web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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." 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.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

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-five-a-thousand-tevyes/2013/04/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: