web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty-Eight: A Love Song for Hodel

The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

“Yes,” Hodel said, swept away by Hillel’s discourse. Looking at him, his faced seemed to change. For the first time since she had met him, she glanced deeply into his eyes, discovering the gentle, passionate, deeply-sincere man inside. His gaze struck a chord in her heart, more powerful than words. For a long moment, all barriers seemed to collapse. In the very same moment, they both understood that they were two lonely people, brought together on account of something more than tomatoes. When the moment began to linger too long, they both glanced away.

“Of course,” Hillel said, bringing them back to safer ground, “I feel that the Bible and our own Jewish literature should command the most honored place in the home, but I see no reason why serious artistic works can’t be given a respected place also. Naturally, books have to be screened by parents for any heretical ideas that could lead children astray, but I believe that Judaism isn’t a fragile glass structure which can’t withstand novel ideas, whatever their source.”

“Yes,” Hodel said, feeling weak in her knees.

She was spellbound to have found such sensitivity in a face adorned by dangling sidelocks and a beard. But it was truly a beautiful face, filled with gentleness, happiness, and wisdom.

That night, after packing a few thousand tomatoes, Hodel collapsed into bed. Her eyes stared up at the roof of the tent which she shared with some younger girls. Even though she was exhausted, she couldn’t fall asleep. Not because of the heat, nor the crowing of roosters who forgot that they were supposed to keep still until morning. She couldn’t get to sleep because of a dizzying feeling she had. When she closed her eyes, she saw her sister, Tzeitl, smiling. If Tzeitl approved, it meant that Hodel had found the right man.

She woke up after dawn, dressed in her clothes. Her little boy, Ben Zion, was still fast asleep. Quickly, she rushed to the cottage of her father. He was still wearing his prayer shawl and tefillin. Seeing his daughter, he finished his devotions.

“I woke up too late for the minyan,” he said, explaining why he was davening at home, and not in the shul.

“I have something to tell you,” Hodel said, taking an extra breath for courage.

Tevye glanced over at his wife with an innocent expression.

So early in the morning?” he said, lifting the small black tefillin box off of his head. “Is everything all right?”

“Everything is fine, Abba, finally.”

“Finally?” Tevye asked. “What can that mean?”

“It means I have news.”

“Good news, I hope. Otherwise, it would be better if I first ate my breakfast. Then we can get on with your riddles.”

“I think I want to marry Hillel,” she announced.

“Hillel!” he roared. Theatrically, he spun around as if in great surprise. With his mouth hanging open, he fell into a chair, still draped in his tallit. Carmel turned her back so that Hodel wouldn’t see her laughter.

“Hillel, the accordion player?” Tevye asked.

“That’s right,” Hodel answered. “Do we know any other?”

“He’s almost twice your age!” her father protested.

“So? What’s wrong with that? Look at you and Carmel.”

Like a born actor, Tevye looked over at his wife and back at his daughter. A flabbergast expression filled his whole face.

That’s true,” he said. “And we are certainly happy, blee ayin hara. But tell me. When did all of this happen?”

“Well, it hasn’t happened yet. I mean, he hasn’t proposed. But I know that he will if I give him a sign. Only I wanted to ask your opinion.”

“My opinion?” Tevye said, standing up in wonder. “You have come to ask your father’s opinion? Can this really be Hodel that I see before me? My little girl, Hodel? When did you ever ask my opinion before?”

“I’m not the same little girl that I was in Anatevka. I’ve learned a few lessons. Other things are important to me now.”

Tevye removed the tefillin which was still on his head. Lovingly, he gave the small, black box a kiss. Inside was parchment penned with the words of the Shema Yisrael prayer.

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 Thirty-Eight: A Love Song for Hodel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Sha'ar Shechem / Damascus Gate. The Old City of Jerusalem.
Arab Stabs 2 Jewish Teens in Old City Terror Attack on Shavuot
Latest Sections Stories
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.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Rabbi Levinger (zt"l)

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

Rabbi Levinger in blue, seated with the author

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

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-thirty-eight-a-love-song-for-hodel/2013/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: