web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 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.

He paused theatrically, as if to heighten Tevye’s suspense. “Nu?” Tevye asked.

“He called himself Shmuelik.”

Tevye felt chills run up and down his body.

The man waved a hand and continued on his way, wishing the boy a complete recovery. Tevye watched him disappear behind one of the nearby houses.

“It’s nothing but superstition,” Bat Sheva said. “Shmuelik is

dead.”

“The righteous don’t die,” Tevye told her. “Their souls go on living.”

With an urgent command to the horse, Tevye turned the wagon around in the road. Within minutes, they were back at the infirmary.

“You are not really thinking of taking Moishe to Safed?” Hava asked in disbelief when her father related the story.

“I certainly am,” Tevye said.

“He doesn’t have the strength for the journey.”

“You heard the doctor. There is nothing that medical treatments can do for him here, except maybe bleed him to death, God forbid.”

Nothing that Hava could say could dissuade him. She knew that arguing with her father was useless. Tevye was convinced that the dream had been a message from Heaven, and that the mysterious Jew was no other than the famed prophet of Biblical times, Eliahu HaNavi, who traveled from city to city, helping Jews the world over.

“Maybe father has the fever,” Bat Sheva whispered to Hava as Tevye carried Moishe out of the quarantine tent to the wagon.

“Guard your tongue,” Hava told her. “Who knows? Maybe the dream will come true. Anyway, father is right. There is nothing we can do here. Maybe fresh air will do Moishe more good than lying in a tent filled with germs.”

It seemed like craziness to Bat Sheva, but she couldn’t let her father travel alone with no one to look after the boy. Hava had to stay at the hospital. So she decided to go along on the journey to Safed.

Hava supplied them with enough water, cheeses, black bread, and fruits to last for a week. She even packed along a bottle of vodka which she found in one of the infirmary’s cabinets.

“Now that’s a good daughter,” Tevye said.

To reach Safed, they first had to travel north to Haifa, and then follow a long winding road high up into the Galilee mountains. The journey took them three days. Moishe slept most of way. Occasionally, he opened his eyes, but he had nothing to say. He lived off sips of water and tiny nibbles of cheese. Bat Sheva sang to him and told him stories, but much of the time, she wasn’t sure that he heard.

While Tevye had never studied Kabbalah, he had learned a few things here and there about the secrets of Torah. The influence of the Hasidic movement had spread throughout Russia, and mystics passing through Anatevka had often dined at his house, sharing with Tevye secrets revealed in the Tanya and Zohar. For a simple Jew like Tevye, the concepts had made his head spin. What good did it do knowing the secrets of Creation when you had to go back to milking your cows? The Kabbalists described the immersion in a mikvah as a mystical return to the womb. The person emerging from the ritual pool was like someone reborn. If he had sinned and repented, he could now be forgiven because he was like a new being. Though Tevye decided that the esoteric teachings weren’t for him, he had a steadfast belief in everything which the Sages had written. And among the great Kabbalists, the Ari, may his memory be for a blessing, was the top of the line. If he had left a special healing blessing in his mikvah, then Tevye was convinced that the boy would be healed.

The city of Safed was literally up in the clouds. As they ascended the mountain, gusts of wind swirled around them, blowing flakes of snow in their faces. The entrance to the city was guarded by a wall of fog and mist, as if only the privileged could enter. For several long moments, their horse disappeared in the vapor in front of them. Then the curtain of fog seemed to part, revealing a mystical enclave which seemed to hover in the sky on a platform of clouds high above the earth.

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.

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
Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of California, Los Angeles campus.
The Red Herring of the Definition Debate
Latest Sections Stories
Lunchbox Restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Bringing your own sandwich to a restaurant would appear as the height of chutzpah, but not any more—at least not at Lunchbox…

Recipe-082815-LChaim-cookbook

Last year, OneFamily published a cookbook in Hebrew featuring the bereaved mothers’ recipes.

Astaire-082815-Books

How did an unresolved murder case turn into an accusation of ritual murder?

Recipe-082815-Apple-cover

Excerpted from The Apple Cookbook (c) Olwen Woodier. Photography by (c) Leigh Beisch Photography with Food Stylist Robyn Valarik. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

The flag had been taken down in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting and was now back and flying.

A light breakfast of coffee and danishes will be available during the program.

A variety of glatt kosher food will be available for purchase at Kosher Korner (near Section 1).

Jewish Press South Florida Editor Shelley Benveniste will deliver a talk.

Corey Brier, corresponding secretary of the organization, introduced the rabbi.

The magnificent 400-seat sanctuary with beautiful stained glass windows, a stunning carved glass Aron Kodesh, a ballroom, social hall, and beis medrash will accommodate the growing synagogue.

Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

His parents make it clear that they feel the right thing is for Avi to visit his grandfather, but they leave it up to him.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

011-OT-Maps-Israel-Tribes

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Detention Camps for US Jews? Sounds farfetched but it did to Japanese-Americans during WW II as well

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

Rebbe Nachman’s stories awaken the sleeping; our film of his stories has the power to wake the world

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

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.

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: