Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Kislev 5762 - December 5, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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












Teaching Versus Learning
by R' Zvi Zobin

Rabbi Reuven looked at the page again. He still could not understand what was printed there. Or course, he could understand the plain meaning of the words, but he could not understand what he was supposed to do.

by A. Ross, M.Ed.

In the recent Parshas Vayera Family Section, Miriam Adahan raised the point of the demands made on children in school, especially in the first few grades. Many of these demands are rather pointless: e.g. coloring in numerous pictures for homework. Some assignments, she says, are work for mothers and not for the children.

Blind and Beautiful
by Rifca Goldberg

What's it like to be blind? Join Rifca as she makes Aviva's acquaintance.

Behind the Looking Glass...

Time and Time Again
by Rosally Saltsman

Part II

Sometimes TIME is of the essence, other times, saving money is the higher priority. As a rule, TIME is more important than money and quality of life is more important than either. See last week for the first 19 time-tested hints.

Poet's Corner

A Cream Colored Living Room

by Ruth Lewis

Leafing through a magazine from America
the other day
(It's been years since I've seen one),
I was first struck by all those bathrooms --
the sheer size of them!
Miles and miles of shiny tiles,
lush rugs, sunken tubs, gleaming mirrors;
golden, swan-shaped faucets; such thick, fluffly towels...

Then I came upon a full page photo of
a very large cream-colored living room.
(Cream, it seems, is now considered `understated',
though, if so, I'd like to know
what `overstated' looks like).
Three deep, cream-colored couches
(you could sink down, get lost in there forever),
six cream-colored armchairs -- marshmallow soft --
with matching hassocks.
And scattered, lavish, everywhere: cream-colored cushions
edged with creamy fringes, tassels, fripperies.
Dense, cream-colored carpets, stretching wall-to-wall
like desert sand, and
lamps, knick-knacks, paintings, artifacts. All
in shades of beige, buff, tan, straw, camel, cream.

Once I would have loved that room,
that color scheme.
But now...
As after a too-heavy banquet,
one's sickened by the sight
of luscious custard creampuffs in sweet creamy caramel sauce,
with chocolatey ice-cream
topped with syrup and whipped cream,
followed by coffee (laced with cream),
followed by creme de menthe, followed by...

One grows accustomed to simplicity,
One comes even to prefer it, hunger for it
as for bread after a diet of Turkish delight.

In all that swollen, bloated room,
that sumptuous sea, surfeit of luxury,
with all things gathered there
for status' sake and comfort's sake,
my eyes could rest with real delight
only on some flowers (purest white)
in a small glass bowl, at the lower right-
hand corner.
I grasped their beauty with my eyes,
and held on tight,
until that page
was out of sight.


by Chana Zahn, Australia (15 yrs.)

A month especially chosen for rain
To pray hard enough we all strain
"Please bless us before the month begins to wane
And provide us with water for our grain.
The ground is bare, a brown terrain,
Unirrigated, plain after plain,
There's no water in cups for us to drain
The sight of it gives us pain."
Is all this anguish in vain?
Is it entering our heart or just our brain?

You must improve your ways, our rabbis advise us,
When we go to them for guidance.
So mitzvos we try to obtain
And from sins abstain.
We try to create a long and meritorious train
While amidst the blue sky we search for a gray stain.

Then, thank G-d, it comes, streaming down the window pane
churning up the muddy lane
Sprouting plants where weeds had lain.
Uplifted, we joyously thank Hashem
for RAIN!

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