web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 14: The Dybbuk

Tevye in the Promised Land

“You are my wife, and you will do what I say,” Perchik commanded when Hodel refused to give in.

“Who says that a wife has to do whatever her husband demands?” Hodel retorted. “That’s just some foolish old-fashioned nonsense.”

Perchik understood the barb in her message. After all, he could not preach the equality of all people, and treat his wife like a slave in the privacy of their home.

“Anyway,” Hodel continued. “I am not just your wife. Soon I will be a mother, and I have an obligation to my children. Being with my family again has made me realize that I have a responsibility to educate them as Jews.”

“I will decide what we will teach our children,” Perchik answered.

“Is that so?”

“Yes, that is so.”

Hodel heard her husband’s answers, and wondered why he sounded so differently now. She realized that this was the way he always spoke, authoritatively, dogmatically, egotistically, imposing his worldview on their marriage. It had been that way from the start, when as a young sheltered girl, she had been swept away with his certainty and knowledge, as if he possessed all of the truths of existence. On their long walks through the woods of Anatevka, he had transported her out of the tiny village to new and breathtaking worlds. Like a child, she had gone along for the ride, trusting in his confidence and wisdom. But now she was no longer a child. She was about to have a baby of her own, and Tzeitl’s death had reminded her that life did not last forever.

“Do you know why Tzeitl wanted her children raised by Ruchel and Nachman, and not by us?” she asked. “Because she wanted them to grow up in a good kosher home.”

“That’s fine with me,” Perchik answered.

“Well it isn’t with me. I’m ashamed.”

“Hodel stop it. Don’t you see what has happened? Your father has been here a week, and already we are fighting. When was the last time we had a quarrel before that? I can’t even remember.”

“That was because I always listened to you. I always accepted your way. But I have a mind of my own.”

Perchik nodded, remembering how strong-willed his Hodel had been with her parents when they had opposed their marriage.

“Isn’t that one of your sacred principles?” she asked. “Freedom of thought and expression? The liberation of the workers from the oppressive ruling class?”

“Are you implying that you are being oppressed in this house?”

Hodel didn’t answer. For a moment, they faced one another in silence.

“Shouldn’t women have rights? Aren’t we allowed freedom too?”

“You are my wife,” he said, flustered.

“Now you sound like my father,” she said. “Before anything else I am a person. Soon, with God’s help, I will be a mother. And along with everything else, I am a Jew.”

“All right,” he said, not wishing to continue the argument until he had formulated a clear line of reasoning and proofs. “You set up the kitchen the way that you want.”

“Back to the kitchen, is that it? Now you really sound like my father. What about all of your modern ideas? Do they apply to everyone in the world except for your wife?”

“What more do you want?” he asked.

“A real Jewish Shabbos.”

“You know I can’t agree. I came to Israel to work the land, not to sleep and eat chulent.”

“The Sabbath is only one day a week.”

“You do what you believe is right, and I will do what is important to me.”

“What kind of marriage is that?” Hodel asked.

“I don’t know,” he answered. “All I know is that until today we had no problems, and now that your father has come, it is as if we were back in Anatevka.”

Angrily, he strode out of the house. The door slammed shut. Hodel shuddered. Their fight had exhausted her. Standing up to her husband was no easy matter. It was true, their life together had been a united endeavor until her family arrived. What had happened? What change had taken place? Standing alone in the room, Hodel could only pray, as her father always did, that everything would work out for the best.

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 14: The Dybbuk”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Car - A-Tor
Updated: Three Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack, Ambulances and Mayor’s Car also Attacked
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Author back in his Hollywood days

An Israeli actor pal asked me why I knew nothing about Judaism-The question hit like a thunderbolt

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-14-the-dybbuk/2012/09/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: