Jewish books - favoriteJewish children's books, Jewish teen books and Jewish inspirational books with sample chapters and stories online.


Jewish children's books-middle grades

Jewish children's books-young teen books

Jewish teen books

Jewish books - Jewish inspirational books

Links to Jewish educational sites

site map


Jewish books - Jewish children's books

  Kids Speak 3

Children Talk
About Themselves

by Chaim Walder

translated by Aviva Rappaport

Illustrated by Yoni Gerstein


Shh - Someone's

My name is Gila. I'm eleven years old and I'm
in the sixth grade.

I'm a pretty studious girl and very popular.
Almost everyone is friends with me. Almost.
Ruthi isn't my friend  since yesterday. I'll tell
you why, even though it's very embarrassing.

Ruthi is a quiet, gentle girl. I was her friend
for a long time. I knew she could be trusted
and that I could count on her. Even though the
other girls in the class didn't see that much in
her, neither good nor bad, I found a lot of good
things in her and I built the friendship be-
tween us.

Yesterday, Malki came to my house. She's
full of energy and liked by the whole class. We
did homework together, played and talked.

Suddenly I remembered that I had promised
Ruthi that I would go over to her house. When
I told Malki, she just shrugged and said, "I'm

not planning on going with you."

"Then maybe we can ask her to come here,"
I suggested.

Malki wrinkled her nose. "Call her up and
tell her you can't come."

I listened to her and made the phone call. I
don't know why, I Just did.

" "Can I talk to Ruthi?" I asked when some-
one in Ruthi's house answered the phone.
From the corner of my eye I saw Malki mak-
ing a face and I almost burst out laughing.

"Hello?" I heard Ruthi's voice.

"I'm calling to let you know that I can't
come," I said.

"Why not?" Ruthi asked.

" I don't feel good," I

"Oh! I hope you feel better," Ruthi wished
me and asked what hurt.

By now, I was already too much into the lie
to think of a way to get out of it. "My ears
hurt," I said, and almost exploded with laughter
at the face Malki was making. All of a sudden I
forgot about my close friendship with Ruthi.
All of a sudden I ignored the prohibition
against lying. I acted foolishly just to have fun.

I kept on lying and lying until the conver-
sation ended with Ruthi's heartfelt wishes for
my speedy recovery.

I put down the receiver, and Malki and I
burst out laughing. We didn't notice that...

"How come you had to explain and apolo-
gize to her so much?" Malki asked scornfully.

I wanted to say that Ruthi was my very best
friend, but I was embarrassed to say that to
Malki. I was afraid she would think less of me
for having Ruthi, who wasn't part of the "in"
crowd, for a friend. That's why I said, "No spe-
cial reason  I just wanted to be nice to her."

"What do you see in that quiet girl?" scoffed

Tm trying to help her," I made up a new lie
on the spot. "The poor thing has no friends and
that's why I volunteered to be her friend."

And so the conversation continued, and,
without my even noticing it, I found myself
talking about my very best friend in a conde-
scending, scornful manner. The conversation
with Malki was full of gossip and slander, pure
lashon ham. Why? All because I wasn't strong
enough to say, "I'm her friend, and that's it."

The conversation continued for another half
hour, and then suddenly we fell silent. That's
when we heard a strange sound coming from
the receiver. I picked it up and said hello. It was
Ruthi's voice I heard. She sounded hurt and

"Gila," she said, "you forgot to hang up the
phone the right way. I'm sorry I listened in to
your conversation, but I guess it was meant to
be. Thanks for your good intentions, but I don't
want any friends who feel sorry for me. So, I
wish you all the best."

I stood there shocked. I wished the ground
would open up and swallow me. I didn't say a
thing. "Do you hear me?" Ruthi whispered into
the phone.

"I hear you," I said. "Ruthi, I have to explain
what happened "

"There's no need to explain," Ruthi said, her
voice shaking. She too was crying, just like I
was. "There's no need for any explanation," she
repeated. "You agree with me, don't you?"

All of a sudden I realized that there really
wasn't anything to explain. I thought over the
conversation between me and Malki and I
knew that because of something stupid I had
lost forever the very best and super most
faithful friend I had ever had.

Now I'm sitting here in my room, alone.
Sitting and remembering, ashamed and crying.

I learned a lot from this painful incident. I
learned a lot about silliness, about gossip and
slander. I realized that even if Ruthi wouldn't
have heard the conversation, it would have still
been heard in Heaven. Maybe, as I told Ruthi,
it was "meant" for her to hear it so that I'd

really feel how terrible it is to speak lashon

I'm sitting here and crying. I wish Ruthi
could know the truth. But how will she know
if I don't tell her? I'll just have to get over the
bad feelings. Still, it's hard to believe she'll for-
give me.

What will happen to me? Will I ever find as
good a friend again?


Home   Jewish children's books-middle grades   Jewish children's books-young teen books    Jewish teen books   Jewish books - Jewish inspirational books   site map