web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty: Waters of Eden


Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

Some fighter he was. Within seconds of having yelled out in complaint, his spine already felt broken and he hardly could walk.

Goliath was too heavy to be carried out to the cemetery, so his body was wheeled out in a cart. The work of preparing the double-sized grave took more than an hour. The diggers were exhausted by the time the funeral procession arrived. Once again, the somber, all too familiar El Maleh Rachamim prayer, echoed over the hills. Since the deceased had no relatives in Israel, Nachman recited the mourner’s Kaddish. When the ceremony was over, Nachman lingered at the grave. Tevye walked back to the colony, leaning on a cane to east the pain in his lower back. Yankele, the butcher, approached him with a stern look on his face.

“Do you still think we can hold down the fort?” he asked the bent-over milkman.

“Am I a prophet that you ask me such questions?” Tevye responded.

“With your cane, you do look a little like Moses.”

“I feel more like Methusalah,” Tevye said.

“Goliath did the work of five men together. How can we manage without him?”

Tevye didn’t know. Either his once indefatigable faith was running low, or he was simply exhausted. He spent the rest of the day on his back like a dead man. By late afternoon, thanks to God’s never-ending kindness, his vertebra had moved back into place, and he could stand up on his own without the help of his cane. A contingent of soldiers arrived from the Central Turkish Military Authority in Caesaria. They carried a letter signed by Jamal Pasha saying that all Morasha building permits were all in order, and that the settlers were allowed to construct permanent roofs. After reading the letter, Tevye threw it on the ground.

“If I ever see that devil Pasha again, as the Almighty is my witness, I will I kill him with these very hands,” he vowed.

Abba,” Hava said, “Didn’t you teach us that it is forbidden to make a vow in God’s Name.”

“He caused the deaths of Goliath and Shmuelik, not to mention the others. Jamal Pasha is the murderer, not the plague.”

“Even so.”

“The Pashas of the world have bossed us around long enough. This is our land, and I’m not taking anymore of their orders.”

Tevye stalked off to his house, but like a soldier in battle, he wasn’t given a long time to rest. In the middle of the night, Nachman came with the news that Moishe, Tzeitl’s little Moishe, had fallen ill. The boy had woken up, screaming from a nightmare. Tevye rushed to the house and felt the boy’s burning forehead. When the energetic tot said he felt too weak to stand, Tevye decided not to wait for sunrise to set off for Zichron Yaacov. He hitched up a wagon and lifted the sweating and listless child inside. Hava and Bat Sheva went with him. They sat in the back of the wagon, holding the boy in their laps.

When they reached the stream rushing down from the mountains, they had to make a detour. In the breaking dawn light, Tevye could make out a group of wagon tracks heading north along the path of the stream. Understanding that they were the tracks left in the mud by the wagons which had left the Morasha, Tevye decided to follow them. Sure enough, after a half-hour’s ride, they came to a natural crossing where the raging stream ran underground. Two hours later, they reached Zichron Yaacov. When they finally arrived at the infirmary, the boy’s body was still burning with fever. Tevye carried him inside in his arms. Hava rushed forward and spoke with a nurse.

“Where should I put him?” Tevye asked.

Quickly, Hava led him down the corridor and out a back door. In the field behind the hospital, a good distance away, a large tent had been erected. All of the sick Morasha settlers were quarantined inside. Guttmacher’s daughter had died, along with another one of Chaim Lev’s children.

Tevye carried Moishe into the tent and set him down on an empty cot. The sick people in the other beds all appeared gaunt, as if they were wasting away. Chaim Lev was curled into a ball, grasping his stomach.

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.

One Response to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Thirty: Waters of Eden”

  1. Recia Ray says:

    a very good writ!! lol….enjoyed it…

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Photo from President Barack Obama's past visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

While we are all accustomed to the occasional recipe substitutions – swapping milk for creamer, applesauce for oil – gluten-free cooking is a whole different ballgame.

Something-Cooking-logo

Until the year I decided to put a stop to all my tremors. I realized that if I wanted my family to experience Pesach and its preparations as uplifting and fulfilling, I’d have to relax and loosen up.

Teens-032715

David looked up. “Hatzlacha, Dina,” he smiled. “I hope everything goes well.”

In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/tevye-in-the-promised-land-books/tevye-in-the-promised-land-chapter-thirty-waters-of-eden/2013/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: