Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

14 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 7, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Warning on Tu BeShevat Fruit
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Rabbi Eliezer Tzvi T. sent us an urgent letter in advance of Tu BeShevat. "We will never forget Tu BeShevat 5760, and I would like to tell Yated Ne'eman why, in order to make it clear to the public how great the danger is.

"Last year a very unsettling incident took place in our family. A two-and-a-half-year-old was sucking raisins and one of them got lodged in his throat. He began to choke, stopped breathing and turned blue. It was a terrible experience and only through chasdei Shomayim was he spared, through the intervention of a Hatzala volunteer who happened to be in the building at the time and managed to remove the foreign object and perform artificial respiration. The Magen David Adom ambulance driver who arrived eight minutes later told us we had experienced a great miracle. If 2-3 minutes had transpired without oxygen reaching the brain, it would have caused permanent brain damage; if 4-5 minutes had gone by the child would not have survived.

"As Tu BeShevat approaches, I implore the public not to ignore this terrible danger, so that we do not sound the warning cry after it is already too late. Don't let children go anywhere near Tu BeShevat nuts and dried fruits!"

According to guidelines issued by B'Terem, the national center for child health and safety, children under the age of four (and for those who want to observe the mitzvoh of venishmartem more stringently--children under the age of five) should not be given any of the following foods:

All types of nuts and fruits are strictly forbidden. Popcorn is especially dangerous because of its shape. Gum, hard candy and lollipops (!) can get sucked in whole. Hot dogs should be sliced lengthwise and not cut into short segments. Other dangerous foods include fish with bones; round fruits such as grapes, olives and raisins; cake with pieces of almonds or walnuts; and chunky peanut butter.


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