web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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

Tevye.500

“I sympathize with your plight,” the dapper dresser told them. “I sincerely do. And so does the Company. For this reason, I have brought a team of experts to assist in the great task before you.”

With him were an agronomist, a botanist, an engineer, and a mechanic whose job it was to study the area and make a report to the central office detailing how Morasha could be built into a money-making project. For the moment, Tevye’s anger abated. Though he didn’t know what an agronomist did, he was impressed by the professionalism of the contingent. None of the settlers understood French, so no one knew what the experts were saying, but they certainly gave out an impression that they knew about farming. They spent a full day exploring the site, taking measurements with some sort of surveying instrument Tevye had never see, making notes, testing the soil and water, and even taking some pictures with a camera they had brought in their wagon. At the end of the day, the settlers were handed a list of crops to plant. Seeds of mulberry, fenugreek, lentils, sorghum, sesame, maize, tobacco, sunflowers, and almonds were to be shipped out immediately, though, of course, they didn’t arrive until the planting season was over.

A short time afterward, a “welcoming committee” of Arabs came on a peace mission. Their caped and caftaned leaders were called Muktar Abdul Abdulla and Muktar Muchmad Mohammed. They said that they represented the villages in the area, and that they had come to make a treaty with the Jews. Elisha, the Yemenite, spoke Arabic fluently, and he served as translator and spokesman for the Morasha pioneers. He said that a Muktar was the chief of a village, like the sheik of a bedouin tribe. Tables were set up outside and refreshments were served to the guests. Muktar Abdulla said that they recognized the right of the Jews to settle the country, saying that it was written in their holy Koran that the Jews would return to the Land of Canaan one day, and that Allah had promised the Land to the children of Jacob. They wanted to make peace, to work together, and develop the region. The Muktar said he held legal claim to a large tract of land on the other side of the mountain, which was far superior to the Morasha site, and he was willing to sell it to the Jews. The land could house thousands of families, he said, and its water supply was abundant. Furthermore, he confided over a second glass of vodka, the Arabs wanted to unite with the Jews to throw out the Turks. They had 300 trained soldiers ready for battle, but the Jews would have to supply them with guns. When they conquered the Turks, they said, the Jews could have Eretz Yisrael with all of its Biblical borders, while the Arabs would take the lands which Allah had given to Ishmael.

Tevye ordered his daughters to gather the food which was set aside for the Sabbath and to prepare a festive banquet. Hadn’t Abraham welcomed all travelers into his tent, even idol worshippers with dirt on their feet? After all, didn’t the Jews and the Arabs share the same ancestral father, Abraham? Furthermore, the Arabs had come with an offer of peace, and shalom, the rabbis taught, was the foundation of the world.

“How can you trust them?” Bat Sheva asked. “Remember what they did to Ben Zion.”

“May his soul rest in peace,” Tevye said.

True, Arabs had murdered Ben Zion, but maybe the tribes in the region were different. They certainly acted sincere.

“Obviously, these Arabs are more religious,” he said. “And though I don’t understand what they are saying, your father, Tevye, has done business in the far corners of the world, and he knows when a man can be trusted. So hurry and prepare us a feast for our neighbors.”

“What about food for Shabbos?” Yankele asked, reluctant to slaughter a chicken for a weekday repast.

“God won’t let us go hungry on the Sabbath,” Tevye assured him.

Bottles of wine and Arak appeared, and the Arabs and Jews sat down for a meal. True, the Arab soldiers escorting the chiefs kept their rifles strapped over their chests, and Goliath never wandered far from his ax, but a spirit of brotherhood surrounded the occasion. Fortunately, LeClerc was absent, away on one of his frequent trips to Jaffa, where he was rumored to have a mistress. The Muktars, Tevye noticed, religiously abstained from liquor. For entertainment, two of the Arab horsemen demonstrated their skill with their swords, slicing melons in half at full gallop, and Hillel played his accordion. Inspired by the liquor and the prospects of acquiring a better piece of land, Tevye balanced a bottle of vodka on his head and taught Muktar Abdulla, how to dance like a Hasidic Jew. By the end of the banquet, Tevye had made a new friend. The Muktar bowed low and invited the settlers of Morasha to visit his village for a tour of the property which his tribe was offering to sell. A date was arranged, and the Arabs rode off.  Immediately, Nachman wrote a letter to the Baron regarding the available land, promising to forward more details as soon as they inspected the site and determined its price. But a reply from Paris was never received. When LeClerc was told about the visit of the Arabs and the proposition they had made, he wrote his own letter to Paris, advising the Baron against further land acquisitions in the region, at least until the Morasha experiment proved that the area was conducive to increased Jewish settlement.

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.

No Responses to “Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Four: Morasha”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Swiss Amb. to Iran Giulo Haas presents his credentials to Iranian Pres. Rouhani
‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran
Latest Sections Stories
book-Lord-Get-Me-High

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.

Schonfeld-logo1

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

book-Avi's-Choice

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.

There is a rich Jewish history in this part of the world. Now the hidden customs are being revealed, as many seek to reconnect with their roots.

There are times when a psychiatrist will over-medicate, which is why it’s important to find a psychiatrist whom you trust and feel comfortable with.

On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder created one of the most famous, and valuable, pieces of film and became forever linked with one of the greatest American national tragedies when he stood with his camera on an elevated concrete abutment as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Exhibited here is […]

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom I’ve been thinking a lot about worrying. Anxiety is an issue close to my heart – […]

Don’t be afraid to try something different.

Upon meeting the Zionist delegation, General Wu, a recent convert to Christianity, said, “You are my spiritual brothers.

With the assistance of Mr. Tress, Private Moskowitz tried tirelessly to become an army chaplain.

Dr. Yael Respler is taking a well-deserved vacation this week and asked Eilon Even-Esh to share some thoughts with her readers in her stead.

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-twenty-four-morasha/2013/01/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: