“It will be a good language lesson, at least,” she thought. But when Eritchka arrived to the Yanka Kupala Theater in the center of Minsk, Igor informed Eritchka that Russian works are actually never allowed here-- only Belarusian shows. For Eritchka, this is an utter nightmare, as in 3 months she has learned at least a modest amount of Russian, but Belarusian, which lies somewhere between Ukrainian, Polish, and insanity, remained completely in obscurity to her. As the lights went out in the theater, Erichka heaved a heavy sigh, wondering how on earth she would stay awake for the next 90 minutes of national Belarusian theater in the Belarusian language.
As usual, nothing happened as Eritchka expected. The curtains went up, and out came a line of men and women wearing stereotypical 19th century peasant garb dancing what looked to be the Hora on a stage decorated with Chagall images. But this wouldn’t be the first time Eritchka had caught herself hallucinating Jewish images, so she tried to tell herself that this was a traditional Belarusian dance. But, Eritchka could have sworn that one of the characters was being called Motel, and then an older woman appeared who was named Golda. Eritchka knew these names. For some reason images of Zero Mostel from a Broadway musical kept entering her mind, and then it dawned on her: This is Belarusian Fiddler on the Roof! Now there was no need to struggle to understand the plot. Eritchka even realized that she understood better than everyone else in the room when Golda said “hamotzi” on the candles, and Tevya wished his family a “Shalom Shabbat!” in a very sephardi accent.