June 15, 2012 - 25 Sivan 5772
Mainstream NY publishers refused to publish Tzvi Fishman’s novel “Tevye in the Promised Land“, saying it was too pro Israel, pro settlement, pro Torah, pro aliyah, anti-assimilation, and anti-Arab. But that’s why it’s such a unique and outstanding book.
Ever wonder what happened to Tevye the Milkman from “Fiddler on the Roof,” after he was evicted from Anatevka? This fun and inspiring adventure takes up where the original Sholom Aleichem stories left off. For me, it was a powerful and unique reading experience, a rich Jewish novel, with an unabashed love for the Jewish people and Torah, so much so that the book got passed around our family until its cover started to tear.
At a crossroads at the outskirts of their Anatevka village, Tevye and his daughters meet up with a troupe of Zionists headed for Palestine. Just then, as if the Almighty is pointing the way, the Anatevka mailman comes running with a letter from Tevye’s long-lost daughter, Hodel. Her communist husband, Perchik, has been exiled from Russia, and they are living in the Holy Land on a non-religious kibbutz.
Clinging to the Bible and the tradition he loves, Tevye sets off on the challenging and dangerous journey to the Promised Land, in the pioneer years of the Second Aliyah before the First World War. He has to defend his daughters, not only against the modern lifestyle of the Zionist pioneers, but against malaria-infested swamps, deadly plagues, swarms of locusts, Turkish prisons, and Arab marauders. With steadfast determination and towering faith, Tevye perseveres through trials and hardships in rebuilding the Jewish homeland. While trying to do his best as a father in marrying off his daughters to suitable husbands, Tevye himself finds a new bride to take the place of his deeply-missed Golda, who passed away from heartbreak and grief in the original stories. Finally, as World War One threatens to destroy the Jewish settlements in Palestine, Tevye joins the first Jewish fighting brigade since the days of Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva. In a daring secret mission, he helps the British rout the Turks.
First of all, Tzvi Fishman, who was awarded the Israel Education Ministry Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture, has managed to preserve the unforgettable character of Tevye in all of the larger-than-life qualities that we all came to love from the musical stage play and film of “Fiddler on the Roof.” I can’t help but think that Sholom Aleichem is wonderfully pleased up in Heaven about the resurrected Tevye that Fishman has fashioned. Tevye’s conversations with the Almighty continue to be beacons of inspiration and religious faith. But Fishman’s version of the famous milkman undergoes a noticeable transformation, just as the Jewish people have undergone a startling transformation with the rebuilding of the Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael. For example, learning to shoot a rifle, Tevye can now fight back when unfriendly neighbors come to plunder his new home in the Holy Land – not like the helpless state that the Jews had to endure in Anatevka.
Thus, Tevye’s personal saga becomes the triumphant saga of a downtrodden people coming to rebirth in their ancient homeland. In another poignant chapter, as Tevye and his friends anxiously wait for the arrival of the famous benefactor, the Baron Rothschild to their budding settlement, we share in the age-old longing for the arrival of “Moshiach,” the quintessential Jewish redeemer. Even the famous Rabbi Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, plays a role in the story, teaching Tevye to rise above his personal private concerns and become an active part of the great national revival of the entire Jewish people.
With all of its very serious and important messages, the novel is first and foremost a delightful and deeply moving and inspiring adventure – a saga your whole family will never forget.
“This is an amazing story of the rebirth of the Jewish people in Israel, told through the eyes of Tevye the Milkman, now replanted in the Holy Land with his family,and recounted in the same poignant style of Sholom Aleichem. A literary joy!” – Reuven Ben Dov, Book Reviewer for The Jerusalem Post
“I thought I knew everything there was to know about Tevye, but reading Tevye in the Promised Land, I kept turning page after page after page…” Haim Topel, star of Fiddler on the Roof.
“Tevye in the Promised Land“ (Kindle Edition) by Tzvi Fishman is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad with free Amazon app (download app – here), get Amazon app for BlackBerry – here, for Android - here and for PC- here
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 886 KB
Publisher: CreateSpace (August 11, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Price: $11.01 (Buy now)
Paperback: $22.00 (Order now)