web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 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.


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
Former Arkansas Governor and current presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem.
Official PA Media Calls Huckabee ‘Inane Creature’ and ‘Wicked Man’
Latest Sections Stories
book-Lord-Get-Me-High

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.

Schonfeld-logo1

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

book-Avi's-Choice

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 […]

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom I’ve been thinking a lot about worrying. Anxiety is an issue close to my heart – […]

Don’t be afraid to try something different.

Upon meeting the Zionist delegation, General Wu, a recent convert to Christianity, said, “You are my spiritual brothers.

With the assistance of Mr. Tress, Private Moskowitz tried tirelessly to become an army chaplain.

Dr. Yael Respler is taking a well-deserved vacation this week and asked Eilon Even-Esh to share some thoughts with her readers in her stead.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: