Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Tishrei 5766 - October 15, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Home and Family


We haven't had letters for some time. What's doing with you readers?

Reminding you that we accept submissions — and pay.

MAIL: Weinbach, Panim Meirot 1, Jerusalem. FAX: 02-5387998. Email:

My New Year's resolution is to try to read incoming submissions within the day (bli nedder, if they are not too long. I said `try'). If faxing or mailing, please put your name on EVERY page submitted. I almost credited a poem to someone else, recently.


FEEDBACK to Tzvia Klein for her down-to-earth comments in her article, "Keeping Grandmothers Happy" [Parshas Ki Sovo] and most of her other articles, too, which succinctly express the opinions of many of us, if we were but able to voice them so well.

While my own daughters and in-laws are well tuned in to the points she raises in this piece, there is rarely a time when our generation does not give a firm nod of approval after reading such pieces. Keep them coming, please.

L. Kohn

And from Soroh Solomon, England:

Not long ago, my fifteen-year-old granddaughter mentioned that a quite a bit of cheating goes on in her school [in Israel]. I asked her what the teacher does about it, and she answered that she does not see what's going on.

I asked a few other girls in different schools and they all said that cheating does take place. They didn't seem overly concerned, either.

I grew up in England where, of course, some cheating goes on, but no one claims that it is the right thing to do!

On more than one occasion, I have heard of someone asking another person to take an English exam which is required for any job in a state school. "What difference does it make if I'm not to teach English?"

The difference is that it is dishonest, and once we act dishonestly in one area of life, it becomes a habit.

Another thing bothering me is the notes mothers write for their daughters. "Please excuse my daughter for not doing her homework. I needed her help." Not true. Or, "Please excuse my daughter's lateness. She had to do urgent shopping for me." Not true. She got up late. What are we teaching our children? That honesty is not important?

Is it considered alright to shave off a few years of an older girl's age when she is looking for a shidduch? To me, that's lying. So if cheating and lying are allowed, what's next? Stealing? What happened to the Ehrlicher Yid?

Some years ago, I had a repair done on my car. When I was about to take out my check guarantee card to verify my check, the garage owner said it was unnecessary. "I know your community. Only once in all my years have I been caught with a dud check." I felt proud.

Surely our aim should be to instill in our children the idea that we must be scrupulously honest at all times, in all circumstances. But children are not fools. If we are less than honest, they cannot be expected to be better.

We have many shiurim on all sorts of subjects. Maybe it is time to have some on honesty? What do you think?


Just the other day, I had the misfortune to scald my right hand quite badly. I had just made a cup of tea when, suddenly, I knocked the cup and the contents poured over the back of my hand.

I quickly turned on the cold water tap and let the not particularly cold water run over my hand and then reached into my freezer, extracted a packet of frozen peas and applied it to the scald. Even with the frozen peas on my hand, I could feel the burning sensation quite deeply. I took a look at the scald and saw that my hand was bright red. I quickly pulled off my rings and by this time my hand was trembling with pain. I replaced the packet of peas and thought quickly. "What should I do?" I was in the middle of my Shabbos preparations and didn't know how I would be able to continue. I knew that I had to act immediately, but the question was how? What could I do and what did I have in the house that would be effective?

Then I remembered that I had read that Australian Tea Tree Oil was supposed to be effective against burns and scalds. I try to keep some in the house as a remedy for colds and sore throats and fortunately I had a bottle of essential oil in the kitchen cupboard. I quickly poured the neat oil over my hand, which by this time was swollen and starting to blister. Within 30 seconds, the burning sensation began to ease and, before my eyes, my hand started to return to it's usual color! I poured over some more oil and was able to then make myself another cup of tea. I sat at the kitchen table and could not take my eyes off my hand. The burning had stopped and my hand had, Boruch Hashem, returned to normal! Within 30 minutes, I felt able to continue with my Shabbos preparations. There was simply no trace of the scald!

I would urge everybody to keep a bottle of Tea Tree Oil in the house for just such an emergency. (No, I do not have shares in the company!). Hashem in His kindness has given us natural remedies to combat mishaps and, Boruch Hashem, I was able to take advantage of this.

Yours faithfully

Miriam Shorrick

Kiryat Sefer

[Ed. Had she kept her hand in cold water until removing it did not hurt, she would have also had the same results, I believe.]


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