Mitchell Bard

Tevye in Palestine Excerpt 54: Hodel and Sarah

Hodel remained fiercely loyal to Pertschik for a long time. Simcha understood and never pressured her. It took all these years before she allowed herself to accept his love. Now, at last, we may see a truly happy wedding.

Of course, such a wonderful development had to be accompanied by at least a little tsouris. You see, Simcha had the awkward task of separating himself from Hodel’s younger sister.

It had become clear to everyone but Sarah that Simcha had no intention of marrying her. We all thought Simcha was married to the kibbutz, like his mentor Jonathan. Sarah refused to believe that. She was convinced it was just a matter of time. When Hodel arrived, the relationship began to change. Slowly, Simcha reduced the amount of time he spent with Sarah and increased his activities with Hodel. It happened so gradually I’m not sure it has fully hit Sarah.

The end of her relationship with Simcha was the culmination of a series of blows Sarah felt since the return of Tzeitl and Hodel. Sarah had enjoyed being the older sister, and getting a lot of attention from Golde and me, not to mention other chaverim. That is no longer the case.

It soon became clear that Sarah was jealous of her older sister, both for winning Simcha’s affection and for being the subject of such adoration from other members. Whenever they were together, Sarah tried to pick a fight. Hodel was too wise to take the bait, which only angered Sarah more. I’m not sure what to do about it. I just hope it will all blow over after the wedding.

At least Golde’s happy — well as happy as a constantly suffering mother can be — since our daughters returned. She’s waited and dreamed and prayed for this day since we left Anatevka. She still worries, of course, about Devorah’s safety, and whether Sarah will ever get married, but she now goes around the house humming gaily and isn’t even bothered when I answer her questions with quotes from the Bible.

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

About the Author
Dr Mitchell Bard is the Executive Director of the nonprofit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and a foreign policy analyst who lectures frequently on U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Bard is the director of the Jewish Virtual Library, the world's most comprehensive online encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture. He is also the author/editor of 24 books, including The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews and the novel After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.
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