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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tevye in The Promised Land, Great Adventure

Last night I finally finished the first volume of Tzvi Fishman's Tevye trilogy, Tevye in The Promised Land, and I loved it! I have the following two volumes waiting for me to read, but I'm taking off time in between each one to write reviews.

Fishman's jam-packed historical novel is superb. Tevye in The Promised Land is an extremely well-written example of a very difficult literary genre. He manages to create both believable characters and place them in accurate and factual historical context. Tevye in The Promised Land is full of surprises and actual historical figures. And if you were wondering, Fishman's Tevye is based on the character invented by the famous Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem, which can be seen on stage and screen.

Especially since I had read and reviewed Rebels in the Holy Land, which is about the early history of Mazkeret Batya, I can really believe that so many things could happen to one family and the awful things about Baron de Rothschild's administrators. The early Zionist pioneers, even the least religiously observant, were true tzaddikim, holy Jews. They had to put up with and overcome difficulties that dwarf everything that modern olim, immigrants to Israel must deal with. And in modern olim, I include people like myself who made aliyah almost a half a century ago.

The early Zionist pioneers had to cope with and conquer difficulties that rival the greatest fictional adventure stories. First of all, traveling in those days was extremely dangerous and difficult. Today you can safely and routinely fly to Israel from places in less than a day. Over a hundred years ago, lovers of Zion had to trek by foot, horse-drawn carts, unreliable boats and more. The trip could take months or longer.

When the immigrant arrived, he/she wasn't always allowed in to the Holyland. Whether the ruling occupier was a Turk or British, they had the same agenda, STOP JEWS FROM ENTERING. Their sympathy was with the Arabs, who had no national aspirations, which was what the occupying powers liked.

Even when Jews, like Tevye and his family, managed to get permits to enter the Promised Land, that didn't promise them an easy time. Besides the utter poverty, there were illnesses, locusts, Arab terrorism, impossible regulations by the Baron's staff, land unfit for agriculture, continued antagonism from the occupiers, tension/competition between the religious and secular Jews and even more challenges. Fishman has Tevye and his family encounter and cope with them all. They also get to know and work with some of the greatest real life historical giants of the times, such as Rabbi Kook, Zeev Jabotinsky, Yosef Trumpeldor among others.

Before Tzvi Fishman's aliyah, move to Israel, he was a Hollywood screenwriter. And I must say that his Tevya saga is just perfect, not for a two hour movie, but for a long-running television series.

I highly recommend Tevye in The Promised Land. It's a book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Children will love it, too. If they are too young to read it themselves, it's the perfect book to read to your children or students. As you read it, you can supplement it with history of the time, if clarification is necessary. I've already started on volume 2 and the third is waiting for me.

  • Paperback: 580 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466220872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466220874


Mr. Cohen said...

Batya have you read THE HOBBIT and THE LORD
OF THE RINGS by Professor J.R.R. Tolkein?


When the German publishers of The Hobbit
wrote to [Professor J. R. R.] Tolkien in 1938 [CE],
asking if he was of arisch (Aryan) origins,
and could prove it, he refused to do so,
indignantly replying that:

“If I am to understand that you are enquiring
whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only
reply that I regret that I appear to have
no ancestors of that gifted people.”

Professor J. R. R. Tolkien was author of:
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
In 2008 CE, The Times ranked him sixth
on a list of the 50 greatest British writers
since 1945 CE. He died in 1973 CE at age 81.

SOURCE: Defending Middle-Earth
(chapter 2, page 39) by Patrick Curry, 2004 CE,
Houghton Mifflin Co, Boston, New York


“Sometimes home is a place we’ve never seen before.

We come home to the place where we’re understood,
where they listen to us and speak our language,
where we’re welcomed in and treated with hospitality.”

SOURCE: More People’s Guide to JRR Tolkein
(page 93) by Cynthia L. McNew, year 2005, Cold Spring Press,
jopenroad@aol.com, ISBN 1-59360-026-7 www.theonering.net


Determined to keep Jews from Palestine,
on 12 May [1942 CE] Haj Amin [al Husseini,
the Mufti* of Jerusalem] asked Hitler
to press the Bulgarian government not to
allow the [Jewish] children to leave.

His intervention was effective.
On 27 May [1942 CE], Clifford Norton
reported from Berne that the Bulgarian government
“have now decided, under German pressure,”
to close the Bulgarian Turkish frontier
“to all Jews.”

* NOTE: A mufti is an Islamic
scholar and interpreter of Islamic religious laws.

SOURCE: Churchill and the Jews
(chapter 17, page 194) by Martin Gilbert, year 2007 CE

Winston Churchill was British Prime Minister
from 1940 to 1945 CE and from 1951 to 1955 CE.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Aftermath:


Time Magazine vs Truth:


Who are the Palestinians?


How Torah Can Defeat Terrorism:


Did Captain Kirk believe in negotiating with terrorists?


How to Pray for Tzahal-IDF:


Rambam Rejected Childless Messiah:


Was Daniel an Orthodox Jew?


Anonymous said...

Oh this is exciting..

I cannot afford the book... but will check at my library... hopefully they will have it.

Thanks again Batya...

Hope movies are made of these books... I can watch Fiddler on the Roof ... again and again.
So sad i felt when i read the actor who played Tevye, passed away..:)

He was a great actor.


Batya said...

Kc Chaim Topol is still alive, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaim_Topol

Mr. Cohen, not my sort of books.

Anonymous said...


thank Gd. May he live to 120 an more... amen..

Its just some info saw on some sites long ago, so sad people put wrong info.. will have to be careful in future.

Thanks Batya..


Anonymous said...


My son is going to buy me the first book for my Birthday... Hurray.



Batya said...

Kc, it could have been the Broadway star. Glad you're getting the book from your son, good boy.

Anonymous said...


Batya, he is a grown guy and married with 2 kids... one in University, the other in High School.

But for moms.. they will always be our lil boys..

Hashem bless you and yours... Batya.

kc.. but really stella...

will stop the kc.. thingy.. thats another long story... of no interest to anyone.


Batya said...

My kids are all grown up, too. The baby is 35 and has 3, thank Gd.