web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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." 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.

No Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty-Eight: A Love Song for Hodel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:28 pm)
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-082214

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

Twenties-082214-Girls

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

Lewis-082214-Gaon

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

Astaire-082214-Main

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: