web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 12: Hodel

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

Tevye was nobody’s fool. Being as good a judge of men as he was of horses and cows, (except in the case of the crook Menachem Mendel, his wife’s fast-talking, second cousin, who persuaded him to squander his life’s savings in worthless stocks) he realized that both men were on the lookout for wives. In Tevye’s mind, Shmuelik was just the right man to tame his youngest daughter. True, the scholar was quiet, and Bat Sheva liked spice and adventure, but Tevye was hoping that the lesson she had received from Ben Zion would teach her that a sincere, God-fearing husband was better than a swaggering Machiavelli she never could trust.

As for Tzeitl’s future, her father could only sigh. Goliath was ready to make her his wife, and sweet-natured Tzeitl probably would have consented, if not out of love, then for the sake of her children. But in her present condition, there was no sense in pursuing the match. Tevye wanted to hospitalize her in Jaffa, where she could rest and recover from the hardships of their journey, but she stubbornly refused. She even defied her father’s wishes on the doorstep of the hospital where Tevye had deviously brought her.

“I am ordering you,” he commanded.

“No,” she protested.

“Remember, I am your father,” he said.

“I don’t need a hospital,” she answered. “I want to see Hodel, that’s all.”

“What you want isn’t important,” he said. “What your father wants is what counts. Since Motel, the poor creature, went to his Maker, you have returned to my care, and I am commanding you to do what I say.”

“I am going to the kibbutz to see Hodel, and that’s final,” Tzeitl argued. “The last thing I need is to be cooped up in a hospital with other sick people.”

There was something to be said for her argument. After all, more people died in hospitals than lived. But, still, in her condition, she was too weak to travel. To convince her, Tevye resorted to a verse from the Torah.

“Isn’t it written in the Ten Commandments, `Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long in the Land which I gave to your forefathers’? Here we are in the Land, and I am commanding you to obey my wishes, whether you want to or not.”

“Oh, Abba,” Tzeitl said. “Haven’t you learned by now that your eldest daughter has a mind of her own.”

“Yes,” he admitted. “When I arranged for you to marry Anatevka’s wealthiest man, the butcher Lazar Wolf, and you fell in love with your tailor. Who ever heard of a girl falling in love before her wedding?”

“You can’t set the clock backward. Young people have changed.”

“Well, if you won’t listen to me, then for the sake of your children, please let the doctors try to help you.”

“All right,” she agreed. “To please you. But only after I see my sister Hodel.”

She stared at him defiantly. Tevye remembered that look, when her eyes turned to ice. There was no use in arguing. When Tzeitl made up her mind that was that. Hell could freeze over before she would give in. A battle would only weaken her strength. So, with a shrug, Tevye turned away from the hospital.

With the last rubles he had, Tevye purchased a horse and a wagon, and the wanderers headed north along the Damascus road to join their Hodel in Shoshana.

Once again, Tevye was amazed at the desolation they encountered as they traveled along the coastal plain, then ascended the range of hills that made up the backbone of the country. Boulders covered the landscapes. The topsoil was nothing but rock. Hardly a shrub could be seen. Here and there, an olive tree grew like a reminder of the country’s once glorious past. “Some metsia,” Tevye thought. A land filled with rocks wasn’t such a big bargain. But at least it was theirs. Occasionally, a lone bedouin rode by on a donkey, carrying produce to the Jerusalem market. Now and then, a few Turkish soldiers would salute them as they galloped by on their horses, but otherwise, the countryside was deserted, with hardly a town or a village to welcome them on their way. Miles and miles of hillsides and valleys lay barren, having staunchly resisted cultivation for two-thousand years, turning away foreign conqueror after conqueror, as if waiting for the Land’s true children to come home.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 12: Hodel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf, March 9, 2012, deployed with Carrier Air Wing 17 to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.  (illustrative only)
First Time: Iran, China Begin Joint Naval Drills
Latest Sections Stories

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-12-hodel/2012/09/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: