web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.


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.

Current Top Story
PUG Meeting
Abbas Reshuffles Unity Govt with Hamas, Claims ISIS Is Already in Gaza, ‘No Sense Denying It’
Latest Sections Stories

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

Personally I wish that I had a mother like my wife.

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

What makes this diary so historically significant is that it is not just the private memoir of Dr. Seidman. Rather, it is a reflection of the suffering of Klal Yisrael at that time.

Rabbi Lau is a world class speaker. When he relates stories, even concentration camp stories, the audience is mesmerized. As we would soon discover, he is in the movie as well.

Each essay, some adapted from lectures Furst prepared for live audiences, begins with several basic questions around a key topic.

For the last several years, four Jewish schools in the Baltimore Jewish community have been expelling students who have not received their vaccinations.

“We can’t wait for session II to begin” said camp director Mrs. Judy Neufeld.

Chabad Chayil wishes all a happy and healthy remainder of summer.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
011-OT-Maps-Israel-Tribes

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Japanese-American child en route to an "assembly center", Spring 1942

Detention Camps for US Jews? Sounds farfetched but it did to Japanese-Americans during WW II as well

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

Rebbe Nachman’s stories awaken the sleeping; our film of his stories has the power to wake the world

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

To boost aliya, Israel will encourage Marshall’s, Costco, K Mart & Entenmann’s Bakeries to open here

Of course there’s air in America, but it isn’t the holy air of Eretz Yisrael.

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

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: