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.
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.
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- Ruth Wisse on Cynthia Ozick’s “Innovation and Redemption”
- Yossi Klein Halevi on Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “The Iron Wall”
- Jay Lefkowitz & Mitchell Rocklin on the Jewish Vote
- Yuval Levin on the Long Way to Liberty
- Ruth Wisse on Sartre and Anti-Semitism
- Edward Rothstein on Jerusalem Syndrome at the Met
- Matthew Continetti on Irving Kristol’s Theological Politics
- Meir Soloveichik on King David
- R.R. Reno on “Faith in the Flesh”
- Arthur Herman on Why Everybody Loves Israel
- Meir Soloveichik on Rembrandt, Tolkien, and the Jews
- Yoram Hazony on Nationalism and the Future of Western Freedom
- Jason Bedrick on Jewish Day Schools and School Choice
- Allan Arkush on Ahad Ha’am and “The Jewish State and Jewish Problem”
- Bret Stephens on the Legacy of 1967 and the U.S.-Israel Relationship
- Jay Lefkowitz on Social Orthodoxy
- Norman Podhoretz on Jerusalem and Jewish Particularity
- Michael Doran on Western Elites and the Middle East
- Ruth Wisse on Campus Anti-Semitism
- Meir Soloveichik on “Confrontation”
- Yuval Levin on Religious Liberty
- Elliott Abrams on American Jews and Israel
More about: • Jewish Literature • Tikvah Podcasts
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