web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 13: Tzeitl’s Last Wish

Tevye in the Promised Land

“Forget the scoundrel,” he told her. “He will give you nothing but heartache.”

“It’s none of your business,” she said.

Tevye stiffened. “It is true that I am a milkman by trade, but I am also a father, and that makes my daughter my business.”

“I am not a cow that I don’t have a will of my own,” Bat Sheva answered.

“In a woman, that can be a very dangerous thing.”

“Don’t preach to me, father.”

“Very well, my princess. If I have learned anything in my life, it is that one doesn’t argue with Tevye’s daughters. However, advice is something that a father is required to give, as it says, `Do not turn aside from your father’s advice.’ Between a husband and a wife, there has to be trust. Trust in each other, and trust in God. In a marriage, that is the most basic foundation.”

“Hodel and Perchik are happy,” Bat Sheva retorted.

“True happiness is in doing God’s will.”

“That’s what you believe. Hodel and Perchik believe something else.”

“It isn’t only what I believe. It is what my father believed, and what my father’s father believed, and what his father believed for four-thousand years, ever since God first spoke to Abraham.”

“Maybe they were all wrong.”

“God forbid,” Tevye said. He backed away from his daughter. “I see you only want to anger me, as if I were to blame for your wounded pride.”

“Why should my pride be wounded?” the young girl responded. “I am just as pretty as the girl he danced with. If I had some nice, modern clothes like she has, I am sure I would be even prettier.”

Tevye sighed. He had expected more from his daughter than the jealousies which her immature outburst revealed. Were pretty clothes and a pretty smile the most important things in life? Certainly, the girl had not learned this shallow narrishkeit from her mother, may her soul rest in peace, and certainly not from him. As the Sabbath song taught, “Charm is deceiving, and beauty is vain; only a God-fearing woman is to be praised.” How had such dangerous foreign notions found their way into her head?

While Tevye was still pondering this question, the answer suddenly appeared. Perchik, the university student whom Tevye had brought into his home to tutor his daughters, came running up to them in great haste. It was the stories he had read them, the literature of the “enlightened” free thinkers, which had poisoned their minds. Bat Sheva, the youngest and most vulnerable of his daughters, had not had the defenses to guard herself against such head-spinning tales. And Tevye himself was to blame.

“Tevye, come quickly!” Perchik said out of breath. “Tzeitl is ill.”

A feeling of hollowness gripped Tevye’s soul.

“Please, God,” he prayed, hurrying after Perchik. “Please save my daughter.”

Hodel was holding Tzeitl in her arms. At the start of the Sabbath, Tzeitl had felt too weak to leave the house. After lighting the candles in the dining room, Hodel had returned to sit with her. As if compelled by a deep inner need, Tzeitl had spoken on and on about Motel’s tragic illness, about the shock of Shprintza’s drowning, about Hodel’s leaving home to follow after Perchik, about the elopement of Hava and Hevedke, and about their mother’s subsequent death. Then the down-to-earth Tzeitl, in a strange flight of fancy, confided that in her fevers, their mother had appeared to her from Heaven, urging her to warn Hodel to alter her ways and return to a life filled with Torah.

Tzeitl had spoken with an urgency which seemed to have weakened her. Hodel tried to take her sister’s mind off of the past by talking about her pregnancy and asking her sister’s advice on how to take care of the baby. But before Tzeitl could answer, a sweat had broken out on her forehead, and she was engulfed by a burning fever. By the time Tevye arrived, she was struggling for breath.

“Don’t worry, Tata,” she said. “Mama and Motel are waiting for me.”

“Nonsense,” Tevye answered. “You just need to rest from the journey.”

Tzeitl smiled. “A long rest,” she said. Then she told her father to kiss Moishe and Hannie for her. “Take them to Ruchel and Nachman so they will grow up believing in God.”

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 13: Tzeitl’s Last Wish”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Logos of the Arab Bank
Arab Bank Found Liable for Hamas Terror Funding
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

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.

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.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

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).

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-13-tzeitls-last-wish/2012/09/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: