web analytics
May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Seven: ‘Get Thee Forth to the Land’

Tevye in the Promised Land

“Have pity,” Tevye pleaded. “It’s all the money we have.”

“If we had pity, we would be priests, not robbers. Now get down from the wagon and hand over your rubles.”

Tevye had no choice. He didn’t have a gun, and even if he had, he didn’t know how to use one. Slowly, he stepped down from the wagon. His daughters huddled together, shielding the children. Just then, the protecting angel whom Tevye had prayed for appeared. As Tevye opened the wooden chest containing their valuables, he heard a loud roar like the sound of a bear. It was Goliath. With a terrifying bellow, he charged at one of the highwaymen. The startled bandit swung around in his saddle and fired his weapon. Miraculously, the shot missed its mark. The giant rammed into the horse and its rider, toppling them both to the ground. Before the other highwayman could steady his own horse and fire, Goliath grabbed his leg and dragged him out of the saddle. A wild shot went off in the air. The robber’s head hit the ground with a thud. His partner scrambled for his gun which had fallen to the road, but Goliath leaped over and crunched a foot on his hand, cracking his bones. Yelping in pain, he scurried off into the forest. Goliath picked up the rifles and broke them in half, as if they were twigs. Tevye grabbed the reins of the riderless horses.

“It looks like we have two new horses,” he grinned.

Goliath hurried back to the wagon. “Are you all right, Tzeitl?” he asked.

Tzeitl nodded.

“And the children?”

Breathless, Tzeitl nodded again. Tevye checked through the pockets of the unconscious robber sprawled on the ground. He found close to two hundred rubles.

“Booty from the battle,” he said, holding the money in the air. “As the Good Book says…..”

When Tevye couldn’t think of a verse, Nachman came to his aid.

“`Thou has smitten all of my enemies on the cheek; Thou has broken the teeth of the wicked,'” he quoted a Psalm by heart.

To Tevye, it was a sign that their mazel was changing. At the first farm they came to, he was able to sell the two horses at a respectable price. When they arrived, exhausted but cheerful in Odessa, they headed straight for the port. Odessa was the biggest city Tevye’s daughters had ever seen. The stores, the boulevards, the carriages, and the smartly dressed women looked like they were part of a dream. Yet the wonder which made everyone stand up in the wagon was the sight of a motorized carriage that rode along the street without being pulled by a horse! Nachman said it was a miracle. Tevye called it an automobile. He had seen them before in his travels. For the moment, he was more concerned with the soldiers who stood idle at every corner, as if waiting for some menacing order. Though the wagon load of Jews looked out of place in the bustling city, no one ordered them to stop. Nevertheless, the milkman from Anatevka was reluctant to ask directions. He relied on his instincts and his sense of smell to lead them to the port. Though they may not have found the shortest route, before long the odor of fish and seawater filled everyone’s nostrils.

To the simple milkman’s family, the giant steamships and freighters which towered over their wagon as they road along the dock were symbols of the great new world which lay waiting over the ocean. Even a man as worldly as Tevye had never seen anything close to their size. The yachts belonging to the aristocrats in Boiberik were like tiny rowboats compared to these motorized whales. Workers, cargo men, porters, and passengers scurried over the dock, but Ben Zion, Naftali, Peter, and their friends were nowhere to be found. Tevye and Nachman ventured into a few shipping offices to inquire about boats leaving for Palestine, but they only received discouraging shakes of the head. There were ships taking vodka to France, potatoes to Hong Kong, coal to Spain, and lumber to Portugal, but none seemed to be taking Jewish pilgrims to Palestine.

With fallen spirits, Tevye and Nachman returned to the wagon. To their surprise, a little pitseleh of a man with a beard and a cap was standing by Goliath, barely reaching up to his waist.

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. 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 Seven: ‘Get Thee Forth to the Land’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama watches helplessly as his two-year-old Passover Seder guest throws a tantrum.
Photo of Obama’s Passover Seder ‘Fifth Child’ Tantrum
Latest Sections Stories
Reidel-052215

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Audience at Israel Day Concert

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

Rabbi Levinger (zt"l)

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

If other pleasures exceed the joy we feel for Jerusalem, then something is wrong with our Judaism.

There will be peace when we listen to G-d and do want he tells us to do – all for our very own good.

Rav Kook often studied Rebbe Nachman’s writings with guests during Suedat Shleeshi meal on Shabbat

Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-seven-get-thee-forth-to-the-land/2012/07/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: