Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Av 5766 - August 23, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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












Crossroads at Mid-Life
by Sara Gutfreund

For some, it can be a job, for others, fulfilling a talent, for yet others, becoming more involved in community work . . .

Don't think: Crisis. Think: Crossroads

The First Day of School

by Sara Gutfreund

On the first day of school, Chana made chocolate chip pancakes for Yael. She set up Yael's favorite pink plate that had colorful pictures of balloons and dolls all around it. On the folded, white napkin beside the plate, Chana placed a vitamin next to the fork and knife. Chana poured orange juice into a large, pink cup and put the blue, spiral straw inside of it. Yael loved to drink from a straw.

Constructive Criticism
by A.Ross

Nobody is perfect, yet none of us likes to be criticized or censured, in any way. The people most likely to disparage us are the ones who know us best, i.e. our nearest and dearest, the family whom we love. However, the criticism is frequently levelled at an inopportune moment, or in an abrasive way, and the person on the receiving end is not grateful.

by Leah Raffles

Camp goes hand in hand with relaxation and fun. Is it a wonder, then, that as teenagers in camp, one of our favorite pastimes was massaging one another's back? It was fun and relaxing. One of the girls in our bunk wore a brace, not on her teeth but on her body — from the hips up to the neck. In those times, the brace was white and bulky and stuck out from the top of her clothes and made the poor girl look twice her size.

Don't Just Sit There

by Bayla Gimmel

A few years ago, there was a popular saying in the States, "Don't just sit there; do something." It is human nature that when events aren't going the way you want them to go — or even when things simply aren't going the way they usually do - - to freeze into a posture of inaction.

Inspirational pieces by the author of inspirational books
Avrohom Tzvi Schwartz

First Class

Look at two people at an international airport — one, with a large set of matching luggage — trunks, suitcases, satchels, hatboxes, etc. — the other with no more than a small bag. Certainly, the first seems to be wealthier, luckier, happier. But appearances are deceiving.

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

It is easy to forget this part of your body which is almost always covered up, takes a beating, costs a lot to cover up but is never adorned or talked about in public. This neglected area is your feet.


by Hinde Gordon

Sparkling, shimmering, glowing
A heap of jewels
Rubies, emeralds, diamonds, gold
Precious beyond price
Lying in a heap in my mind.

Old, new America

Eretz Yisroel
Precious beyond price

My old friends whom I love
Whom I will never forget
Whose lives are intertwined with mine
Whose closeness warms me even though apart.

My new friends whom I am finding
Whom I will find.

A precious diadem

The crown that never fades
Never tarnishes
Always sparkling, shimmering, glowing

A true sisterhood
Not one contrived to fill a void
My sisters
My friends
My jewels
Precious and Priceless

Approaching the Throne
by Hinde Gordon

The month of Av
Tisha B'Av
has passed
but the golus remains.

Tu B'Av
has passed
but the Bais HaMikdash
still lies in ruins
the young women and men do not dance
and the golus remains.

Yom Kippur Kotton
the 29th day of Av
amidst the ruins
amidst the golus.

The night slips away
the waning moon can no longer be seen
the birds chirp to greet the dawn
of a new day.

The day before Rosh Chodesh
before the 30th day of Av
before the first day of Elul
the last month of the old year
the month of teshuvah
of pleading and weeping
that this Elul will be the last month of the golus.

The sun rises over Yerusholayim
golden, warm, beautiful, life giving, life restoring
The day is beginning
the noises of the Jews,
feet rushing to here and there
dishes clattering
children talking and laughing.

A wonderful day in Yerusholayim
Yerusholayim, the home of the Jews
even in the golus.

Morning passes
noon passes
the sun is at its zenith
and now
it's time for minchah
time for Yom Kippur Kottan.

The day is hot
The heat pours down on the Jews
walking to shul.

My friend and I
half walk, half run
afraid that we might be late
that we might miss even a second of Yom Kippur Kattan.
The shul is quiet.
We are not late Gasping for breath in the heat
we gratefully sit
and into the quiet comes
the sound of Tehillim
and then suddenly Ashrei
the beginning of minchah

All stand
to say the Shemoneh Esrei
in hushed voices
hands reaching for tissues
to wipe away the tears that are already starting.

And then it begins
Yom Kippur Kotton
We beg and plead
the tears running unchecked down our cheeks
undeterred by futile attempts to wipe them away.

We are approaching the Throne of the King
Please, Please
You Who are the Thirteen Middos
Please answer us
Please save us
Please forgive us
Please return to us. We are not worthy
but we are Your children
Your servants
Your beloved people.
Please accept our tears.
The shofar sounds loud and clear
piercing the heart
The chazzon's voice is choked with tears
his words like precious jewels
as he stands before the Throne
begging, pleading, weeping.
Accept our tears

And, then it is over
25 hours of Yom Kippur
packed into one hour
The tears cleanse
And we are born anew

The old month ends
maybe the new month
will be the last month
of golus.
"Chodesh Tov."

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