Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

2 Av 5763 - July 31, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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












Misgivings and Mistakes
by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach

One bright morning --

Miss Take met Miss Giving at the local grocery store where both of them went to buy their daily supply of bread and milk.

Passing Her Up
by Rifca Goldberg

A true story that took fifteen years in the writing...

A Timely Tzedoka Mission
a true story by Sara Carmel

The silver-colored station wagon was parked at a corner next to the neighborhood grocery store. A few minutes before, Sam Goldberg, a hearty fellow, had entered its doors. He bought a quick breakfast which included a styrofoam cup of coffee and was eager to start his day. He owned a dress shop which required long hours of shopping in upper Manhattan and no time to sit down properly to eat.

Yerusholayim of Yesteryear
Locust Eggs by the Pound

by Yisca Shimony

As in the ancient times, famine and drought, this time, during the World War I years. Bread-and-Tea kitchens, with tea to soften the hard crusts. And then, another source of trouble...

Extremely Effective Ways to Discipline Small Children
by Elisheva Leah Nadler

Eating, drinking, feeling comfortable -- all common sense ideas that need reiterating.

Preemptive behavior -- and other invaluable, simple tips

Mothers of Today
by A. Ross, M.Ed.

I have listened to many complaints and grumbles from young mothers with large families. In our society, all little girls grow up with the expectation of getting married and having children of their own. Moreover, in the closer society, the girls expect to marry a man who will `sit and learn.'


Cool It!

Here's a cool tip that's going to put air conditioner companies out of business.

No coincidence that two fasts for our Beis Hamikdosh are in the season of heat. Plunge your grief into the waters of Hashem's ultimate consolation. But not yet. First you must grieve and grieve and grieve...

The Valley of Thorns
by Sara Gutfreund

I am passing through the Valley of Thorns
And I am weary, oh so weary.
Please, I beg You for water,
Bring me back to the place of overflowing rivers
I don't care if it was narrow, at least it was mine.

Here in the valley of valleys, nothing belongs to me.
Please, take me out of this place of aching thirst.
But You have compassion for me,
You carry me through the Valley of Thorns
Step by step. You teach me how to lose.
I let go of my picture of how life should be.

Take my dreams, for my plans are really Yours.
I let go of myself.
Come into my home -- all of my rooms belong to You.
Hold these children. I know they are not really mine.

I learn and learn and learn again
To let go of my illusions of water
I grieve and grieve and grieve
For all the losses I cannot even name
And then the water begins to flow.
Pure, sparkling streams of Your Torah
Fill the wells of loss all around me
My grief becomes a vessel for Your words.
I drink and drink until I am free.


Next time you want to jump to give unsolicited advice, think of this poem. Some people prefer to find their own solutions. Besides, we know that sometimes the pot calls the kettle black!

The Fog in the Bay

by Tzipora Zien, Haifa

When early in April I woke up one day,
I looked out the window which faces the bay
To see that the mountains were shrouded in gray.
The river that winds through the fields on its way
To join in the splash of the white coastline's spray
Could hardly be seen. It suffices to say,
"There was quite a fog in the bay."

I marveled at this most endearing of art
Which greets me each morning before I depart.
The shades and the hues of these pictures impart
A hint of His love for this world from the start.
As swift as the swallows which shriek as they dart,
I rushed to my siddur the prayers to say,
"Keep watch on the fog in the bay!'

Then losing myself in the thoughts of the prayers
I thanked Him for hardships which each of us bears.
For no one can truly expect to be spared
The natural pains which in growing are shared
By all. Though it helps when you know someone cares
And shows your dilemma is somewhat like theirs.
I tried to imagine what prayer I might say
Were I stuck in the fog in the bay.

Imagine that there, in the bay in a boat,
Some skipper was troubled and barely afloat.
How could he move forward when all things remote
Were shrouded by mist. And right then with a note
Of fear and disaster quite filling his throat
He might raise his eyes to the mountains and see
That danger was threatening ME!

"Up there on the hill there's a smog which is thick!
Can anyone live there without getting sick?
To pass through the streets in that grime is a trick.
Just look how the soot has discolored each brick!"
As he rambles, some thought in my conscious might click!
"There's no common ground 'tween the skipper and me!
I clearly and certainly see!"

Ah! Surely the skipper can see just as well!
The fog which is formed in the dawning pastel
Looks thicker the further we are from the swell.
While calmly allowing the process to gel
I then understood that we never can tell
How others with danger or hardship will cope
They manage somehow to find hope.

Each person's surroundings to him are well known.
He'll know where he comes from and just how he's grown.
His present conditions from past deeds are sown
He'll know that his problems are clearly his own.
If he doesn't ask for your help, you've been shown
That, try as you might and fret as you may,
There's NOT such a fog in the bay!

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