Harry Potter, beware!

The soon to be published sequels to the novel 'Tevye in the Promised Land' are going to push Harry off the shelves.

Tzvi Fishman

OpEds yeChaim Topol as Tev
yeChaim Topol as Tev

Many people have asked me why I haven’t been writing Op-Eds and blogs on the Internet this year. The reason is that I have been busy writing two, 400-page sequels to my novel, "Tevye in the Promised Land." The popular book, published twenty years ago, brings Tevye, the famous milkman from Anatevka, to the Holy Land with his daughters to become pioneer builders of the Land. The story ended with Tevye joining the Hebrew Brigade to help the British overthrow Turkish rule in Eretz Yisrael.

The sequel, Arise and Shine!, of the proposed five-part series, may I live so long, continues the monumental saga of modern Zionism through the Arab pogroms of 1929. In addition to Tevye, the fictional history includes colorful portraits of the larger-than-life figures who led the march back to Zion – Rabbi Kook, Yosef Trumpeldor, Zeev Jabotinsky, David Ben Gurion, Uri Zvi Greenberg, and Avraham Stern, just to mention a few.

Volume Three, The Lion’s Roar, which I am proofreading now, portrays the early days of the Irgun, as Tevye, along with his son and grandchildren, exchange their ploughshares and cows for rifles and get-away cars, in the awakening struggle to oust the British from the Land.

One of the reasons that I embarked on the series is to expose readers to a deeper understanding of Zionism and the challenges we face today. The truth is that very few people are knowledgeable when it comes to Modern Jewish History. For instance, do you know where Yosef Trumpeldor met his untimely death? Or who began the Hagana? Can you name a poem of Uri Zvi Greenberg, the poet of the Jewish Underground revolution? Have you ever heard of Avraham Stavsky? Who were the first commanders of the Etzel?

Unfortunately, even in Israel’s school system, the dramatic period of Israel’s revival is learned in a rapid and superficial fashion, more to meet high-school graduation matriculation requirements than to learn about the exalted Jewish heroism which marked the Nation’s rebirth and to understand its meaning in the continuing battle for our Land. And while the ideology and propaganda of the Left has been somewhat diminished in the “official” retelling of Jewish History, most people still believe that Ben Gurion was the principle founder of the State of Israel, while knowing very little about Zeev Jabotinsky and the faceless “Anonymous Soldiers” who led the nitty-gritty fight in the street for Jewish independence.

Recently, I sent "Arise and Shine!" to my old literary agent in New York, who handles the bestselling books of Dale Brown and others. I realize that the chances of having my very right-leaning novel accepted by a liberal America publishing house are almost nil. But before I give the book away free by serializing the series on the Israel National News website, I thought I’d give the impossible a shot. After all, authors like me, with unabashedly Rightist and religious views, have to pay their grocery bills like everyone else. And miracles have been known to happen – especially at this joyous time of the year.

When I tried to get "Tevye in the Promised Land" published by a major company in America, they all said that the book was “too Jewish,” meaning that everyone loves a Jewish milkman as long as he bows down when hit over the head, but when he picks up a gun and shoots back, that’s crossing the line. And when he picks up a Tommy gun and starts blasted away at the goyim, then he’s the worst kind of terrorist in town.   

What’s the moral to be learned? V’nahafokchu! (things can be turned upside down - an expression from the Megillah of Esther). If New York’s liberal Jewish publishers don’t want to publish the novels, then “help and deliverance will arise for the Jews from somewhere else,” to paraphrase Mordecai the Jew in the Purim Megillah.

Who knows? Maybe President Trump will agree to publish them!

Happy Purim!