web analytics
December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 15: Guardian of Israel

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

“But I am going to be a grandfather soon.”

“Wasn’t Moses ninety years old when he went to war against Midian?” the Zionist asked.

“I suppose that he was,” Tevye answered.

“And Joshua was seventy when he led the Jews into battle against the seven Canaanite nations.”

“Joshua wasn’t a broken-down milkman like me.”

“Isn’t it written, `In a place where there are no men, be a man?’”

When did you become such a Biblical scholar?” Tevye asked.

“I studied in heder, remember?”

“Why did you stop?”

“The rebbe would tweak my ear when I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Is a pinch in the ear a reason to abandon the Torah? Our forefathers had more mettle than that.”

“I’ll show you what mettle we have,” Ben Zion answered. He called to his friends to mount up. Then he swung a bullet belt over Tevye’s shoulder, and with a smile, helped him into his saddle. Bat Sheva and Hava watched from the doorway of Hodel’s house as their father rode off with the rifled shomrim.

“I don’t believe it,” Hava said. “It’s Tata!”

After a few nervous moments, Tevye brought his steed to a gallop alongside the others. He remembered, of course, how to ride, but the jolts to his spine were painfully new. With each bounce in the air, he felt another disc slide out of place. Nevertheless, Tevye found himself enjoying the ride. Blood rushed through his veins. The wind swirled around him. The hooves of the horses thundered over the earth. If Ben Zion had yelled out a war cry, Tevye would have yelled out too. In the adventure, he forgot about his mourning for Tzeitl. Suddenly, for the first time in ages, he felt like a young man with his whole life just beginning anew.

Like soldiers of fortune, the Jews rode along hillsides and streaked across valleys. The horses were just beginning to work up a sweat when they reached the well at the southern border of the kibbutz. The area around it was completely deserted. Sitting tall in his saddle, Ben Zion scanned all of the hillsides.

“It may be an ambush,” he said.

Everyone gazed over the mountainous terrain. Rifles were pointed in every direction. Tevye mimicked the others, not knowing if his rifle was loaded. Ben Zion slid gracefully down from his horse and told Tevye to follow. With far less elegance, Tevye let his boots plunge back down to the earth.

“You load a rifle like this,” Ben Zion said, taking Tevye’s rifle and sliding a bullet into its chamber. “To shoot, you cock the hammer, aim with one eye, and fire.”

Ben Zion pulled the trigger. The rifle roared. The bullet splintered the trunk of a tree a short distance away. “You try,” he said, handing the rifle to Tevye.

Tevye took the rifle, slid a bullet into the chamber, cocked the hammer, aimed, and squeezed the trigger. His shoulder jerked with the explosion. The crackle of the rifle echoed in his ears like the bark of an angry dog. This time, the tree stood unscathed.

“You shut both of your eyes,” Ben Zion said. “Try again.”

Once again, Tevye took aim. Slowly he squeezed the trigger. This time, he was braced for the recoil. To his surprise, a chunk of bark flew off of the tree.

Mazal tov!” Ben Zion said. “You stay here and guard the well, while we scout the area.”

“Alone?” Tevye asked.

“You have the rifle. If the Arabs come back, fire a shot in the air to alert us. We will be within earshot.”

“What if they shoot at me?” Tevye asked.

“Shoot back. Most Arabs are cowards. Usually, at the sound of gunfire, they flee.”

Tevye did not feel reassured. With his mazal, if there were only one brave Arab in the world, he would be the one who returned to the well.

Ben Zion swung up to his saddle. “Yalla!” he called. He spurred his horse, and everyone rode off, leaving Tevye alone. Clutching his rifle, the milkman scanned the surrounding hills.

Vayzmeer,” he mumbled aloud. The Yiddish expression of worry sounded strangely foreign in the Biblical hills of the Galilee. Tevye realized that to become a real part of the Land, he would have to learn everyday conversation in Hebrew. Once again, Tevye made sure the rifle was loaded. His eyes roamed over the countryside for signs of the enemy.

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
Kerry, the one who is short in size and common sense, with Kerry, the one who is tall in size but short on common sense.
Abbas Bucks Kerry and Runs to the UN to Throw Obama under the Bus
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

An incredible child protégé and a world chess champion, Boris Spassky (1937- ), best known for his “Match of the Century” loss in Reykjavík to Fischer, will always be inexorably tied to the latter.

book-super-secret-diary

Who hasn’t experienced how hard it can be to fit in?

In our times, most of us when we pray, our minds are on something else-it is hard to focus all the time.

The participants discussed the rich Jewish-Hungarian heritage, including that two-thirds of the fourteen Hungarian Nobel Prize winners have Jewish origin.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

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: