web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Five: A Husband For Ruchel

Tevye in the Promised Land

“I am grateful for your kindness,” Tevye said.

“May your coming be a blessing,” the pious youth said.

“May our going also be a blessing,” Tevye answered. “I have been a Jew all of my life, but until today, I have never had a rabbi throw me out of a synagogue dedicated to the worship of God.”

The young man blushed. He hung his head toward the ground. “My father probably mistook you for a Zionist.”

“Your father!” Tevye said in surprise. The boy didn’t answer. He bent down to lift the empty bucket of oats and replace it with a bucket of water. A rabbi’s son, Tevye thought. A Torah scholar, no doubt. And a mensch to boot, who went out of his way to perform acts of kindness toward strangers. Tevye approved. It was a suitable match for his Ruchela. If the lad cared for his daughter half as much as he had cared for Tevye’s horse, then the girl had found an excellent husband.

“Since when is loving the Land of Israel a sin?” Tevye asked.

“It isn’t a sin if you love Torah too,” the boy answered. “My father isn’t against Zion. He is against those who throw off the yoke of the Torah and go there. He is afraid of their influence on the minds of our youth.”

Just then, Ben Zion appeared in the entrance.

“Greetings fellow comrades,” the flamboyant Zionist exclaimed.

“Greetings,” Tevye said. “Were your ears just burning? We were just now speaking of you.”

“In a complimentary fashion, I trust. Though there are those who say that it is better to have bad things spoken about you, than to have nothing said about you at all. I understand we have been invited to leave this holy conclave of Branosk,” the capless adventurer quipped.

“We have a journey to continue,” Tevye said.

“Then we should start out before dark,” Ben Zion suggested.

“Tell the others I’m coming,” Tevye answered.

Sensing that he was interrupting the discussion in the barn, Ben Zion dramatically bowed and departed. Tevye slipped the reins of his horse over the animal’s head.

“You are invited to join us,” he told the Rabbi’s son. “I am a widower with unmarried daughters, and the companionship of a Torah scholar like you will help shorten the journey. As our Rabbis teach, when two men discuss matters of Torah, the Divine Presence is with them.”

The youth did not answer.

“In addition, the Baron Rothschild has extended an open invitation to all Jews to join his religious yishuvim-settlements in the Holy Land, and as his representative on this journey, I hereby extend his kind offer to you.”

“I thank you,” the lad said. “I will think about it. But now I have to go home.”

“We will be camped down the road,” Tevye said.

“May your camp be guarded by angels, just as they guarded our forefather Jacob as he journeyed back to the Land of his fathers.”

Tevye’s horse snorted as if to answer “Amen.” The men parted ways, and Tevye returned to the wagon. As he hitched up the horse, he glanced up at Ruchel who was anxiously waiting to learn what had transpired between them.

“I invited your new friend to join us,” Tevye said.

“And?” Ruchel asked.

“As our Rabbis say, `Many are the thoughts in a man’s heart, but it is the counsel of the Lord which will stand.'”

“What does that mean?” Bat Sheva asked.

“It means I left my crystal ball back in Anatevka. In the meantime, like in the story of Abraham and Lot, we are parting ways with our brethren in this village.”

With his rump still hurting from his fall down the synagogue stairs, Tevye flicked the reins of the wagon and the pioneers once again took up their journey.

“If the hospitality in this village is an example of religious behavior, I’m glad I’m a heretic,” Ben Zion said.

“They believe they are doing the right thing,” Tevye sorrowfully answered.

“So does the Czar,” Naftali quipped.

“That’s awful,” Tzeitl exclaimed. “How can you dare compare them?”

“What’s the difference?” Peter answered. “A Russian boot in the rear, or a Jewish boot in the rear, it hurts the same, eh, Tevye?”

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.

3 Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Five: A Husband For Ruchel”

  1. Reuven Kossover says:

    Sounds like the stories my father told me of life in Poland during the Great War.

  2. Amira Mele says:

    (continuation): and NOT ENOUGH WORDS I CAN EXPRESS A "LOGIC" ANSWER to this. I FEEL STRONG FOR YOU JONATHAN and I hope for you to receive the energy and strength for ever that you need to have! I SUPPORT you fully,
    Amira Mele
    Carson City, NV
    LOVE and PEACE
    שלום ואהבה!!! ,
    אמירה מילי
    קארסון סיטי, נוואדה

  3. Devorah Barak Cohen says:

    Are you really in Carson City Nevada???? When caN WE get together????

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UNRWA Rocket Logo
UNRWA Chutzpa
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

Teens-Twenties-logo

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

Schonfeld-logo1

But Pi Day is worst of all
I want the extra credit bad
But trying to remember many numbers
makes me sad.

Several thousand Eastern European Jews had escaped Nazi death and Soviet persecution by fleeing to Shanghai, China.

Now that we’re back to chometz, it’s just the right time to give thought to our wellbeing. Who doesn’t want to lose a few bulky matzah-and-potato pounds? Who wouldn’t like to eat smarter and feel better? If you’re like most people I know, these are probably the first things you’d like to address. It’s time […]

My mother-in-law and I have had our problems since the beginning of my marriage.

It was Lia van Leer who changed the image of filmmaking in Israel so that it is now seen as an expression of culture and not mere entertainment.

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Author back in his Hollywood days

An Israeli actor pal asked me why I knew nothing about Judaism-The question hit like a thunderbolt

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-five-a-husband-for-ruchel/2012/07/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: