The Jews Of Anatevka Essay

1127 Words Feb 17th, 2016 5 Pages
The Jews of Anatevka experienced both the threats of annihilation and assimilation in their Russian community. Outside of Anatevka, the world was changing and experiencing modernization. Liberal ideas began to take speed. The changing values that individuals tried to spread throughout Russia posed a threat to the traditional, long-established ideals of Judaism. On the other hand, Russian, violent attacks against the Jews also seemed to be a perceived threat. Russian pogroms threatened the safety and survival of the Jews living in Anatevka. While assimilation entailed merely changing and adjusting some traditional values to fit the time period, annihilation entailed the complete destruction of Anatevka Jews, so that it would not even be possible for them to practice any sort of Judaism. Ultimately, annihilation posed a bigger threat to the Jews of Anatevka because assimilation still allowed for the Jews to practice Judaism, while annihilation did not. One character who represents the idea that assimilation did not pose a huge threat to the survival of Judaism is Perchik. Perchik seems to serve as a symbol of the ever-changing, dynamic, outside society. While he still practices Judaism, he just fuzes traditional Judaism with the values of the modern, liberal views. For example, when he first encounters Reb Tevye and other Jews of the village, he warns them, “You can’t close your eyes to what’s happening in the world.” The villagers were reading a newspaper about how the Jews…

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