Podcast: Ruth Wisse on Tevye the Dairyman

Image for Podcast: Ruth Wisse on Tevye the Dairyman

Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.

Chapter 1: Sholem Aleichem and Tevye’s Origins

Chapter 2: Tevye and His World

Chapter 3: Tevye Meets Menachem Mendel

Chapter 4: “Cheer Up and Have a Shot of Brandy!”

Through its countless runs on the Broadway stage and in an award-winning film, Fiddler on the Roof made Tevye the dairyman the most iconic Old World Jew in the American imagination. But before he burst into song on stage and screen, Tevye was the Sholem Aleichem’s comedic protagonist whose triumphs and tragedies showed readers how the rural Jewish fathers of Eastern Europe could deal with poverty, inequality, religious doubt, and, most of all, daughters.

In this podcast, former Harvard Professor and Tikvah Distinguished Senior Fellow Ruth Wisse joins Eric Cohen to discuss Sholem Aleichem’s most famous character. Focusing their discussion on the second installment of the Tevye stories, “Tevye Blows a Small Fortune,” Wisse and Cohen explore the comedy and tragedy of Sholem Aleichem’s writing, the character and values of Tevye, and what this country Jew can teach us about rootedness, tradition, and faith.

If you enjoy this podcast, you can enroll in Professor Wisse’s free Tikvah online course on all the stories of Tevye the Dairyman at Tevye.TikvahFund.org.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble, as well as Ich Grolle Nicht, by Ron Meixsell and Wahneta Meixsell.

More podcasts: