On Sunday I went with son, Conrad, and grandchildren, Zach and Diana, and Diana’s girl friend to the Forks Mennonite Church to worship and to mingle with old friends there. We returned to Goshen at noon and I had lunch with my friend. After lunch she and I went to Goshen High School’s portrayal of Fiddler on the Roof in the GHS Auditorium.
Tevye and Golde have five daughters. The marriages of the five daughters are a trial to Tevye and Golde. Tevye is mired in tradition which dictates that a Papa has the privilege of choosing marriage partners for his daughters, a tradition that each of the five daughters resists relentlessly. Papa Tevye believes that the tradition is settled by the word of the Good Book. Yet after much struggle he yields to the changing times and sadly gives in to his daughters’ wishes. The play is an old musical, and I assume that most readers have seen it one time or another. Its message is timely.
The play is a musical comedy and produces frequent laughter. But this Old Fool cried at times as he recalled the stress caused by the “good books” of the world’s religions. Good Books lose their value when they become rule books that create traditions that cause tensions between the generations. Jews know this from their experience with their Testament that we know as the old one. Though we Christians have hinged the New Testament to the Old, we, too, devalue it by tending to give it the status of a rule book.
Subscribers and others who habitually read the Old Fool’s blogs know that he laments the misuse of the bible as a rule book while cherishing it because he accepts it as the best account of the Jesus Story that we have.