Fiddler On The Roof Response Essay

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Fiddler On The Roof is play based on the Yiddish writings of Shalom Aleichem. The play revolves around Shalom Aleichem's beloved character, Tevye the milkman. The main inspiration for the play is the short story, "Tevye and his Five Daughters", but it utilizes other books as well. The story takes place in the fictional Russian village of Anatevka. Tevye's people, the Jews, live in a ghetto segregated from the rest of the town's populace. As with every village where Jew and Gentile lived side-by-side, the Jewish quarter must always live in fear of Pogroms. In Anatevka an uneasy peace has endured. The Israelites have been able to live relatively unmolested. Tevye describes the situation like a fiddler on the roof, always precariously balancing to keep from breaking your neck. The opening number,"Tradition", describes the way Tevye's people see the world and live their life. In the origional Yiddish the line is actually, "Ha Torah" referencing the Jews' devotion to ancient Jewish law. Tevye is marred to Golde (whom he met only hours before being wed) an together the have three daughters of mariagable age, and two younger daughters. Tevye is a very pious man who wished to do nothing with his time but study Torah. Unfortunately, he was not afforded the means to do this and had to work hard for a living. His highest hope is for his daughters to marry scholars. However, when Yente the village shadchan comes to Golde with a proposal from the rich but ignorant butcher Lazar Wolfe. The exact opposite of what Tevye would have hoped for his Tzeitel. News reaches Anatevka that Yehudim from other villages are being evicted by the misojudaic Czarist government. Enter Perchick, a fiery revolutionary from the Univeristy of Kiev who makes a living traveling the countryside giving lessons. Tevye invites Perchick to his home for Shabbos, when all Jews must cease from

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