web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 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 15: Guardian of Israel

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

From both a military and Zionist point of view, Ben Zion rejected Perchik’s conception completely. If the Jewish people were to rebuild their nation in Israel, Jewish sovereignty, and Jewish sovereignty alone, would have to be imposed throughout all off its borders. If a foreigner wanted to live in Israel, he would first have to sign a document recognizing that Eretz Yisrael was the Land of the Jews.

“Our friend, Don Quixote, proposes to do battle with all of our neighbors,” Perchik quipped.

“When all of the Jews in the world return to populate our borders, we will have the strength to overcome all of our enemies,” Ben Zion declared.

“Why fight when we can live side-by-side with our cousins in peace?” Perchik rebutted.

“Your cousins don’t want peace. They want the whole land. To their way of thinking, it’s theirs.”

“All the people who have been living here have a justified claim. Whatever parcels of land we can buy and reclaim, we shall. As for the rest, agreements can be made, respecting each other’s rights.”

“The Turks and the Arabs are scoundrels from birth,” Ben Zion insisted. “Their agreements are not worth the paper on which they are written.”

“That remains to be seen,” Perchik argued. “Besides, who made you such an expert on this part of the world?”

“I’ve dealt with them enough. Their whole culture is founded on falsehood and theft.”

“That is a racist remark,” Perchik exclaimed.

It was difficult for Tevye to remain silent in such a fervent debate. He made a noise in his throat, as if to attract their attention.

“By all means,” Ben Zion said. “Let’s hear from our learned friend, Tevye.”

“A learned man, I am not,” Tevye responded. “But it is written in the Torah that the children of Ishmael are highwaymen and scoundrels who live by the sword.”

“There, you have it – straight from the Bible,” Ben Zion said, as if to prove his point.

“Since when do you believe in the Bible?” Perchik asked.

“The question seems to be a straightforward matter of law,” Tevye continued, remembering the parable of the rabbi at Ruchel’s wedding. “If a man owns a house and thieves come and force him to move, and then other thieves come along and chase out the first robbers, and then more robbers follow, one after the other, each one taking the house from the next – when the original owner returns, it is still his house, is it not? The others simply stole it from him, one after the other, but they cannot legally claim it is theirs.”

Ben Zion nodded. In this instance the laws of the Torah were in accord with his way of thinking.

“The Arabs believe in squatter’s rights,” Perchik said.

“The Bible is our deed to this Land,” Tevye argued. “It is recorded there time and again that God gave this Land to the Jews.”

“That’s what you say,” the girl, Sonia, injected.

Tevye looked over at her in surprise. Quarrels were known to occur in the best of families, but for a strange girl to publicly challenge the words of a man twice her age, that was unheard of.

“It is not what I say, but what the Bible teaches,” Tevye answered patiently.

“Who says that the Bible is right?” the girl challenged. “If you ask me, it is all a big fairytale.”

Tevye felt it improper to enter into a religious debate with the bad-mannered creature, but her impudence had to be put in its place.

“No doubt your father, and his father before him, and his father before him, and all of your ancestors for over four-thousand years were fools until you came along with your superior wisdom,” Tevye said mockingly.

The girl blushed. Ben Zion laughed.

“I suppose you believe that Jonah was eaten by a whale!” the girl quipped.

“Of course,” Tevye answered.

“And that Bilaam’s ass opened his mouth and talked?”

“Yes,” Tevye said. “Is that so surprising? You yourself are a living example that a dumb, brainless creature can speak.”

Ben Zion slapped his hands on his knees and roared with laughter. Flustered, the girl stood up and glared at him.

“You’ll be sorry,” she warned.

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 15: Guardian of Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1
Israel Shoots Down Syrian Sukhoi-24 Fighter Plane Infiltrating Israeli Airspace
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-15-guardian-of-israel/2012/09/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: