web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty-Five: A Thousand Tevyes

The next chapter of the award-winning novel.

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

His eyes closed once again. Tevye held him in his lap. An hour later, he was dead. For a long while, Tevye and Ariel rode on in silence. Finally, Ariel brought the wagon to a halt.

“Where are we going to bury him?” Ariel asked.

Tevye glanced around at the road, as if to gage where they were.

“We are still about three hours from Zichron,” Ariel said. “It makes more sense to go hack to Olat HaShachar.”

“Yes,” Tevye said. “I suppose that it does. But you would think that a man who spent his life burying people would be granted a more respectable burying place than a swamp.”

“It won’t always be a swamp,” Ariel said. “He gave his life for that.”

“I suppose,” Tevye answered, squinting off toward the distant mountains. His thoughts drifted away. Holding on to the reins of the wagon, Ariel stared at his father-in-law, waiting for a decision.

“What are you thinking, Abba?” he asked when Tevye continued to gaze off into space.

“I was thinking that he probably would want to be buried alongside his wife.”

“In Morasha?”

“Yes,” Tevye answered.

“It’s almost a day’s journey away.”

“Yes, that’s true. But he’ll have a long time to rest after he gets there.”

“Yes,” Ariel reflected. “I suppose that he will.”

The Yemenite fell silent. His wife’s father had a well-meaning heart, but sometimes Ashkenazic Jews could be crazy. In Eretz Yisrael, what difference did it make where a man was buried? The whole land was holy. Wherever they buried him, his soul would go straight up to Heaven. Guttmacher would meet his wife there.

“I think that is what he would have wanted,” Tevye said.

Ariel didn’t argue. He flicked at the reins. “You knew him better than anyone.”

Before making the ascent into the mountains, Tevye insisted on stopping at Zichron Yaacov to prepare the body for burial in the proper ritual manner. He dragged Ariel into the local undertaker’s workroom to learn how to do the procedure. They watched as the undertaker administered the purifying bathing and carefully unloosened all of the corpse’s joints.

“What was his occupation?” the undertaker asked.

“The same as yours,” Tevye answered.

The Jew looked up in surprise.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked.

“What difference does it make?”

“It’s a matter of professional courtesy,” the undertaker answered. “You know how it is. People die here like flies. With all the epidemics we’ve suffered this year, I’m kept busy day and night. You try to do your best with everyone, but sometimes, I don’t have to tell you. When I have the honor to work on a fellow undertaker, I like to do an extra special job. I mean he deserves it, am I right?”

Tevye nodded. “As the Rabbis say – the way you treat people

is the way you get treated in return.”

When the body was ready, they wrapped it securely in a sheet and lifted it back onto the wagon. Hava was waiting outside. Upon their arrival, Tevye had sent a youth to the infirmary to fetch her. The father washed his hands in the basin by the door of the undertaker’s workroom and kissed his daughter on the cheek.

“What will become of his children?” she asked, remembering Guttmacher’s remaining young son and a daughter.

“They have an uncle in Russia. In the meantime, they can move in with me.”

“Why don’t you spend the night in Zichron Yaacov and set out in the morning?” Hava suggested.

“Out of respect for the dead, the sooner he is buried, the sooner his soul will find rest.”

Tevye led his daughter a few steps down the path, where he could speak about more personal matters.

“When was the last time you saw your husband?” he asked.

“He was here for a Shabbos two months ago.”

“Two months ago?’’ Tevye queried.

“He’s very involved with his studies. But in another two weeks, I have a vacation. I will be joining him in Jaffa for three days.”

“That’s what you call a marriage – to see your husband for one or two days every few months?”

“He’s happy,” Hava answered. “So I’m happy too.”

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.

4 Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty-Five: A Thousand Tevyes”

  1. Nmcva Mata says:

    מזל טוב! 14 I will restore My people Israel.

    They shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them;.

    They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine;.

    They shall till gardens and eat their fruits.

    15 And I will plant them upon their soil,

    Nevermore to be uprooted.

    From the soil I have given them.

    — declares the Lord —.

  2. Grace Acosta says:

    So very, very beautiful. This made me cry!

  3. Grace Acosta says:

    So very, very beautiful. This made me cry!

  4. Grace Acosta says:

    So very, very beautiful. This made me cry!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Pro-Israel Group: Tell Chuck Schumer Not to Cave [video]
Latest Sections Stories

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

Food-Talk---Eller-logo

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

Emmer-052915-History

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

On her first ever trip to Israel last week, popular radio talk-show personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, whose spirited broadcasts regularly attract millions of listeners across North America, paid a visit to OneFamily headquarters in Jerusalem in order to learn more about the physical and emotional challenges faced by victims of terror in […]

With the famous Touro Synagogue, a variety of mansions, each with its own distinct personality, as well as the beautiful coast, Rhode Island makes for an excellent vacation spot.

To avoid all this waste and unnecessary anxiety, let’s break the task down step by step and tackle each one at a time.

While there are those who insist they need full-color photos to be truly entranced by a recipe, I suggest you get over that particular requirement because the written word here will draw you in and cause you to salivate as you peruse the recipes scattered throughout The Well-Spiced Life (Israel Book Shop).

For those who couldn’t go off base, a personal parcel was priceless in its ability to convey a feeling of home.

With the danger of being discovered always a possibility, the partisans not only moved around in the forest, but also eliminated any collaborators.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi Fishman at Cemetery of Mount of Olives

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

The "Rightist" author and artist, Tzvi Fishman

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.

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

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-thirty-five-a-thousand-tevyes/2013/04/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: