Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Shevat 5766 - February 8, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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












Health Issues

by Rebbetzin Nomi Travis

Question: "I find it interesting that many young men and women spend incredible amounts of time uncovering minor, inconsequential evidence of illnesses in the past while overlooking the much more important and germane aspects of who their perspective partner really is. I would like you to comment on how much one should dwell on questions about health."


by Cheryl Brody

I work in the office of an organization which was established over fifty years ago in downtown Jerusalem. We have dozens of wooden chairs in good condition which are not in use any more and we're offering them free to anyone interested in taking them.

With All of Me
by Sara Glaser, author of Lifesaver's Guide

Chapter Eight

Part II


The Torah teaches us that marriage and family are integral parts of the Divine plan. The center of Jewish life has been, and always will be, the home. The Jewish woman creates, manages, and maintains it.

by L. Raffles

There is a simple test which indicates whether a child is ready for formal instruction in handwriting . . .

Food for Thought
by Rosally Saltsman

Special days on the Jewish calendar incorporate food or fast. Concepts to sink your teeth into . . .


I know it's been four months since you published Rosally Saltsman's "66 Timesaving Tips for 5766," but I just want to tell you how much one of those tips has changed my life. Since I have a small family, I never thought of buying "doubles" — I just went shopping three or four times a week to keep everything in stock.

Did YOU Know — Arthritis, Allergies, Hyperactivity in Adults
by Dr. Reuven Bruner, Ph.D.

The natural supplements glucosamine and chondroitin appear to beat the leading prescription drug for very painful forms of arthritis, according to a study sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health.

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

I was recently visited at Bikur Holim by a British woman who asked about diseases that are more common in Israel.

We are malaria free, and do not have any exotic tropical diseases. But we do abound with diseases that fit the climate. Erysipelas, a fiery red infection of the legs, is very common in this country, as is dandruff, due to the hot climate. (We have mentioned in the past that dandruff is due to a fungus.)


The Suffering Tree
by Chava

Old Farmer Brown
Rode into town
To buy some seeds for his field,
He scanned the shop
And prayed non-stop
That a fat crop they would yield.

It was then he did spy
From the edge of his eye
A sapling smooth as leather
The tree gave a wink
Farmer Brown — a blink,
And with that they headed home together.

With excitement and toil,
He ploughed up the soil
And then planted the sapling up straight,
He watered and weeded,
Did all that was needed,
Four years — to preserve the tree's fate.

"Quit poking and snipping,
'Tis my bark you are clipping
Just take your hands off me,"
The sapling got sore
At all he had to endure
And screamed, "Just let me be!"

But Farmer kept trimming,
Pruning and slimming,
Till young Sappy yearned to flee.
"Again he is cutting,
Small twigs that are jutting
What is this all meant to be?"

The sun shone on high,
Sparkling the sky,
When the sapling noticed some lumps,
With branches grown dark
He tapped at his bark,
"What on earth are these ghastly bumps?"

Those `bumps' started to bloom,
Fragrant, colorful, and soon
Sprouted buds, spunky and feisty.
A halo of red
Crowned the young sapling's head
Juicy apples, ripe and tasty,

The sapling — now tree,
Gazed about in glee,
Just couldn't believe his eyes,
Understood that that `clout'
Had known what he was about
"T'was sure worth it for this surprise!"

The tree rose stronger
Its branches grew longer
Radiating much fragrance around
"If I'd known how that grooming
Would get me all blooming,
I'd have endured it with hardly a sound."

And just as that tree
So indeed do we -
Have our trials and our tribulations
But every trial
Makes us grow all the while
Though each seems lacking justification.

But when Moshiach appears
It will all become clear
The reason why the pain had to be
This is a moshol, just
Of Hashem's love for us,
As a person is compared to a tree.

On Seeing a Paradisaic Paradox
by Dina Simons

It was vast and strange
Yellow and grey and green
Bright and black and in between
Neither in sun nor shadow — quite
A tree,
Foliaged branches
Delicately dancing
In a bashful breeze
A stately sight
Seen once in truth
Forever in mind's eye rooted
An immobile miracle of motion.

Do Trees Sing?
[combining Parshas Beshalach and Tu Bishvat]
by Drora Matlofsky

Can trees really sing?
She asked.
It is Tu Bishvat,
Windy, wet, whistling, whispering wistfully . . .
Winter still.
Winter stillness.

Is it a song?
Listen again.
Could it be birds?
Or . . .

Once I saw the trees dancing,
Moving their branches rhythmically in the wind,
To an unknown song.
If they dance, do they sing?

Just as I watched them then,
Now I listen.
I silence my inner voices,
The ones who say: Should I do this?
Do I have enough money?
And a million other things.
The voice of fear, of worry, of self-consciousness, of guilt.
All those voices.

Inhale, exhale,
Inhale, exhale.
Empty your mind.
Look at the trees in the wind.
They are singing.

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