Losing Anatevka

Image courtesy of Pixabay

It is our home,
A small but beautiful place,
Where we lived off the land,
Enjoying simple grace.

We fiddled like there was no tomorrow,
Teetering on the roof,
Putting food on the table
And following all truth.

We were their friends.
We lived among them.
We worked among them.
We did nothing they could condemn.

We held to our traditions,
Complex and so aloof.
We could not be blended,
So God covered us like a roof.

They took our home,
Thinking only to destroy us.
Wandering was in our blood,
But we lost our sense of trust.

If we are God’s people,
Why can we not be rich?
If we are God’s children,
Why must we wander in a ditch?

Anatevka was our Eden.
Humans like satanic cherubim
Wielded words like swords
And life just now feels dim.

Next year in (new) Jerusalem
Has become the battle cry.
It’s the only perfect place,
But we’ll never reach until we die.

Based on the ideas contained in Fiddler on the Roof, a 1971 film

Key Quotes

Rabbi: A blessing for the Tsar? Of course! May God bless and keep the Tsar… far away from us!

Tevye: A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask ‘Why do we stay up there if it’s so dangerous?’ Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!

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