“Golde, I have something to tell you. You had better sit.”

“I am sitting. What’s happened?” she said anxiously. “Has there been another pogrom?”

“No, no. The Arabs have been quiet. What I have to tell you is good news, the best.”

“Then why do you want me to sit? It’s not about the committee, is it? Or your horse?”

“My horse? Why should I have good news about my horse?”

“Because you spend most of your time telling me about that old mare and the news is never good.”

“Never mind, it’s got nothing to do with my horse.”

“So, what is it?”

“I have given Chaim my permission to marry Shoshana.”

“What!” She jumped up and threw her hands in the air as if I’d told her the committee prohibited her from making cabbage borscht.

“What’s the matter with you? I thought you would be thrilled that your daughter is going to be married. She will be the first of our daughters to be wed in the Holy Land.”

“Thrilled? You expect me to be thrilled that you’ve given your blessing to the marriage of our daughter to a schlemiel — again? Can’t you ever say no?”

“Enough woman! I’m still the papa. You’re the one who is always so worried about our daughters being married. Chaim is a good man. A hard worker. Besides, he comes from a wealthy family. In fact, I’m going to Tel Aviv tonight to meet his father.”

“Chaim, from a wealthy family?”

“Yes, of course. Didn’t you hear what I just said? I’m going to his father’s mansion to discuss the wedding.”

“Chaim, from a wealthy family?”

“Wealthy, wealthy, wealthy! Our daughter is going to be a millionairess.”

“Why didn’t you say so in the first place? My daughter a millionairess. Oh, thank you God! Thank you!”

“I had a feeling you would like Chaim when you got to know him better.” I was glad Golde didn’t catch me rolling my eyes.

I gave Golde a hug and kissed the top of her head. Then I started to undress so I could change my clothes for the long ride to the city.

“Not so fast,” Golde said, following me. “If he’s so rich, what’s he doing here on the kibbutz? Why does he live like a pauper, like the rest of us?”

“Who else can afford to live like this, if not a rich man? Unlike the rest of us, he doesn’t have to worry that a committee will tell him what he can and cannot have.”

“I hate to admit it, but you have a point.”

“The great sage has granted me the point. Thank you.” I bowed then ducked when I saw her swing a pillow at my head.

This excerpt is from Mitchell Bard’s new novel, After Anatevka – Tevya Goes to Palestine available now in paperback and on Kindle.