web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Five: Tevye Cures the Muktar’s Daughter

Tevye.500

“All we would have to do is build houses,” Tevye said after they had circled the property.

One did not have to be an expert in farming to see that the plateau was ideally suited for crops. Also, the view which the site commanded overlooking the surrounding valleys had obvious strategic advantages. Furthermore, the Muktar assured them, as long as they were his neighbors, he would protect them and keep other, less friendly tribes away.

The hearty feast, the beauty of the region, and the Arab’s sincerity combined to convince the Jews. But to everyone’s surprise, Elisha shook his head, no. As far as he was concerned the site was out of the question. The altitude of the plateau would make for brutal winters. Plus, the site was in the middle of nowhere, a long six-hour journey from Zichron Yaacov, and a two to three day excursion to Jerusalem, Jaffa, or Tiberias.

“Who needs to be close to Jaffa?” Tevye asked.

Elisha walked over to his friend and took him a few steps to the side.

“If we seem too eager, the cost of the land will be four times the price. Abdulla may be a decent man, but he’s still an Arab. He’ll flash a big, sincere smile and let us pay ten times what the property is really worth. You’ve seen his village. They need the money even more than we need the land. I grew up with the Moslems, so leave the bargaining to me.”

Sure enough, the Muktar wanted the equivalent of fifty francs per dunam, almost five times the amount which the Baron had paid for the Morasha site. When Elisha told the Arab that the price was outrageous, a look of insult spread over his face, and he angrily walked away. The Yemenite winked at his friends and motioned with his head for them to follow him as he walked to his horse. Seeing that the Jews were getting ready to leave, the Muktar turned around and told them to wait. He had reconsidered the matter. Because he liked them so much and wanted them as neighbors, he would subtract five francs per dunam off of the price. Elisha mounted his horse. The other Jews did the same.

“Twenty francs per dunam,” the Yemenite said.

“Twenty francs!” the Arab exclaimed. “For a choice piece of land like this? Where else in Palestine can you find such excellent land?”

The Muktar bent down and scooped up a handful of brown soil. He continued his sales pitch, listing all of the land’s many praises. More than that – the land was an inheritance from his father. How could he let it go for so much less than its value?

“Thirty francs per dunam,” Elisha said with the face of a card player.

“Get down from your horses and we will talk,” Abdulla said.

“Why get down when we will only have to mount once again?” the Yemenite answered. “We are poor farmers with barely enough food for our families. Even if we were to sell the land we own now, we wouldn’t have enough money to meet the price you are asking.”

The Arab nodded his head.

“I understand,” he answered. “We are also poor people. The land is our only wealth. I cannot give it away for less than its worth.”

Solemnly, he walked to his horse and mounted.

“Of course, we can still be friends,” he said.

“Absolutely,” Elisha agreed.

“You have an open invitation to visit our village.”

“And you and your people are welcome in Morasha,” the Yemenite said.

Elisha raised his hand in a wave and wished the Arab shalom. He yanked the reins of his horse and started to ride away. The other Jews followed. After some moments, the Muktar called for them to wait and galloped alongside them.

“Give me thirty-five francs per dunam, and the land is yours.”

“Thirty,” Elisha answered. “And only if our main Company office in Paris agrees to the price.

“Company?” the Arab inquired. “What company? I thought you were farming the land on your own.”

Elisha explained that any transaction for land would have to be approved by the Jewish Colony Association which was headed by the Baron Edmond de Rothschild in Paris. When Abdulla heard the name of the Baron, rubles shone in his eyes. He started to yell. Soon both he and Elisha were shouting. Their hands flew in the air like roosters fighting over the same cob of corn.

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-Five: Tevye Cures the Muktar’s Daughter”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Captain Or Cohen
IDF Selects First Female Commander of Navy Ship
Latest Sections Stories
Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

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-five-tevye-cures-the-muktars-daughter/2013/02/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: