Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Tishrei 5764 - October 8, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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












An Apple for the Teacher
by R. Spitzer

How I savored this moment. Lovingly, I caressed the apple, then I kissed it. I spoke to the apple as if it could hear...


Dear Editor,

I was in Jerusalem recently at the time of the attack on the No.2 bus. Like everyone else, I was deeply shocked and saddened, especially as I knew some of the victims. A couple of days later, there was a talk by a well-known speaker, in order to give encouragment and insights into the way such an occurrence should affect each of us personally.

The Surface and Beyond
a story by Shira Shatzberg

Succos joy is supposed to last us throughout the long winter.

A little joy, a little laughter can break a lot of ice.

Fancy Succa Decorations
by Devora Piha

Inside the walls of the classroom, girls are busy at their tables working over their fancy Succa decorations. Metallic tape and scissors, glue and shiny paper, styrofoam and sequins are being passed around from hand to hand. Each grade has its special Succa project this year. Either the teacher brought in the example to follow or the girls designed their own eye catcher. An appropriate Succa verse is added and the project is finished.

The Human Side of Habit
by Pennee Lauders

The message of Succos -- to leave our habit-tats and see things with a fresh view.

"Their Sweet Breath" --
Hearing Our Children Grow

by Devora Halpern

Every mother and grandmother treasures them -- the golden words of innocent Jewish children growing up. Here is one response to our Aug. 22 request for such treasures. But first one of ours from our favorite source: the clothing gemach.

Packing the Cases
by G. Zemmel

Succos -- symbolizing the simplification of materialistic living, stripping down to the essentials.


Every person is an entire world, and there are some people who have made a greater impression on our world than others, Mrs. Worch included. But since our entire double issue only numbers 80 pages, we cannot hope to include it all, nor, in any case, do justice to this `entire world.' We will, therefore, suffice with an honorable excerpted and adapted mention.

Back to Basics
by Bayla Gimmel

In America, the period that followed World War II was a time of great economic growth. Salaried workers took home more pay than they had ever dreamed of earning. They spent their newly acquired riches on houses, cars and various consumer goods -- things which had previously been available only to the upper classes.

Working from Home
by Ben Avi

The times are gone when people had a steady nine-to-five job which they kept for most of their adult working lives. Today, with the advance in modern technology and the erosion of the actual spending power of the take-home pay, combined with the fear of redundancy, many people are turning to the idea of running a small business from home.

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Let's answer some letters. From Jerusalem, we're asked a few questions, the first being on aspirin. This wonder drug has been around from the early part of the last century and comes from the bark of a South American tree. It is a good pain reliever and it reduces fever.

Don't Back Away from Exercise
By Dr. Reuven Bruner, Ph.D.

If you have chronic back pain, it's tempting to think that it's best to rest, and even to stay in bed as much as possible. Wrong. Study after study has shown that exercise helps reduce low-back pain when you have it, as well as helping to protect against future back pain.

Coming Full Circle: A Deep and Dynamic Approach to Self- Growth through Torah
by Ezra Jacobs

Coming Full Circle is a deep book. Deep not because it is discussing mysterious things or that we are unfamiliar with the terminology and concepts used. On the contrary, the work is well organized, eloquent, deeply researched, and self- explanatory.

The Director

In the Middle of the Night

Aside from the standard bedtime prayers, there is a custom to recite certain verses and psalms before going to sleep. One of these paragraphs is the beautiful chapter of Tehillim beginning with the words "Yoshev beseser," a chapter which describes the security and confidence one can have in Hashem even in times of great danger.

The succa -- a house without keys.

Succos, Festival of our Joy. But our joy cannot be complete without the Beis Hamikdosh.

Am I Prepared?

by Tziporah Zien

Where have they gone, the keys to the Sanctuary
Which were tossed up in a final attempt
To preserve the dignity of the moment?
If all that this structure embodied
Were to be consumed by the flames of Divine Restraint
At least these keys would be preserved
Far from the grasping paws of gentile beasts.


Who can hope to retrieve them
From on high? Who will be worthy
To lure them, procure them
From the Hand, which directs
The steps of man?
Why are they being withheld?
Have we not yet discovered
The correct way
To win over the Everlasting Will?

Whose imperfection is to blame?
Why should imperfection be to blame?
We can never, any one
Or all together, ever hope
To achieve perfection.
We can only hope to
Coax Perfection into deeming us
Worthy of receiving His gift:
Those precious keys.
Who might be honored
To return them to us?
Some democratically
Elected official?
Some dictator cum prime minister?
Some parliamentary panel?

Have I managed to convince
The Guardian of the keys
to the golden lock
That I'll be ready?
Next week?
Tomorrow? Today?
In an hour? A minute?

Letter to My Fridge

by Drora Matlofsky

Fridge, my dear Fridge,
As I open your door I cringe:
How come you get so dirty?
I feel as if so much of my life is spent
Cleaning you up. So, why?
From time to time, you start to leak,
And then you stop,
For no reason I can think of.
Just for the pleasure
Of reminding me to wash the floor.
(Thank you!)

If I put off defrosting,
The freezer offers me a free view of Alaska,
And the children enjoy scraping and cutting out pieces of ice
Summer and winter, for the same price.
And where does the dirty water under the drawers come from?
Who knows?

I can always trust you
To offer me some kind of spilled food or dirty water
To clean up.
But come on, Fridge,
For one thing, it's not nice
If I have to be ashamed of opening you in front of people,
And for another,
Don't you think the children's room
Would keep me busy enough?

I guess you're getting old, Fridge.
I almost added: Just like me.
We've shared a kitchen for over ten years now.
You were here before I was.

At the beginning, I looked at you in awe:
Such a big fridge, just for the two of us?
So we invited guests.

Now, Baruch Hashem,
For some reason --
You don't seem so big.
Sometimes I don't know how to squeeze everything in.
I am not angry at you, dear Fridge,
You've been a good friend.

So we'll stay together,
Each one of us doing his part of the job,
Trying to age gracefully.

Israel, Land of Contrasts

by Fruma Grossman

Israel, land of contrasts!

The ancient
Hand-in-hand with the modern.
Of lushness
In greenery and opinions.
Of flowers and tourists and Israelis.

Of tradition
Centuries of holiness
Blended with blaring horns
And beeping FAX machines.

Stillness and peace
Neighborhoods closed to traffic.
Scarcity of traffic in others.
Endless streams of pedestrians
In Shabbos best.

Six other days
Continual movement and discussion
Cacophony of noise in town.

Air conditioning in the beehives of industry.
Sun, sand, slow motion at beaches.

Yeshivos, synagogues, seminaries,
Pizza shops, corner hangouts.

Changing skin hues
each honorable
Each learning to make the fit, to belong.

Symphony of languages
Of Hebrew accents.

Living Israel!
The differences and contrasts!
Alive, vibrant, exciting!
A country with a heart!

Israel. Land of contrasts!

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