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The Muktar Abdulla was the first guest to step forward to greet him.

Mazal tov,” said the Arab. “Since you have chosen not to marry my daughter, then I am giving her to one of your sons.”

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For the first time in his life, Tevye was happy that he never had boys. Elisha embraced him and welcomed him to the family. Then Nachman, Shmuelik, Hillel, and Goliath, all shook his hand. Ruchel, Bat Sheva, Hava, and Hodel stood on line, waiting for hugs. Finally, Tevye lifted up Moishe and Hannie and gave them a kiss. The Hasidim clasped their hands together and started to dance. Tevye winked at his young wife and joined them. Snapping his fingers and holding his arms in the air, Tevye, the son of Schneur Zalman, forgot that he was nearly fifty-years old. He forgot his back hurt in the morning. He forgot all of his worries and doubts. He now had a wife at his side, a helpmate, and friend. A blessing of completeness returned to his heart. Since Golda had died, his life had felt empty. Now he felt whole. Miraculously, with his bride at his side, he felt that his life was beginning anew. Reb Guttmacher, the undertaker, balanced a bottle of wine on his head and stepped forward to entertain the groom and his guests. Tevye grabbed the bottle and shouted a joyous “L’Chaim!”

Thus, the Morasha settlement had its first wedding. And for the first time in months, Tevye didn’t have to sleep in the barn. The newlyweds were given their own little cottage. As he blew out their candle, Tevye suddenly had a whimsical thought about his old friend, Sholom Aleichem. How amazed the writer would be if he knew what had become of his milkman!

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