web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty-Seven: A Son at Last!

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

Share Button

It was a time when everything seemed to prosper around him. Little Moishe and Hannei grew bigger each day. Nachman taught in the Talmud Torah. Passing by the synagogue, one could hear the singsong verses of Bible being recited by the high-pitched voices of the children. Ruchel opened a kindergarten, though she didn’t know how long she could run it alone. She was pregnant, thank God, and as the months passed, and her belly grew bigger, she found herself exhausted by mid-morning.

The arrival of Hodel solved the problem. One day, she showed up in Olat HaShachar with her child. With her head bowed in shame, she told her father that she was divorced. Upon her return to Shoshana, she had found her husband, Perchik, living with the girl called Libby. He had taken the strumpet into their house, at first as a house maid, he said. But they had been living together ever since Hodel had left, in defiance of everything holy.

“I’ll kill him,’’ Tevye exclaimed.

“It’s all right,” Hodel answered. ‘‘I’ve left him. We arranged

for a divorce with the rabbinical court in Tiberias.”

“You have a get?” her father asked.

Hodel showed her father the official writ of divorce.

“What a shandah! What a scandal!” Tevye thought. Who ever heard of a Jewish husband and wife getting a divorce? In all of Anatevka, he couldn’t think of one case. With such a black stain, who would ever agree to marry his daughter? Then again, Tevye thought, it was better than going hack to her swine of a husband.

Tearfully, Hodel explained how she had lived months and months in Tiberias until a proper divorce was granted. Perchik had wished her good riddance and told her that he never wanted to see either her or their child again. Angrily, Hodel had vowed that he wouldn’t.

“You have done the right thing,” Tevye said. “Here, you can be sure that your child will be raised like a Jew.”

“Oh, Abba, it was so awful,” she cried, weeping in his arms like a baby.

Tevye hugged her. When she stopped sobbing, he wiped her tears away.

“Why didn’t you send word to me sooner?” he asked.

“I’ve been so ashamed.”

“It isn’t the end of the world.”

“I loved Perchik so much. My heart was so broken. I suppose it still is. He was everything to me.”

“You made a mistake, that’s all.”

“I felt so betrayed.”

Tevye nodded his head. He didn’t want to say, “I told you.” How could he? He himself was to blame. Hadn’t he invited the free-thinking Perchik into his house to teach his daughters about the wonders of the world? Well, now, thanks to her father, she knew.

In the meantime, to cover up the scandal, Tevye told his friends that his daughter, Hodel had come for a visit. She started to help Ruchel in her kindergarten, and the sisters got along fine. But the unpleasant matter left Tevye pensive. Not only about Hodel’s uncertain future, but about his other daughter, Hava. Could it be that her husband, the convert, was deceiving her also? What was he doing alone in Jaffa, separated weeks on end from his wife?

The suspicion harped at Tevye for days, like a mosquito that won’t go away. Finally, he decided to find out the truth for himself. Taking the day off from work, he awoke before dawn, mounted a horse, and rode off toward Jaffa. He reached the city by mid-afternoon. Stopping by the Yemenite market which bordered the Jewish neighborhood, Tevye bought himself a long flowing caftan and turban. He had decided that for his intrigue to work, he would have to wear a disguise. That way he could spy on Hevedke without being recognized. He slipped the white robe over his clothes and let the salesman adjust the turban in the proper fashion on his head. The salesman held up a mirror, and his customer nodded in approval. Straightening his shoulders and holding his head high, Tevye rather fancied the regal image he made. He looked like an Arab sheik with a bushy Jewish beard, or he could have passed for a holy Jew from Morocco. The salesman praised Tevye’s new wardrobe and offered to sell him a sword and string of gleaming trinkets, but Tevye refused. He paid the persistent merchant and led his horse through the market, feeling like a newly crowned prince. He walked leisurely, as if he had all the time in the world. Nobly, he bowed his head to passersby, and enjoyed the deep bows he received in return, as if he were really a man of importance. Remembering the location of the yeshiva, he walked up to the side window and glanced in. Immediately, Hevedke’s, or Issac’s, blond hair and red-pepper beard caught his attention. He was engaged in a fervent discussion, arguing a point of Talmudic law with a study partner, just as he had been when Tevye had visited the yeshiva over a year before.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty-Seven: A Son at Last!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Who will he take to the dance?
It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    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-seven-a-son-at-last/2013/05/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: