web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

Tevye in the Promised Land

Share Button

“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?”

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-041814

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

Tali Hill, a beneficiary of the Max Factor Family Foundation.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas’s deans, Rabbi Moshe Katz and Rabbi Zev Goldman, present award to Educator of the Year, Rabbi Michoel Paris.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

Your husband seems to have experienced what we have described as the Ambivalent Attachment.

The goal of the crusade is to demonize and hurt Israel.

The JUMP program at Hebrew Academy was generously sponsored by Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: