web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Eight: The Holy Land

Tevye in the Promised Land

As a Jew says in his prayers every morning, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the counsel of God which prevails.” The captain turned to the excited crowd of passengers on deck and told them that everyone could prepare to disembark except for the Jews. The Turkish authorities were refusing to issue the Jews permits to land. They would have to travel on with the boat to the port of Alexandria, in Egypt.

Tevye was stunned. After all they had gone through! To be turned away when they could almost reach out and touch a dream of ages. Who were these heathen scoundrels to deny the children of Abraham the right to step foot on their very own soil?

It was one of the Zionists who cried out, “This is our land! The land of the Jews!”

He rushed forward as if to charge the captain and the Turkish official. Without waiting for an order, a soldier raised his rifle and fired. The bullet struck the Jew in his chest. Clutching his heart, he fell to the deck. Goliath took a step forward but Tevye held him back. Rifles remained poised in alert. Instantly, the rebellion was quelled. The Jews lifted their dead and retreated to the aft of the ship.

“Who are they?” Ruchel asked. “Why do they act like Palestine belongs to them?”

“They’re Turks,” her father answered. “They rule here. We’ve escaped one Czar and found ourselves another.”

“We outnumber them,” Goliath said. “We all should have charged.”

“And what would we have done when we finally reached shore?” Tevye asked. “Gone to war with the entire Turkish army?”

The big lumberjack looked confused. No one had ever bothered to explain to him the political situation in Palestine. In truth, he had never thought to ask. In his mind, the Land of Israel belonged to the Jews. God had given it to them. He had promised it to Abraham as an everlasting gift. The oversized Jew wasn’t a rabbi, but he had heard the Torah read aloud on the Sabbath every week of his life, and he knew almost all of the Five Books of Moses by heart. The land of Canaan was the inheritance of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Russia, a Jew could expect to be thrown out of his village – he was a stranger in someone else’s country. But in Eretz Yisrael – forbidding a Jew to land on its shores was like trying to keep a man out of his very own home!

The Jews fell into a restless depression. They stood whispering in groups as rowboat after rowboat arrived to carry the other passengers ashore. Zionists and Hasidim alike paced nervously back and forth like caged lions. Tevye’s daughters were heartbroken. Tzeitl’s coughing shook her whole body. Her eyes had lost their light, and her face was drained of color.

“Where are they going to take us?” Hannie wanted to know.

“To Egypt,” Tevye answered. “To see the pyramids our grandfathers built.”

Once again, it was Nachman who offered a glimmer of hope.

“Remember, Reb Tevye, I have heard you say it yourself, `Everything that God does is for the best.’ Maybe He wants to give us reward for walking from Egypt to Israel, just like our forefathers did long ago.”

“I can hardly wait,” Bat Sheva said cynically.

“What about the poor soul who was shot?” Hava asked. “Did things work out good for him too?”

As the last passengers were leaving the ship. Hevedke made a point of walking over to be with the Jews. He took a place toward the back of the ship-bound ghetto and stood tall and determined as if he were making a statement. When the soldiers climbed down the ship’s ladder and returned to their launch, Tevye strode up to the captain. Goliath stuck to his side like a shield.

“We bought passage to Palestine and we expect to be set ashore here,” Tevye said.

“You heard what the Turkish lieutenant ordered,” the captain responded.

“If not in this port than in some other,” Tevye demanded.

“There is no other port in the direction we’re heading.”

“Then you’ll just have to set us ashore on a beach.”

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 Eight: The Holy Land”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ban Ki-moon walks through a Hamas terror tunnel from Gaza to Israel last year.
UNRWA Runs Out of Money that Israel Says Being Used for Terror Tunnels
Latest Sections Stories
Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

Respler-012315

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Baim-012315

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

Few traces remain of the glory days of Jewish life in the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, but the demise wasn’t due to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Rather it was a manmade volcano called the Edict of Expulsion from Spain – and not even an invitation to return in Shevat of 1740 could […]

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-eight-the-holy-land/2012/08/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: