web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 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-Seven: A Son at Last!

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

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.

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-Seven: A Son at Last!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.
IDF: Israeli Toddler Murdered by Rocket Fired Near UNRWA School/Shelter
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-seven-a-son-at-last/2013/05/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: