web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 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." 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
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

South-Florida-logo

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

It’s hard not to be intrigued by recipes with names like Thanksgiving Stuffing Soup, Braised Chicken with Rhubarb Gravy and Vidalia Onion Fritters with Sambal Yogurt Dip.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Rabbi Levinger (zt"l)

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

Rabbi Levinger in blue, seated with the author

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

If other pleasures exceed the joy we feel for Jerusalem, then something is wrong with our Judaism.

There will be peace when we listen to G-d and do want he tells us to do – all for our very own good.

Rav Kook often studied Rebbe Nachman’s writings with guests during Suedat Shleeshi meal on Shabbat

Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

An Israeli actor pal asked me why I knew nothing about Judaism-The question hit like a thunderbolt

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: