web analytics
September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Forty-One: War

The next chapter of the award-winning novel.

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

“Whatever you can afford will help our joint cause. Other

people are risking their lives.”

Tevye stared at their sincere eyes and their tense, serious expressions. When the Jews were at war, it was an obligation for every Jew to join in the battle. Tevye was too old to fight, but he could at least stand behind people younger and braver than himself. Was there a greater mitzvah than defending one’s land against enemies? Hadn’t Joshua, and King David, and Judah the Maccabee been soldiers? It wasn’t enough to settle the Land of Israel and farm it, the Jews had to re-conquer it too.

Tevye reached his hand into his pocket and took out a gold coin.

“May God help you,” he said, handing it over.

“You mean to say, may God help us. This is everyone’s fight.”

“Yes,” Tevye said. “May God help us vanquish our enemies.”

Both of the men doffed the tips of their caps, then scurried surreptitiously away down the alley. Fortunately, the way back to Olat HaShachar passed without further adventure. Two days later, Tevye thanked the good Lord as the roof of the hilltop synagogue appeared in the distance. Tired from jolting wagon rides, and a long six-hour walk at the end of his journey, Tevye was happy to be home. Jingling the coins in his pocket, he hurried toward his cottage, eager to recount the events of the journey with Carmel. Though the day was still young, the colony’s fields were deserted of workers. A scarecrow in the tomato patch was cracked and bent over. Dozens of birds hopped between the vines, having an undisturbed picnic. Hollering, Tevye charged forward, frightening them away. The crows circled in the air and flocked down on the nearby blackberry patch. Tevye roared out a curse and charged the scavengers again. Hearing her husband, Carmel hurried out of the house, holding little Tzvi’s hand. The boy broke away from his mother and ran along the path.

Abba, Abba!” he called.

A big, hand-knitted kippah covered his head, and little tzitzit dangled down from under his shirt. Tevye scooped up the boy in his arms.

“Where is everyone?” Tevye asked his wife when she reached them.

“They’re gone. My father, Munsho, Shilo. The Turks took them away to build roads in the south. Only Nachman, Hillel, and Sharagi remain, along with the older Lovers of Zion.”

“What about Shimon?”

“He disappeared.”

“With his wife?”

“No. She’s still here. But she hasn’t heard a word from him since he left.”

For all intensive purposes, the settlement was doomed. Tevye did his best to take the place of the draftees, and perform as many tasks as he could, but he could never keep up with the work. He milked the cows and looked after the chickens; he plowed new fields and planted new crops; he climbed up ladders to repair roofs and lofts; he picked clusters of grapes and taught the children to stomp them into grape juice and wine; he drove the wagon to neighboring settlements to gather vital supplies; and he put in a few hours of guard duty at night. The Turks had confiscated their rifles, so all Tevye had to defend the settlement from prowlers were his prayers and a rusted old pistol. Sharagi continued to instruct the children in Mishna, while Nachman gave up his learning to work in the fields. Hillel became a chopper of wood, but because lumber was scarce, the Jews had to use the dung of their camels for fuel. The older children shared in the agricultural labor, but throughout most of the year, the brunt of the work fell on Tevye, Nachman, the older pioneers, and on those who had hid from the Turks. Carmel, Ruchel, and Hodel worked day and night in the fields, in the gardens, in the stables, and in their homes. On the Sabbath, there was barely a minyan of men to make up a service. After the Torah reading, Tevye added a prayer of his own that the British would soon rout the Turks and chase them out of the land.

Their petitions for JCA aid were rejected. Every settlement was suffering, and Olat HaShachar was considered a breakaway colony. Reinforcements finally arrived when the Jews of Tel Aviv and Jaffa were forced to abandon their homes. The Turks claimed that the evacuation order was meant to protect the Jews from a British invasion, but it was really another stage Jamal Pasha’s goal of destroying the Jewish community in Palestine. Most of the refugees headed for the northern cities of Tiberias and Safed, and others were leaving the country for Syria, but Tevye managed to persuade a few religious families to take up residence in Olat HaShachar. One pious Jew, an acquaintance of Hevedke, reported that Tevye’s son-in-law had moved to Hebron to continue his studies when the yeshiva in Jaffa had closed. Immediately, the new families joined in the work. Then, to everyone’s joy, Ariel returned from the army with a dozen other young men from the colony. The JCA had succeeded in persuading the Turks to release Jewish soldiers from duty so that they could return to their agricultural work in the fields, not for the sake of the Jews, but to save the impoverished, starving country. With the supply of new manpower, Olat HaShachar was saved.

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.

3 Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Forty-One: War”

  1. When is the next chapter? The suspense is killing me!

  2. When is the next chapter? The suspense is killing me!

  3. Martin Cohn says:

    Why did you only post 41 out of 46 chapters? Please reconsider.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9)
3 NYC Ds Disappoint Area Residents and Announce Support for Nuclear Iran Deal
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

The flag had been taken down in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting and was now back and flying.

South-Florida-logo

A light breakfast of coffee and danishes will be available during the program.

South-Florida-logo

A variety of glatt kosher food will be available for purchase at Kosher Korner (near Section 1).

South-Florida-logo

Jewish Press South Florida Editor Shelley Benveniste will deliver a talk.

Corey Brier, corresponding secretary of the organization, introduced the rabbi.

The magnificent 400-seat sanctuary with beautiful stained glass windows, a stunning carved glass Aron Kodesh, a ballroom, social hall, and beis medrash will accommodate the growing synagogue.

Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

His parents make it clear that they feel the right thing is for Avi to visit his grandfather, but they leave it up to him.

There is a rich Jewish history in this part of the world. Now the hidden customs are being revealed, as many seek to reconnect with their roots.

There are times when a psychiatrist will over-medicate, which is why it’s important to find a psychiatrist whom you trust and feel comfortable with.

On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder created one of the most famous, and valuable, pieces of film and became forever linked with one of the greatest American national tragedies when he stood with his camera on an elevated concrete abutment as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Exhibited here is […]

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

011-OT-Maps-Israel-Tribes

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

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-forty-one-war/2013/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: