web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Eight: Waiting for the Baron

Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

Everyone spoke out at once with suggestions of what should be done to insure the success of the visit, and of course, quite a few of the settlers took the opportunity to yell out complaints.

“Why are building materials only coming now to put on a show for the Baron, when we have been living like animals for months?!” Shilo, the carpenter, shouted.

“He’s right,” Munsho, the blacksmith, called out. “And while you are handing out presents, you can add a new anvil to the list!”

Shmuelik raised his hand politely. He had requested books for the synagogue’s library, but his letters had never been an­swered.

“How are we going to cook all of the food?” the storekeep­er’s wife wanted to know. “We hardly have any pots?”

If pots and pans didn’t arrive today, they will be arriving tomorrow, along with silverware, glasses, plates, tablecloths, and cloth napkins,” LeClerc responded.

“What is a tablecloth?” Hillel cynically asked.

The settlers laughed.

“What is a table?” the tailor, Lazer, added.

The laughter increased. Lazer wasn’t exaggerating. Their spartan lifestyle was so impoverished that many of life’s necessities were missing.

“You know what a table is,” Reb Sharagi joked. “A plank with four legs.”

“Like my cows,” Tevye said.

Everyone enjoyed the good humor. Except the tight-lipped, straight-faced Company manager. The gentile LeClerc shouted for order. Time was being wasted. They could joke after preparations had been completed. He was in charge of the visit, and if it were to be a success, people would have to listen to his orders and set to work on their tasks.

“Your futures are at stake,” he reminded them in a rebuking tone, as if he were scolding children.

“He means his future,” Hillel whispered to his neighbors.

“And it is my job and responsibiity to see that the honorabIe Baron de Rothschild is welcomed in the fashion which he de­serves.”

Tevye stood up. “He’s right. This is a serious matter, and we don’t have much time. I volunteer to welcome our guests on behalf of the colony and to deliver a welcoming speech.”

“There won’t be time for speeches,” LeClerc answered. “In addition to Dr. Weizmann, the Baron will be traveling with a team of land surveyors, investors, and agronomists. He is coming here on a work mission, not a political campaign.”

“Surely at lunch, there will be time for some welcoming words,” Tevye said.

            “The Baron and his entourage will eat in a special tent which will be arriving tomorrow. You will all be expected to continue on with your tasks after their initial tour of the colony. We want to show them that the pioneers of Morasha have come here to develop the land, not to picnic and drink wine in the middle of the day.”

Once again, a commotion broke out. Tevye helped LeClerc quiet the crowd. He was sure that he would find an opportunity to exchange a few words with the Benefactor and the Zionist leader. Now, the important thing was to get ready for the imminent visit.

“Our prayers have been answered,” Tevye told his wife later that evening. “Our salvation is on the way.”

Everyone shared his excitement. Everyone felt that the Re­demption was near. Tevye, like many of the settlers, was so filled with joy, he was unable to sleep. Joining a few of the fellows in the barn, there was drinking and dancing late into the night. In the morning, LeClerc did not have to command the Morasha settlers to work. With a burst of great industry, everyone set to the task of making their small village spotless. The barns were all cleaned. The horses were bathed and brushed till they shone. Stacks of hay were neatly piled. Logs were arranged in precise columns. Yards were tidied and houses were scrubbed. When the supply wagon arrived from Zichron Yaacov, Goliath and Shilo unloaded the lumber and set to work making a distinguished-looking gateway at the entrance to the yishuv. Others set to work painting fences, while others erected the sprawling tent where the great banquet would be held. Four dozen new rose bushes were planted in the Morasha gardens. In preparation for the visit, women washed their Sabbath dresses and hung them in the sun to dry. In the evening, the men tried on the new white shirts and khaki slacks which had arrived with the supply wagon. In the evening, Tevye started to compose a welcoming speech. No one had appointed him to make an address, but he reasoned that it would make a greater historic impression if a Jewish representative of the set­tlement welcolmed the guests, and not the gentile manager.

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 Twenty-Eight: Waiting for the Baron”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
obamatargetiran-275x167
Iranian Journalist Defects, Says US Team Speaking for Iran
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

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?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

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

Respler-032715

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

South-Florida-logo

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.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

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-twenty-eight-waiting-for-the-baron/2013/02/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: