Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof quotes

34 total quotes (ID: 1038)

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Tevye
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Leibesh: Is there a proper blessing for the czar?
Rabbi: A blessing for the czar? Of course. May God bless and keep the czar... far away from us.
Tevye: As the good book says, when a poor man eats a chicken, one of them is sick.
Mendel: Where does the book say that?
Tevye: Well, it doesn't say that exactly, but somewhere there is something about a chicken.


Perchik: Money is the world's curse.
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.

Villager: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
Tevye: Very good. That way the whole world will be blind and toothless.

Unknown: (gestures at different people) He's right, and he's right? They can't both be right.
Tevye: You know, you are also right.

[Opening lines] 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!

[to God] I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?

Tevye: As Abraham said, "I am a stranger in a strange land..."
Mendel: Moses said that.
Tevye: Ah. Well, as King David said, "I am slow of speech, and slow of tongue."
Mendel: That was also Moses.
Tevye: For a man who was slow of tongue, he talked a lot.

[to God] You made many many poor people, I realize of course it's no shame to be poor, but it's no great honor either. Now what would be so terrible if I had a small fortune?

Because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.

Fyedka: [introducing himself to Chava] I'm a pleasant fellow, charming, honest, ambitious, quite bright, and very modest.

Perchik: In this world it is the wealthy who are criminals. Someday their wealth will be ours.
Tevye: That would be nice. If they would agree, I would agree.

Motel Kamzoil: Even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!

Perchik: Your daughter has a quick and witty tongue.
Tevye: Yes, the wit she gets from me, as the good book says...
Golde: The good book can wait, it's time for Sabbath.
Tevye: The tongue she gets from her mother.

Mordcha: If the rich could hire others to die for them we, the poor, would all make a nice living.

Lazar Wolf: How is your brother-in-law? In America?
Tevye: Oh, he's doing very well.
Lazar Wolf: Oh, he wrote you?
Tevye: No, not lately.
Lazar Wolf: Then how do you know?
Tevye: If he was doing badly, he would write.