web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Eighteen: Peace in the Middle East

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

“You idiot,” she thought to herself. “Now you have gone and spoiled everything. Now Sonia will have him all to herself. Now he will think you are just a boring, old-fashioned girl from the shtetl.”

Nonetheless, Bat Sheva had made up her mind. She wasn’t going to let him turn her into some little dreidel that he could swirl with his finger. She was a person, not a plaything, and she wanted to be treated that way.

The peace delegation spotted the Arab encampment from the top of a ridge a half-hour ride away from Shoshana. A dozen black Bedouin tents were scattered in the valley below. Instead of rising to a point like regular tents, the nomadic dwellings were spread over large rectangular areas. Each tent housed extended families, from grandparents, to uncles, distant cousins, and in-laws, as well as an assortment of animals. Herds of sheep grazed over the hillsides. Shepherds in white kefiahs and black headbands lounged in the shade of sycamore trees, letting their dogs chase after stray sheep. In the fields, women squatted over rows of vegetable plantings. Camels rested lazily in the sun on their haunches, munching on patches of weeds. Seeing the Jews approaching, a watchman fired a rifle shot in the air. Arabs hurried out from the shade of their tents to see who was coming. Abramson, Bronsky, Karmelisky, Mendelevitch, and Tevye swung their rifles into a readied posture in front of their chests.

“Not so fast,” Perchik said. “We have come to make peace, not to fight.”

“I just want to be ready,” Abramson said. “Just in case.”

As if out of thin air, five riders on horseback came forward to meet them. Four wore the striped gowns and cloaks of tribal soldiers. They were armed with long barreled rifles, and they brandished an assortment of polished daggers and swords in their belts. Their leader sat on a stunning white stallion. He was dressed in the regal headset and robes of a sheik.

Perchik called out, “Shalom.”

The sheik responded in Arabic. While Perchik had picked up the rudiments of the language, he felt more comfortable conversing in either Hebrew or Turkish, the official language of Palestine. Tevye sat poised in the saddle, trying to decipher whatever words he could. The sheik did all of the talking for the Arabs. Later, Perchik explained to Tevye what had transpired.

The sheik claimed that the Jews had illegally settled on their ancestral homeland. When Perchik showed him their deed of purchase, the tribe leader stared at it with a stony expression. The Turks, the Arab maintained, had no right to the land, and no right to sell it. Perchik answered that the nations of the world recognized the four-hundred-year rule of the Turks over the region, and that the Shoshana colony’s deed to the land would be considered valid in any international court. The sheik wasn’t persuaded. The land of the kibbutz, and all of its wells and springs, belonged to his tribe, he maintained.

Within minutes, the Jews were surrounded by fierce-looking tribesmen, dozens of women and children, and the elders of the village. Tevye did not have to count to see that their peace entourage was seriously outnumbered. Sweating from the ride in the sun, he longed for a drink, but he did not want to remove his hand from his weapon. Contrary to tales of Arab hospitality, no one invited them into a tent to relax in the shade and moisten their lips with a little date liquor.

After an intensive discussion, an agreement was reached. The Arabs could keep the disputed well at the edge of the kibbutz. The Jews would fence in the area described in the deed, and the tribe was free to graze their herds everywhere else. As a gesture of goodwill, the Jews would pay the sheik compensative damages, a onetime payment of 500 pounds. In return, the Arabs would sign a document attesting that the settlers of Shoshana were the sole and rightful owners of the acreage. The sheik also promised to return Ben Zion’s horse and his rifle.

“There were two rifles,” Tevye reminded Perchik in Russian.

“It is best not to embarrass him,” Perchik answered.

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 Eighteen: Peace in the Middle East”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Border Police keep an eye out for Palestinian Authority terrorists.
IDF on Manhunt for Arab Terrorists Trying to Gun Down Jewish Drivers
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

Not as well known, however, is Keller’s involvement with Jewish and Israeli communities.

Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

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-eighteen-peace-in-the-middle-east/2012/10/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: