web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Two: A Visit to the Yeshiva

Tevye.500

Share Button

“Tevye!” he boomed.

All of the students looked up. The clamor of their learning turned to a hush. Hevedke rushed over to Tevye, grasped him in a bear hug, and lifted him off of his feet. “Tevye,” he said. “Reb Tevye!”

When Hevedke returned him back to the floor, Tevye stared into a strange, unfamiliar face. Hevedke’s smooth, angular jaw was now bearded. A yarmulka covered his head. But the very great difference lay in his eyes. Tevye couldn’t explain it, but they were not the same eyes he remembered. A beautiful light shone within them, as if a candle had been lit from inside. The face of Hevedke, the Russian, had vanished. Confronting Tevye was the face of a Jew.

“How is Hava?” he asked. “You must tell me, please. I am dying to know.”

The other students continued to stare at them.

“Come outside,” Hevedke said. “We are interrupting their studies. How long are you here for? Is Hava with you? Is everything all right?”

Tevye assured him that everyone, thank God, was fine. For the moment, they were living in Zichron Yaacov. Hava had completed a course in nursing and was now working in the infirmary.

“Did Hava ask you to give me a message?” he asked. The youth spoke with such genuine hope that Tevye himself was disarmed.

“She asked me to send you her greetings.”

Hevedke beamed as if Tevye had handed him a bagful of rubels. His eyes shone with delight.

“You can tell her that I am enjoying my studies more than I have enjoyed anything else in my life.”

A forced, crooked smile formed on Tevye’s lips. “Oy vay,” he thought. “He likes learning Torah!”

“Better yet,” Hevedke said. “I will write her a letter. How I have longed to know where you were living. You have another few minutes, I trust, my kindly Reb Tevye?”

Kindly Reb Tevye? After all the trials which Tevye had forced this daughter-robber to bear, he addressed him as “kindly” Reb Tevye? When had Tevye ever been kind to him? Either Hevedke was still a glib talker, or else a miraculous transformation was indeed taking place inside the youth’s soul.

Hevedke hurried back into the study hall of the yeshiva and grabbed a piece of paper. Excitedly, he sat down and started to write. He scribbled at a furious pace, looking up now and then to make sure that Tevye was still waiting. The other students in the room kept on with their studies. The vibrant sound of debate filled the air. Study partners, or hevrutas, as Tevye remembered they were called from his days in Talmud Torah, sat facing one another, entangled in lively Halachic discourse.

When it seemed that Hevedke was never going to finish the long Megilla he had started to write, Tevye sat down at a table. Absently, he flipped open the book of Psalms before him, and placed his finger on some random verse, knowing that the Lord’s Providence watched over every movement in the world, from the movement of clouds in the sky to the path of a leaf falling to earth. His fingernail landed on a verse from the Hallel prayer: “He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap; to sit him with the nobles, with the nobles of his people.”

Tevye looked around at the study hall. These impoverished students of Torah, who labored day and night to master the intricacies of the Biblical texts, these were the true Jewish nobles. The Torah scholars were the true barons and guardians of Am Yisrael, the nation of Israel. It was they who had kept the nation intact for thousands of years. Foreign armies and rulers had swept over the Holy Land, boasting of their might and their glory. The pages of history were filled with their sound and their fury. Each succeeding conqueror had declared the final defeat of the Jews. And yet, long after these emperors and empires had collapsed, long after their temples and palaces had all turned to rubble, the Jews had returned to their homeland. The Jews had survived because of these very same scholars who had clung, through persecution and plague, to the sacred code of law which God had given to their forefathers thousands of years before.

Share Button

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Two: A Visit to the Yeshiva”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Who will he take to the dance?
It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/chapter-twenty-two-a-visit-to-the-yeshiva/2013/01/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: