After Anat­ev­ka

May 13, 2013

After Anat­ev­ka fol­lows Sholom Ale­ichem’s time­less char­ac­ter, Tevye the milk­man, as he moves his fam­i­ly from Rus­sia to a kib­butz in Pales­tine. Tevye, the wise­crack­ing, Bible-quot­ing man of God, tells the sto­ry against the back­drop of the bat­tle between Jews and Arabs in the Holy Land pri­or to the estab­lish­ment of Israel. Tevye must adjust to the sec­u­lar lifestyle on the kib­butz and strug­gle with the con­flict between the kib­butzniks’ reli­gion” of labor and his own Jew­ish beliefs. The clash between tra­di­tion and life in Pales­tine also man­i­fests itself in Tevye’s rela­tion­ship with his daugh­ters, who become assim­i­lat­ed into the kib­butz cul­ture. For Tevye’s wife, Golde, the most impor­tant thing in life remains keep­ing the fam­i­ly togeth­er, even as cir­cum­stances force them apart. Mil­lions of peo­ple are famil­iar with Fid­dler on the Roof, which was an amal­ga­ma­tion of sto­ries about Tevye and his fam­i­ly. Sholom Ale­ichem wrote oth­er sto­ries involv­ing Tevye, how­ev­er, that were not in Fid­dler. After Anat­ev­ka is inspired by one of those sto­ries, Tevye Goes To Palestine.”

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Mitchell Bard

  • Why did the author choose to have Tevye and his fam­i­ly move to Pales­tine rather than the US?

  • Would you con­sid­er the book to be a mod­ern ver­sion of the sto­ry of exodus?

  • Did Tevye’s char­ac­ter as por­trayed in the book change from the Tevye we met in Fid­dler of the Roof? How did Teyve change through the course of the book?

  • How did Tevye deal with the social­ist way of life in the kib­butz after liv­ing in a tra­di­tion­al reli­gious society?

  • Are there any new themes explored in the book as com­pared to those in Fid­dler on the Roof?

  • Did the book cap­ture the tragedy and joy behind the found­ing of the Jew­ish State? How?

  • Did you get a sense for what kib­butz life was like? How was it dif­fer­ent than mod­ern day kibbutz?

  • Why would peo­ple form the kib­butz go to Tevye to learn about religion?

  • How did Tevye’s ambi­tion to be rich change once he moved to the Kib­butz and lived a non-mate­ri­al­is­tic life?

  • Did Tevye try to con­trol the lives of his daugh­ters in this book as he did in Fid­dler on the Roof?
  • The daugh­ters grew up in a dif­fer­ent envi­ron­ment. How did that affect their choic­es for their own future?

  • Does the char­ac­ter of Ber­nice resem­ble any real polit­i­cal fig­ure? Is she a role model?