people. I could look at him all day!

I think of the exquisite white Sefer Torah that I so longed to touch, just half an hour before, and I lift my baby, my very own living Jewish treasure, and I hold him and kiss him. All the resentment seems to have vanished behind me. I sway gently with Benny encompassed closely in my arms and I smile.

Simchas Torah.


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