web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Four: Morasha

Tevye.500

“God could have created the world all at once,” he said, “all complete at the start, but the story of Creation spans seven days to teach that a man has to have patience. Great undertakings take time. Hasn’t the settlement Company promised to build us a canal to bring the water to our homes and our fields? Savlanut, as they say in Hebrew. Patience is the secret to our success.”

Invigorated by the spirit of freedom which swept over the windy mountain terrain, Shmuelik agreed.

“All of us knew that this adventure wouldn’t be easy,” he said. “Yet, we all volunteered. Isn’t it better that we break our backs, and not leave the hard work to our children? Did Abraham, our forefather, demand to live in a castle? No. He was happy to live in a tent.”

Hearing this rallying speech, Tevye was surprised at the young scholar, as if some other person were speaking. These were the passionate words of a Perchik or a Ben Zion, not of a lad who had spent most of his life learning in a backwoods, Russian yeshiva. When had Shmuelik become such a Herzl? But the spirit of their mission, of the Land, and of the pioneers themselves, even seized Tevye. As the first tent stakes were hammered into the ground, he found himself one of the settlement’s leaders. In addition to being put in charge of the livestock and stables, he was appointed chief of defense. Tevye, the general! After all, he knew how to ride a horse, and he had learned how to shoot.  God forbid that the Jews of Morasha would ever have to fight, but if they were attacked, they had to be ready. How could Tevye refuse the trust which his comrades were placing in him? As the Sages had taught, “In a place where there isn’t a man, be a man.” Immediately, he appointed Elisha’s eldest sons, Ariel and Yigal, to be his lieutenants. They would be in charge of guard duty and training, while Tevye would provide the overall army strategy and command. As far as the embarrassing incident with Elisha’s daughter, Tevye blamed his infatuation on the dizzying liquor and put the matter out of his mind.

The first month, the women and children remained behind in Zichron Yaacov, while the men set up the compound. Goliath and Reb Shilo, the carpenter, cut wood for fencing and for the walls of the barn. Reb Guttmacher, the undertaker; Munsho, the blacksmith; and Hillel, the musician, started digging the canal which would bring the spring water down from the mountain to the more fertile plateaus. When Hillel’s blistered hands prevented him from playing his accordion at the nightly campfire, he was replaced by Ariel and Yigal, and assigned lighter work looking after the animals. Chaim Lev, the fixer, made furniture, while Shraga, the scribe; Yankele, the butcher; Pincus, the storekeeper; and Elisha went to work clearing the rocky soil for seeding. Lazer, the tailor, was set to work repairing the second-hand tents which the Company had provided. By virtue of a unanimous settlement vote, Nachman and Shmuelik were to set up a Beit Midrash, where their job was to sit and learn Torah all morning. In Russia, the Rebbe had told his Hasidim that wherever they went, they were to make sure that a yeshiva was the cornerstone of their community. In the afternoon, the two scholars worked alongside the others outdoors, and in the evening, Nachman led a class in the writings of the famous Baal HaTanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady. He explained the Kabbalistic mysteries in simple metaphors which the settlers could grasp, but exhausted from their day-long labor, his students would often fall off their benches and sleep at his feet. On the Sabbath, two settlers would be left to guard the Morasha site, while the others returned to Zichron to be with their families. Though the land had been purchased in accordance with all of the Turkish mandate laws, one could never be sure when nomadic Arabs would appear to contest the settlers’ claims to the property.

The task before them was staggering. Like shipwrecked sailors thrown onto a desert island without means or resources, they literally had to dig with their hands when there were not enough shovels for everyone. But they all set to the work like true pioneers, determined to prove that they could conquer the land before the land conquered them. Every morning, Tevye got down on his hands and knees and kissed the holy soil.

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-Four: Morasha”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Sections Stories
Lewis-041715-Jewish-Soldiers

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

Jerusalem Heights Penthouse

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

It goes without saying that when it comes to your kids, safety is always your number one priority.

After the last of Austria’s Jews were murdered, Albert confiscated whatever Jewish property remained.

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

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-four-morasha/2013/01/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: