web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty-Seven: Hodel Leaves Perchik

Overnight, Tevye's new cottage became a warm, haimisher home...
Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

Not until Tevye was driving her back to Shoshana in his wagon did he remember that in addition to being a newlywed husband, he was still a father too. Suddenly, as they were riding along the bumpy road to the north, Hodel broke down like a baby and cried. The reason that Perchik hadn’t come to the wedding was not only because of the fast-approaching winter, and the work which had to be done, but because of their terrible fights.

Tevye tugged on the reins of his horse and brought the wagon to a halt. Weeping, his daughter fell into his arms. Ever since the family’s visit and Tzeitl’s untimely death, her relationship with her husband had soured. Hodel decided that she wanted their house to have a more Jewish feeling. When her baby was born, and she had started to think of his future, her conviction had become more and more vocal. In reaction, her husband had turned into a monster. Judaism, he claimed, was a primitive relic which had to be buried if the Jews of today wanted to build a modern socialist state. The obsession with family, Perchik said, had to be replaced by a selfless devotion to the kibbutz. Their child was to be raised, not at home by his mother and father, but in the children’s nursery. Perchik even wanted to pass a law in the kibbutz forbidding husbands and wives from living together. Married life, he claimed, was “erotic selfishness.” To him, a home was “a petty bourgeois cell.” A child was not private property, but a “commodity of the collective.” Somehow, Hodel managed to live with his gibberish, but when he took the child out of her arms and carried him out of the door to the nursery, she realized she had married a golem without any feelings. Hodel had been so enraged, she refused to let her husband back in the house. Either he came back with the baby, or not come back at all. Once again, to Tevye’s chagrin, his daughter broke down and wept. Their argument had even come to blows.

“He struck you?” Tevye asked.

Hodel’s weeping answered his question.

“If he learns that I’ve told you, he will kill me,” she cried.

“So the pacifist is really a wife beater,” Tevye said, feeling his blood boil.

“I don’t want to live in Shoshana,” Hodel confessed. “I want to be with my family.”

“You will, my princess, you will,” Tevye assured her. “We’ll go and get the child, and you will never have to see your heretic husband again.”

“Oh, Abba,” Hodel said. “Forgive me for spoiling the joy of your marriage.”

“Nonsense,” said Tevye. “The hoopla is finished and life must go on. How much joy can a poor man withstand? Isn’t it written, ‘In pain you shall give birth to your children? You are my child, are you not? Does a man turn his back on his family? Before anything else I am your father. And I want my grandson to be raised as a Jew.”

“I’m sorry, Abba,” Hodel wept. “If I had listened to you years ago, this would never have happened.”

“Cursed be the day that I brought that free thinker into my house,” Tevye said. “But what man today is a prophet? By falling down, a child learns to walk. This too will turn out for the best. As Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Fret not for God has brought all of this to pass.’ Wasn’t it your good-for-nothing husband who brought you to Israel? If you hadn’t come first, we never would have followed. So you see, good things can come out of bad.”

During the long journey, they had plenty of time to plan how to kidnap the child. They decided that the best time to arrive was in the morning, just after Perchik left for the fields. While Hodel favored giving her husband one last chance to reconsider the consequences of his stubbornness, Tevye was afraid that Perchik might sweet-talk his daughter into staying, and even swear to mend his ways. To Tevye, it was better to sneak into Shoshana after Perchik had gone off to work, pack Hodel’s belongings, take the baby, and head back to Morasha before the scoundrel found out. A divorce could be arranged later. The important thing at the moment was to rescue the child.

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-Seven: Hodel Leaves Perchik”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015.
‘Alliance Between Israel & US Must Always Remain Above Politics’
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

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-seven-hodel-leaves-perchik/2013/02/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: