web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Twenty: Zichron Ya’acov


Cover of Tevye in the Promised Land by Tzvi Fishman.

“You know what the Midrash teaches about Moses?” Shmuelik began.

“I have a feeling you are going to tell me,” Tevye said.

“When  God refused to let Moses enter the Land of Israel because of a single sin, Moses got down on his knees and begged the Almighty to turn him into an ant if need be – just to enter the Holy Land. He didn’t demand to be king, or a leader of the people. So great is the privilege of being in the Land of Israel, Moses pleaded to cross the border even as a bug.”

“In other words, I should thank God for turning me into a bug who has to shlepp one-hundred-pound sacks on his back from morning till night.”

“Moses would have been thrilled.”

“We learn from this that Tevye is not Moses.”

“Moses was not Moses either at first. When the Almighty first appeared to him at the burning bush, Moses begged Him to send someone else. It was only by arising to the challenge was his greatness revealed. Come on. Get up. We will be late for our class in Hebrew.”

Leaning on Shmuelik like a staff, Tevye walked bent over to school, as if he were still lugging a sack of seed on his back. Within a matter of days, he learned how to shift the weight of the sacks to his legs, and the exercise actually helped strengthen his brittle milkman’s bones. When Lishansky showed up with an offer to put Tevye to work behind a plow, Tevye had second thoughts. But when he learned that the plow had wheels and a seat, he took up the offer. Once again, Tevye was back to what seemed to be his lot in life, staring at the rump of a horse.

Shmuelik worked in the vineyards. Hillel was a packer of grapes, and Goliath became a maker of barrels. Bat Sheva worked on a sewing machine in a room filled with talkative women. Like a flower which closes its petals at night, she remained in mourning for Ben Zion. She was quiet, moody, and bitter, as if life had betrayed her. Tevye invited Shmuelik to their quarters, ostensibly to teach Moishe the Torah. He secretly hoped that an interest would develop between the scholar and his sullen daughter. While Shmuelik was ready to pursue such a match, Bat Sheva refused to grant him a smile.

For the first time since their arrival in the Promised Land, Tevye and his family sensed that they were establishing roots. Once again, Tevye prayed every day in a minyan. Every night before his class in Hebrew, he sat with Moishe and Hannie, told them a bedtime story, sang them a song, and made sure they recited Shema Yisrael. He insisted that the children speak to him in Hebrew, and that his daughters address him as Abba, not Tata. The first opportunity he had, he wrote a letter to Ruchel, describing their wanderings and Tzeitl’s tragic death, including Tzeitl’s last wish that the children grow up with her sister and Nachman. In closing, he promised to bring them to Rishon LeZion the very first vacation he had.

To Tevye’s surprise, he received a reply from Ruchel a mere two weeks later. She wrote that they were very happy, and that Nachman was pleased with his work at the school. The news of Tzeitl’s death had upset them deeply, and Ruchel prayed that God  would give them the strength to carry on as if Tzeitl were still with them. As for Moishe and Hannie, Nachman had spoken to the colony manager, Dupont, to receive his permission, and he had refused. Adoption was against Company rules. Their friend, Aharon, had also tried to persuade him, but the heartless manager wouldn’t be swayed. Ruchel herself had made his ears ring with an outburst of scorn, but his only response was that several other teachers had applied to him for jobs, and that if the children were so important to them, then she and Nachman could leave. Ruchel said she was seriously considering his suggestion. She had discussed her feelings with Nachman, and he was prepared to stand by whatever decision she made. Were there positions for teachers in Zichron Yaacov, she asked? She also inquired about the new Hasidic colony which her father had mentioned. When did he think the settlement would begin, and could he secure them a place on the list? While they were happy in Rishon Le Zion, they had left the Czar behind in Russia, and they were not going to let any Company clerk dictate the terms of their life. Lastly, there was a chance that Ruchel was pregnant.

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: Zichron Ya’acov”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A mother greets her lone soldier at Ben-Gurion airport.
El Al Reunites Parents of Lone Soldiers from ‘Protective Edge’ for Rosh Hashanah
Latest Sections Stories
A-Night-Out-logo

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

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-zichron-yaacov/2012/11/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: