Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nissan 5762 - March 20, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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











Home and Family
by Sheindel Weinbach

These are difficult times for Jewry, for those living in Eretz Yisroel and hearing the daily toll of lives, snuffed out from this world forever, or those wounded - and for those who feel along with us from afar. And very often, it is the folks across the ocean who hear the bad news even before we do.

On a very recent motzoei Shabbos, it hit very close to home, in walking distance, but even closer to our hearts, chareidi folk whom we call brothers, in the Beis Yisroel section of town. We were helpless and devastated. Then came the call for O type blood, which, at least gave people something concrete to do.

I am O type, and rushed down to my nearby Magen Dovid Adom depot. The call had just been announced on radio and TV and already there were some fifty people waiting for the doors to open in another 15 minutes. We were rerouted to the second floor, a trauma unit better equipped to handle mass blood donations. By ten, the numbers had swelled to two hundred people of all stripes, starting from the Meah Shearim gold-and-black caftans to the bare-headed secularists, all brothers in arms, arms outstretched to give of their blood.

A reporter appeared shortly to make some interviews and I hope he captured the beautiful sense of unity of the Jewish people in times of trouble. The air was permeated with a strong feeling of brotherhood, all barriers removed.

250 blood donations were taken that night, with many dozens of potential donors turned away and asked to come during the week.

Tale of Four Children

The scene of the bomb is terrible to describe. A congested, very poor neighborhood with children all over the place and parents trying to locate them. Wounded, dying, dead. One man taken to an ambulance and left there to bleed to death in the confusion... Who can be blamed?

Then there was the six year old girl. Hearing the shattering blast, she knew something terrible had happened, and very close by. What to do? To employ the time-old weapon of Jewry: prayer.

She grabbed a Tehillim and ran as fast as she could to a shul in nearby Meah Shearim where she crawled under a table and began to recite Tehillim amidst tears.

Her parents were frantic and sent out search parties but in the pandemonium, no trace could be found. When the smoke had literally settled and it was ascertained that she was not on the scene, people fanned out to search further afield.

The little girl was located over two hours later, still huddled under a table in the shul, still reciting Tehillim through heartfelt tears...

Then there is the story of two brothers and one sister who ride their bikes around the block on Motzoei Shabbos. There are no parks in Beis Yisroel, and anyway, these children are in cheider until about six so that this is really the only time they have to play.

They live smack in the middle of Rechov Chaim Ozer, and their route takes them to the corner of Rechov Beis Yisroel... the very corner of the blast. They were riding up the street, where car traffic generally does not begin until later on, when a car turned into Chaim Ozer, having been parked on Rechov Shimon Rokach for the Shabbos. A neighbor had asked him to move since she needed the space, herself. The children and their bikes were blocking his way for the turn and he asked them to cross over towards Shmuel Hanovi.

He drove past the corner of Chaim Ozer and Beis Yisroel and a minute later the suicide bomber blew himself up. If not for him, the children would have been on that corner then and there.

The next day, the driver came back to knock on doors, looking for the children. A resident of Efrat, he had attended the fateful Shabbos bar mitzva and wanted to know what had happened. He found them safe and sound and made sure that their mother was apprised of the great miracle that had taken place so that she could duly give tzedoka for their rescue.

Mishmeres Hasholom

We little folk cannot make the reckonings of Heaven and pronounce why's and wherefore's. But there is something we can say about these particular children and their extracurricular activities (aside from a weekly bike ride). Their grandmother, a very creative and versatile woman, is presently deeply involved in a worldwide project to improve the Jewish world by enhancing its speech. A tall order, but momentum is gaining for MISHMERES HASHOLOM and there are branches in every country throughout the world where there are concentrations of Jews!

The present promotional project involves getting families to study and practice Shemiras Haloshon daily. Any family committing itself to a schedule of Two Halochos per Day from a Hebrew or English text, and/or a slot for a two hour vigil per day when they are on guard to refrain from any hint of Loshon Hora etc. for yeshuas Klall Yisroel receives a beautiful laminated magnetic chart to post on the fridge and enhance every kitchen. You can write on it and wipe off as your list of `speech guardians' shifts.

10,000 of these were printed up, and Bubby Tabak had purchased two laminating machines to cut down costs. But who would do the actual tedious work? Kids, of course, who love running machines. The three children from this family had spent HOURS one recent evening manning (`kidding'?) the machines and producing two hundred perfect specimens.

Are they not deserving of a miracle?

For more information about joining this worldwide project, call Sora Wurtzberger at 02-538-5589 or write to Rechov Chofetz Chaim 21, Jerusalem or Tzivi Tabak at Yona 27, tel. 02-538-8256, and get your own decorative, useful chart.

Who knows? The next miracle may be your own!


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