ACT ONE
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 TREE OF LIGHT SCRIPT
ACT ONE

by Larry Heather

1998

This Play may be performed with permission of the playwright


Download Entire Script in Original Form in Adobe Acrobat PDF.

 

TREE OF LIGHT

A HANUKKAH PLAY IN TWO ACTS

by Larry Heather

Music by Helen Hooker and Larry Heather

Premiere performances at the Beth Shechinah (House Of Glory) Messianic 
congregation on December 19 & 20th.,1997 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Directed by Roger Hamm of Patchwork Productions

mailto: patch@telusplanet.net

Feb. 22th, 1998 COPY # ___1____

Copyright (c) 1998 by Larry Heather Calgary, Alberta Canada

The playwright may be contacted at: mailto: l-heather@home.com

Jewish sayings taken from Leo Rosten's TREASURY OF JEWISH QUOTATIONS
 and used by permission of McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.

Glossary of Hebrew terms should be included in program.

Luke 2:25-40 Taken from the Jewish New Testament by Dr. David H. Stern,
 P.O. Box 615, Clarksville, MD 21029, Ph. 410- 764-6144, and used with permission.

All other Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version R. 
Copyright c. 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society, 
Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House, All rights reserved.

 

TREE OF LIGHT CAST OF CHARACTERS

SHIMON ben Palat, a student, apprentice metalworker, Age 16

PALAT ben Ishi, father of Shimon, a metalworker, 50

MIRIAM bat Shomer, mother of Shimon, a painter, 47

YEHUDAH ben David, Rabbi of Shimon, Wisdom Teacher (Hakamim), 62

HANNAH bat Panuel, 1st. female cousin to Shimon, an olive grove worker, 25

BENYAMIN ben Calev, A Pharisee (Perushim) , 41

ALEXANDER , A Sadducee (Zaddukim), 35

LEMUEL ben Ezra, A Scribe (Soferim), 25

ZADDOK ben Eliyah, A Essene (Hasidim), 54

DEVORAH, Mother of Hannah, Sister to Palat, 53

PANUEL, Father to Hannah and brother in law to Palat, 57. (Offstage voice only)

Non Speaking Actors - ZEBULUN & four or more Yeshiva students.

Scrim Scenes: (Live voice or taped) ALEXANDER & COURT HISTORIAN/ 
ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES / YUDAH MACCABEE and brother 
SHIMON MACCABEE(2nd.)/ Older Shimon (1st.) and Hannah.

Miked Instrumentalists and Vocalists Off Stage

TIME:

The week of the 25 of Kislev, Hanukkah 64 B.C.E. (The 100th anniversary 
of the Hasmonean Rededication of the Second Temple and just prior to the
 Roman takeover by Pompey in 63 B.C.E. (3753 year since creation - Hebrew Calendar)

SETTINGS:

The workshop, home, and courtyard of Shimon and his parents in Yerushalayim.

The Yeshiva (School) of Yehudah ben David near the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim.

The Olive Grove of the Temple Oil near Tekoa in southern Judah.

 

ACT ONE ** SCENE ONE Tree Of Light

(As the lights come up on workshop bench, SHIMON and his father PALAT enter 
from the house and put on their aprons. As SHIMON fires up the forge with 
the bellows PALAT begins to hammer on a branch of a half finished Menorah. 
His rhythmic hammering on the anvil sets the beat for the music of the theme song 
ONE HUNDRED YEARS * As the music starts a crowd enters the marketplace 
and begins an Israeli circle dance, which SHIMON joins. The crowd and 
miked vocalists offstage begin to sing...)

One Hundred Years 
by Larry Heather
 
(Miked Vocalists Cindy Fuller, Tree Browning & Larry Heather)

Click Title to Play Song On RealPlayer on all songs

Chorus One:

One Hundred years since the Maccabees
Won for us a very great victory
Where they hid in the hills was a mystery
But when the Greeks weren't looking they made history

1. The ruler Antiochus they could not please
How could you serve a braggart like Epiphanes?
The Holy Temple of the Lord he wickedly did seize
Commanding Israelites to spurn their Elohim

Chr.I

One Hundred years since the Maccabees
Won for us a very great victory
Where they hid in the hills was a mystery
But when the Greeks weren't looking they made history

2. Faithful Mattathias and his five sons a team
Met the enemy at the gates of Modin
Started a resistance that was true to the faith
The ones that Daniel spoke of, Yes they knew their God

Chr.I

One Hundred years since the Maccabees
Won for us a very great victory
Where they hid in the hills was a mystery
But when the Greeks weren't looking they made history

Bridge:
One Hundred Years Ago they shone so bright
Olive oil that burned for eight days and nights
The few against the many by their faith won out
A Great Miracle Happened Here - Is what we SHOUT!!

Chr. I

One Hundred Years since the Maccabees
Won for us a very great victory
Where they hid in the hills was a mystery
But when the Greeks weren't looking they made history
(Instrumental ending)

( The crowd leaves amidst laughter as
PALAT motions for SHIMON to return to
the shop. The music fades and returns
to the beating of PALAT'S hammer on the
anvil. PALAT hands SHIMON a near
completed hanukkiyah)

PALAT
I hope you can finish that one son, before you have to
go to Yeshiva. There's a rush on it because it has to go
to the coast.

SHIMON
Yes father, I do what I can, but Rabbi Yehudah doesn't
like his students to be late.

PALAT
Studies are important, but a man has to make a living
too! One hundredth anniversaries of Hanukkah don't come
by every year. We have to fill the special order
Menorahs while they are needed.

SHIMON (preoccupied)
We have been studying the history of the Menorah at the
Yeshiva. Many rabbis believe that the Menorah design
given to Mosheh for the Tent of Meeting is a double
symbol. Of the Tree of Life in the garden, and the
burning bush Mosheh saw in the desert. So Rabbi Yehudah
calls the Menorah, the Tree Of Light.

PALAT
Well for our livelihood it is the Staff Of Life. Please
concentrate on yours, or we may go hungry before
first fruits! ..... Almond blossoms and buds on each of
the branches... they are the hardest to fashion.... Why
don't they just go for replicas of Aaron's budded rod?
That I would live another 100 to be so fortunate!

(PALAT'S wife enters workshop from home)

MIRIAM
Palat, you are braying like
Balaam's donkey again!
At least give us a prophecy or even a warning to chew
on!

(Palat gives irritated gesture and
continues to mimic MIRIAM when her back
is turned.)

MIRIAM (Cont'd)
Shimon! Why haven't you left for the Yeshiva yet?
You know Yehudah ben David doesn't like his students to
be late. And we are paying good Hasmonean coinage for
the privilege of sitting you at his feet. It may not be
exactly what we are looking for, but we are going to see
you a scholar yet! Hurry on, and don't forget to stop
at the market on the way home.

SHIMON
Yes mother, I'm on my way right now. Two clusters of
figs and three of Hebron grapes, right?
(
SHIMON exits quickly with school scrolls
and MIRIAM decorates a menorah.)

PALAT
Miriam, I don't mean to be intrusive, but you must
understand we are running a business here. Surely the
wise one knows that Hanukkah is around the corner.
Surely you know that there are only seventy seats in
the Sanhedrin. And only the Most High knows how many
mother Rebekahs are scheming to sit their sons in one of them!

MIRIAM
Palat, I'm sorry to be so brash. It's just that so many
wonderful opportunities are open to us since we have
moved here from Ziklag. There is no other city like
Yerushalayim. Even your sister Devorah, jumped at the
chance to move to Tekoa to marry Panuel. From the tribe
of Asher yet!

PALAT
Yes, they and their daughter Hannah have done well. In
charge of the olive grove which supplies the holy oil
for the Temple Menorah. It produces the finest olives
in all of Yisrael ... In Ziklag my father and I made
swords for the Hasmonean army, instruments of war that
were necessary at the time. Now we as a family can make
instruments of illumination, to help our neighbors in
celebration.

MIRIAM
But dear, you must admit there is something special
about Shimon. He has such a passion in the study and
pursuit of truth. And this is a city whose business is
that pursuit. There is no end to what we can help him accomplish.

PALAT (wearily)
Miriam, Miriam, slow down .... slow down...

(Workshop fades out and light comes up
on the Yeshiva of Yehudah ben David)

ACT ONE ** SCENE TWO

(The RABBI is teaching a group of
students from a scroller lectern which
advances when the handles are turned)

RABBI YEHUDAH
... And in the wisdom of the Holy One, the seven
branches , the perfect number of completion, the number
of days in the week of creation. Of course, in our
celebration of Hanukkah we use an eight branched
menorah, representing the eights days of the feast. An
additional ninth branch, the shamash or servant light,
kindling all the rest.

Mosheh was commanded that this Tree of Light be
fueled by the purest oil from the Olive tree. The olive
branch is first mentioned in the Torah, when it was
brought back by the dove sent out by Noah. It is one of
the most valuable of trees, symbolizing virility and
fruitfulness. Used as a food, a medicine, a beauty
preparation, and in our study here, a fuel.

The almond blossoms and buds represent blessings in
the present, and future fruit to come. The almond tree
is the first to bud in the spring, and it's leaves are
the last to whither. It is perhaps the closest outside
of Eden to the Tree of Life. A source of life and immortality.

(SHIMON enters late, out of breath, and
sits at the back of the group.)

RABBI YEHUDAH (cont.)
Of course, Paradise lost is not Paradise destroyed. The
Cherubim were sent to close the way to the Tree of Life.
But they were also guarding the preservation of the way
to Paradise in the future. (Gen.3:24)

(At this point a Zebulun, seated on a
brightly colored favored student stool,
falls asleep & keels over. The other
students burst out in laughter.)

YEHUDAH
Well Zebulun, it seems my teaching provides you with
ill-nourishment. If you are starving, remember the
saying of the sage: "Where there is no meat, one must
pick the bones."
And you Shimon, your chest still heaves like the
rising of the Red Sea before Mosheh.

SHIMON
I'm sorry Rabbi, the craft of my father made me late.
I ran across the city to get here. I will try to not let
it happen again.

YEHUDAH
No my son, I understand what season it is for you and
your good father. As the learned one has said;
"Excellent is Torah-Study along with some worldly
occupation, for the
labor in both of them causes sin
to be forgotten. All Torah-Study and no worldly
labor
ends in failure, and brings sin in its wake."

And now we will consider what the venerable Prophet
Daniel said about the times which led to the Feast of
Dedication which we now celebrate.
Our people are discouraged to have heard no prophets
speaking to Yisrael since the time of Malachi. Yet
Daniel predicted all the way from the Persian rule in
exile, to the Greek and Roman powers we see battling today.
But Rabbis wiser than I, have shaken their heads in
despair interpreting Daniel's mysteries. Nevertheless, we
shall try. Shimon, could you read this commentary for us?

SHIMON (reading)
Even Daniel was perplexed at some of his visions and was
told by the angels that some of the answers were sealed
up until the distant future.
In Daniel's very words; " I , Daniel was exhausted
and lay ill for several days... I was appalled by
the vision; it was beyond understanding" (Dan. 8:27)
Rabbi Yehudah, what hope do we have if so great
a prophet as Daniel despaired?

YEHUDAH
There is hope, even for our sleepy Zebulun here!
As our teachers have said; "Wisdom, like gold ore,
is mixed with the stones and dust of history."
It is my prayer that one of you, will be blessed with
the wisdom to unlock the mysteries of Daniel. To
recognize the Anointed One when He appears.

YEHUDAH (cont.)
Fortunately, what Daniel teaches about the Greek
conqueror, Alexander the Great, starts us on our
journey. " A fourth king of Persia when he had gained
power by his wealth, .. will stir up everyone against
the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty King will appear,
who will rule with great power and do as he pleases." -
(Dan. 11:2c,3)

(Lights fade on school as action freezes
Scrim with Alexander the Great lights
up. Alexander is addressing crowd from
his balcony, then turns inside to talk
with court historian in the newly
conquered Palace of the Greek King
Darius)

(Trumpet Fanfare and crowd sounds)

ALEXANDER THE GREAT
I, Alexander, the Son of Zeus, today sit on the
Throne of Darius at Persepolis, capital of Persia.
I declare sovereignty over his vast kingdom from
Egypt,
through Jerusalem, to Media. It is my destiny to forge a
new world unity by spreading the Greek culture and
language everywhere.
I will continue to establish my own personal cities,
all called Alexandria, to serve as the outposts of trade
and commerce to link the markets of Greece with my new
empire. I decree the Athenian standard of coinage to be
used as the basis of trade throughout the empire.
No longer will the wealth of Persia lie dormant in
the King's treasury. Put it to work in the marketplace
with public works for the benefit of all my new
subjects. Introduce our Grecian way of life to my new
subjects. Have the soldiers celebrate with sacrifices to
the gods, torch races, and gymnastic contests...

(Crowd sounds diminish as Alexander's turns and enters palace)

COURT HISTORIAN
O mighty Alexander, we have found in the archives
of the King, the writings of one Daniel , a Hebrew
prophet in exile during the reigns of two Babylonian and
two Persian Kings. It reads; "Then a mighty King will
appear, who will rule with great power and do as he
pleases. After he has appeared, his empire will be
broken up and parceled out to the four winds of heaven.
It will not go to his descendants........
(Alexander abruptly interjects) 

ALEXANDER
Silence! ... Enough! ... Take this scroll to my private
chamber. (Historian leaves)
The signs of my birth have assigned me a short span of
life and to this I am resigned....but who did this
impudent Daniel think he was!! .....Oh gods, have I not
done enough in this short life, to sit among you?
(He turns and enters balcony again)
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!

(Scrim fades out with fanfare, and a
drum march effect as students leave
with YEHUDAH in dim light)

ACT ONE ** SCENE THREE

(Moonlight comes up on HANNAH in the
olive grove in Tekoa. PANUEL speaks to
her from off stage.)

DEVORAH
Now Hannah, don't stay out too late in the grove tonight
. If the Almighty intended us to watch over our crops
that closely, we would have no need of a bed!

PANUEL (offstage)
That's right my daughter, we're not shepherds you know.
Olive trees do not wander in the dark and get carried
away by wolves. Besides, you need your rest. Remember
the priest's servant will expect the oil to be delivered
a few days ahead of time.

HANNAH
Yes Ema, Yes Abba, I'm sorry I stayed out so late last
night. I lose all sense of time out here ...

DEVORAH
Well we lose all sense of sleep with the noise of
your late night nibblings in the storeroom.
(DEVORAH heads in)

HANNAH
Yes, my ema ..... There is no place in all of Judea
like the hillsides of Tekoa. Good..., the moon and the
stars shine bright tonight over this village of Amos.
He was a dresser of fig trees and I, a dresser of the
holy olive grove.
Yes, there to the north I can see the smoke from the
evening sacrifice in Yerushalayim. How I love to spend
time in the courts of the Lord. What it must have been
like when the Glory filled the Most Holy Place!...

I wonder what Shimon is up to. I remember when I used to
tend him when his mother was visiting. His used to
drive me up a stone wall with all his questions about
Amos...
(She lifts hands in prayer)
"Dear Creator in the heavens, I thank you for your
love over us, and your provision for our family.
It was Mosheh's words to our forefather Asher ...
"Let Asher be blessed with children ... 
and let him dip his foot in oil." (Deut. 33.24)

Now we deal in the oil which fuels the sacred Menorah
in the Temple. Thank you for leading our ancestors to
this village in the time of good King Hezekiah, ....
most of our tribe in the north mocked your ways. But
Your grace on our family is manifold.
May I also be one who looks for the redemption of
Yisrael as father's name Panuel declares.... Amen!"

(HANNAH begins to sing her song,

TO DWELL IN YOUR COURTS
By Helen Hooker
Solo by Rachel Abrams


1. As Father Avraham gazed up into your heavens
I gaze on that same starry host
Now I'm one of those stars,
Yes, I'm a promised daughter
Shining, burning just for You

I will not go in to the chamber of my house
Or go up to the comfort of my bed
I will not give slumber to my eyes
Till I've watched with you, O Lord!

2. Praises wait for You, Lord, in Yerushalayim
Though our sins prevail
You will provide atonement for our transgressions
Our salvation you'll reveal

You will send the One who will carry all our sorrows
He'll bring David's Kingdom again
I will wait in hope , Oh G-d of my life!
Lord come light our lamps again.

(Music ends and HANNAH feels a chill)

Oh no, it is getting so late again. I must get some
rest for my trip to Yerushalayim. Perhaps my father will
find someone in Zion to be my husband! Oh to be able to
visit the Courts of the Lord everyday.....

DEVORAH
Hannah, are you
night dreaming and stargazing so late
again? Come in from the cold! You know your abba
likes you to start early in the morning. Don't get him
upset....
(They turn to go in...but she gives aside to audience)

...Some men are like new sandals, the cheaper they are, the
more they squeak....

(Lights fade on grove and come up on the
home courtyard where SHIMON enters as
Miriam is busy cleaning up)

ACT ONE ** SCENE FOUR

MIRIAM
Shimon, you are back a bit late. Did you make it to
the market?

SHIMON
Yes, Ema, The Rabbi had some very interesting teaching
on Daniel and Alexander the Great. Now that was three
clusters of figs and two of grapes, right?

MIRIAM
No, no , you've got it backwards, two of figs/ three of
grapes....Is Yehudah teaching you the sort of things
that will get you anywhere? Like, up a rung or two on
Ya'akov's ladder so to speak?

SHIMON
He is a very practical teacher, but not too many of the
younger Rabbis seem to appreciate his depth.

MIRIAM
I've also heard he is not very well
traveled ...
Alexandria...once .. , perhaps you might consider
someone with more contacts on the inside...
(PALAT enters courtyard suddenly and
MIRIAM abruptly changes topics..)

MIRIAM
(cont'd)
.... There surely must be a way to sell our menorahs to
a larger market, especially with the custom Hanukkiyah
lamps we are offering. I've been painting up some new
designs as well.

PALAT
Ah, so we are talking shop, good... Shimon by the way, I
finished up the rush order for the coast. The trader
leaves soon. We are getting some custom orders from
important liaisons with the religious parties. Now we
really need to get the hustle on!
(SHIMON hurries out to the shop)

PALAT
I got a list from Panuel and it's got the RIGHT people
on it!

(MIRIAM perks up in excitement
PALAT goes out singing in a dance)

One hundred years since the Maccabees,
won for us a very great victory,
So many customers its just a mystery,
But if my bills are paid it wi
ll make history!
La,la,la.la....

(Lights fade on courtyard and come
back slowly up on shop after a brief
musical bridge of 100 years.)

ACT ONE ** SCENE FIVE

(SHIMON, PALAT, & MIRIAM deal with
a procession of customers as they
place their orders. The Pharisee
Benyamin enters first.)

PALAT
Shalom to you my friend! How may we serve you today?

BENYAMIN
Shalom Aleichim! My name is Benyamin ben Calev. I am a
membership agent for the Perushim party. I wish to
place a order for a commemorative Hanukkah lamp.
We would like to see a model made which communicates
values we as Pharisees hold dear. Perhaps something
with a little protection to keep it safe?

MIRIAM
Allow me to introduce our family. Palat my husband you
have met, I am Miriam who will do the design artwork.
And this is our son Shimon, an eager and aspiring
scholar who also works the craft.

PALAT
We will be happy to begin your project right away. I'm
sure we can come up with a pleasing design.

BENYAMIN
Scholar you say? Well I see that I have come to the
right place. We are always looking for new blood.
Shimon, I like that name. One of 12 sons of Ya'akov. A
good start. Why do I not know your family?

SHIMON
My father moved here from Ziklag just recently. He used
to make swords for the Hasmonean army ... How do you
begin to study for the Perushim?

BENYAMIN
Hmm....Hasmoneans...you of course realize that we
Perushim take a dim view of kings who are not from the
tribe of Judah. And then there's the question of
priesthood..... We might have to look into your
background a bit more. But I'll send over an application.

MIRIAM
Blessings on you, son of Calev. I'm sure
you will be most pleased with Shimon's potential.

PALAT
We'll be contacting you as soon as your lamp is ready.
And we also supply olive oil from a grove my brother-in-
law owns right beside the Temple grove in Tekoa. It is
very popular. Shalom!

(BENYAMIN exits and ALEXANDER the
Sadducee enters, and as they cross paths
they make two opposite arcs as if
magnetically repulsed)

PALAT
Shalom! Can we be of some help? You saw our sign
outside perhaps?

ALEXANDER
Hail! I'm Alexander of the Zaddukim party and I
understand you design custom menorahs. I became the youngest
member ever of the Sanhedrin at 28. I want something
really unique for the One Hundredth.
(MIRIAM nearly swoons in excitement)
My parents named me after Alexander the Great, who
was favorable to the people of Yisrael. We would like
something a little more cosmopolitan. Something that
would show our ability as Sadducees to work with the
ruling powers. Perhaps with some Greek on it, and just
a touch more of Roman numerals?

MIRIAM
Of course. We have been expecting your order and my
son Shimon, who is studying to be a scholar can help us
with the languages. Do you have any openings for
new Zaddukim?

SHIMON
We have just been learning about Alexander at yeshiva.

ALEXANDER
We are always on the lookout for those with the highest
potential. At what Yeshiva are you studying?

SHIMON
That of the Hakam, the Wisdom Teacher, Yehudah ben
David!

ALEXANDER
Yehudah! Don't put him at the top of your resume. I
know him as an advisor to the Sanhedrin. He has not
been easy to take advice from! ... Still, we can use
students who have absorbed his discipline. Some of your
ideas may need adjusting. But Try it out. Good day!

(ALEXANDER exits, and briefly has
an argument at the door with LEMUEL ben
Ezra the Scribe who has just entered)

LEMUEL
There you are! My client says these bills to your party
are over three months due!

ALEXANDER
This is most rude of you! I have an important
appointment. See my assistant and make an appointment
next week! Boker Tov!

PALAT
Shalom my lettered friend. I see you have acquaintance
with our previous customer. It's the first time we
have met him. Let me introduce my family. This is my
fine wife, and my son who is a student, and an even
better metalworker. If it's Menorah's you want, you
have the wisdom of King Shlomo to come here!

LEMUEL
Thank you for your warm and discerning greeting. I
am Lemuel ben Ezra of the Soferim. The Scribes have
sent me as their secretary, to order, you know what.
We need something that reflects our legal profession.
Blessed that you should mention Shlomo, son of David.
Perhaps something along the lines of the scales of
justice or some writing instruments?

MIRIAM
Our son Shimon practices beautiful calligraphy, and has
purchased a Daniel Scroll from your library by the
Temple. I'm sure he will have some scholarly inspiration
for your project. Perhaps you are looking for an apprentice?

SHIMON
I am very interested in defending the right of the poor.
And, of course, in the copying of the Torah. But I don't
like some parts of the Greek translation, because my
Rabbi says there are errors in the text.

LEMUEL
We need motivated young men like you and advancement
can come quickly. However, I would beg to differ
with you on the Greek translation. One of the 72 scribes
who translated it down in Alexandria, Mika-el ben Avi,
was my grandfather.

(PALAT's family all cringe)
PALAT
Hmm... Well we will let you know when your order is
complete. Let me assure you that we always honor our
contracts, especially to lawyers! Shalom!

(LEMUEL exits, there is a distinct
pause before ZADDOK ben Eliyah the Essene
enters from back of theatre and steals in
behind MIRIAM in a reclusive manner.)

MIRIAM
Shimon, you have to learn not to be so forthright
in speaking everything you know. Remember, honey is
always better than vinegar!
(Startled) AAHhhhhaaa!!

(Miriam is startled by Zaddok who is
hidden in a dusty hooded cloak. PALAT
moves between them quickly)

PALAT
Excuse me, my friend. Can we be assisting you?
Looks like you have come through quite a
dust storm!

ZADDOK
Forgive me, I am not used to being around such a
crowded city. I understand you are making the item
that my Council has sent me for. I live in the assembly
of the camp of the Hasidim at Qumran.
We only enter this city through the gate of the
Essenes. And while the corrupt High Priest reigns, as
little as possible.

SHIMON
How can we serve you? aaaahh.. I didn't catch your name.

ZADDOK
Oh it's not important, ... Zaddok ben Eliyah.
We are looking for a Menorah which is very plain in
design. Something that can be easily hid in case of a catastrophe.

PALAT
Are you expecting anything Zaddok, we don't know about?

(MIRIAM bursts through in a frenzy, like a driven arrow)

MIRIAM
It's the Idumeans, isn't it? They once captured me
outside of Ziklag for ransom. May the Holy One be
praised for rescuing me from the hands of Antipater.

(ZADDOK nods no and try's to calm her.)

SHIMON
Do you know anything about the secrets of Daniel?

ZADDOK
I am taught by the disciples of the great Teacher
of Righteousness. It is said He knew all of these
mysteries.

SHIMON
Shechinah! How can I get to be their student?

ZADDOK
They teach only those who have taken the two years
to qualify for the Council. And you must take a
vow not to marry.
(SHIMON and MIRIAM step back in dismay)

MIRIAM
No marriage? I don't know about that.... but I do like
the access to the secret knowledge of this Teacher,,, It
definitely would give one a leg up...

ZADDOK
Why did your family move from the small town of Ziklag
to this corrupt capital. The Messiah has not yet
cleansed it? That's not a good sign.

PALAT (in jest)
Well, you'll have to give me a tour of your metal shop
at the camp someday? ... We'll be in touch, I hope you
can wait around a few days?

ZADDOK
Alright, but just a few days, I should be getting back.
(The sound of rushing chariots is heard)
I prefer exploring caves around Qumran, to street
dodging these mad Yehu's in their careening chariots.
Shalom, if you can find it here!

(Zaddok exits and lights fade on workshop
as more horses and markets sounds are
heard , the light then rises on the
Yeshiva of Yehudah, where the Rabbi is
lost in thought before his students arrive)

ACT ONE ** SCENE SIX

YEHUDAH (Holding a medallion)
Ah how I miss you my dear wife Adah.. its been two
years. We had a great life together... three lovely
daughters and two hardworking sons,... but neither of
them a scholar. You were so loving with my father. He
longed for the days when he as a mason, helped the
Maccabees restore the Temple. He could take me places
there where the other boys weren't allowed. Ah Yes....

(Music of GLORY OF THE LORD by Larry Heather as
Yehudah mimes walking around the Temple)

The Glory Of The Lord
by Larry Heather
Solo by D'Arcy Browning

1. Once as a young boy, going to the Temple
I was fascinated by the grand and simple
Veil enclosing the Holy Ground of History
Menorah burning in the sacred place of mystery

2. But off in the corner of the court of Israel
Stood an elder who in wisdom was a deep well
Lost in prayer as Dad greeted him discreetly
As he turned around his face was shining brightly!

Chorus I
He said; "I pray for the Glory of the Lord
To return to His dwelling place
Ezekiel saw it leave o'er the Mount to the East."
But I thought I saw a glimmer- on the old man's face!

3. Off in the desert, in the land of Midian
Mosheh guarded over sheep that had been given him
When in the distance by the Mount of Sinai
He saw a burning bush but had to rub his eye..ieye.ieyes...

4. How could it burn and yet not be a shambles
"Your on HOLY GROUND so quick take off your sandals!"
Later on the Mount he said show me your GLORY
He saw just the back, but you know the stor..or..or..ree.


Chorus II
He asked to gaze on the Glory of the Lord
As the Holy One passed him by!
He came down from the Mount with a face so bright
He had to wear a veil to keep from hurting their eyes...

(Starts to dance forcefully with beat as he la la's)

Lai,lai,lai,lai,la,la,la,lai,la...
(Voice and music trail off as mystified
students peer in from doorway and then enter gingerly)

YEHUDAH (embarassed)
Ahem!... Today we will learn a history lesson from an
awesome statue that is predicted to topple. But in order
to prevent our own classroom topple, we will ask Zebulun
to take a seat nearer to the floor.

(He motions Shimon to take the seat instead)

We now study the prophet Daniel's interpretation of
Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Babylon.

(He points to a life-size cloth tapestry
of a statue which is now on the
Yeshiva wall next to the Scrim.)

In it he describes an enormous statue. The parts of
the statue relate to four different kingdoms, each one
inferior in prestige to the one that came before it.
At the top was the golden head representing
Nebuchadnezzar's Kingdom of Babylon. Next, the chest and
arms of silver being the kingdom of the four Persian
kings.
Following that, the belly and thighs of bronze
representing the Greek Kingdom, which begins when
Darius is defeated by Alexander the Great. Alexander's
general Ptolemy took over
Egypt and his general Seleucus
gained command of Syria.
Since then their leaders have fought back and forth
for control of our fateful land of promise. In War after
war, spinning like a top, we have been fought over and
fought against.
Lastly, the statue is completed by the legs of iron,
and feet of iron and clay. It doesn't take a pyramid
builder to figure out what this last kingdom is.
To the north of us the Roman general Pompey has
defeated Mithradates, the strongest Greek defender.
We shall return to a study of the coming Roman kingdom
at our next lesson. Yes Shimon, you have a question?

SHIMON
Rabbi Yehudah, I find these mysteries hard to
understand. Have you ever been to any of these
countries represented by the statue?

YEHUDAH
Well , I have to admit I have only been to Alexandria
once. You can't pull two hides off of one ox! I had to
depend on the writings of others who have been to
Babylon and Persia.

SHIMON
I have heard of a Teacher of Righteousness, who had
the answers to all these mysteries. Did you ever
meet him before he died?

YEHUDAH
No, I did not. But I would be glad to talk with
you about this out of class. It is a most interesting
subject. Let us first complete our lesson on the Greek
period.
We are about to begin the celebrations for the one
hundredth anniversary of Hanukkah. We shall take a look
at what Daniel predicted about these events.
Tree Of Light - I,vi., 17.

YEHUDAH (cont)
An evill Seleucid ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes, was
determined to bring the Jewish people fully into Greek
culture.
Daniel predicted; "A despicable person will arise ..
Who will seize the Kingdom by intrigue ... he will show
regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And
forces from Him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary
fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And
they will set up the abomination of desolation."

(School scene freezes and Scrim
with ANTIOCHUS by the Temple
Altar activates. The squealing of a pig
being sacrificed is heard before the
scrim lights, then ANTIOCHUS is seen at
the side of the Temple Altar the shadow
of a dead pig on it)

ANTIOCHUS
There! I have accomplished the ultimate in bringing
these rebellious Hebrews down to their size. The
forbidden swine on the altar. I am a Goliath no
Israelite can match! I, Antiochus the fourth, am
called Epiphanes, the god's beloved. I have replaced
their high
Cohen with a priest of my own, Menelaus, who
will obey me.
I rededicate this Temple to Zeus, the chief of gods.
I, Antiochus, will complete what the great Alexander set
out to do. I will crush all resistance in my path and
become the foremost of all Kings. Hahahaha...

(Scrim fades out as Antiochus gives an
evil laugh and menacing music plays, students file out of Yeshiva with Rabbi)

(Sound of birds in the morning comes in
and the dawn comes up on the family busy
in the workshop)

ACT ONE ** SCENE SEVEN

PALAT
Excellent! We are well on our way to completing the
specialty orders. They should all be ready in time.

SHIMON
It's been a real crush to get them done, with my studies
and all. Rabbi Yehudah has agreed to share the
Maccabee's story with us at the Hanukah party. He is
also bringing his statue tapestry to tell the story
with!

MIRIAM
Since we are the hosts of the party on our street this
year, why don't we invite the religious school
recruiters in to celebrate the last day with us? They
could all bring their Hanukkiyah. And it would be a
good opportunity for Shimon to show his stuff as an student.

PALAT
Miriam, It would not be a good thing to have them all
here at once. We could run into problems. You know we
need to cultivate repeat customers.

MIRIAM
Our son's future hangs on a cliff, and you worry about
next year's shekels. That NOAH
should think so in such a
situation!

PALAT (Gesturing to same)
That NOAH'S WIFE, would double the mess to clean in the
bottom of the Ark!


(Miriam leaves workshop in a huff and
enters the courtyard scheming to herself)

MIRIAM
Such a Hanukkah party as this street has never seen!
And how much better if our SHIMON qualifies for not just
one profession, but ALL FOUR!


(MIRIAM begins her comedy solo which gradually involves Shimon, 
family, then the whole marketplace)

OH SHIMI, SHIMI, SHOW US WHAT IT TAKES
by Larry Heather
Solo by Jefa Alexandra Penkava

(Klezmer style instrumentation)

Chorus One:
Oh Shimi, Shimi show us what it takes,
Such an opportunity we never had before
Back in Ziklag we had nothing but a closing door.
But here in Zion waiting is so much in store.
Oh Shimi, Shimi show us what it takes!

Verse One:
It's peaceful now but you never know for sure
You must prepare for the Romans are astir
It will not take much to put history in a blur
My son, we're depending on you!

Chorus One:
Oh Shimi, Shimi show us what it takes,
Such an opportunity we never had before
Back in Ziklag we had nothing but a closing door.
But here in Zion waiting is so much in store.
Oh Shimi, Shimi show us what it takes!

Verse Two: (Shimon enters)
Your our only child, bringing to our life great joy
You've grown so much, we say "Where's our little boy."
The spirit of Elijah, the mind of Solomon....
A double portion of each one will do!

Chorus Two: 
(family enters, mimes with Devorah, recruiters 
also file to downstage left and freeze in position)

Oh my neighbor Golda brags about her son,
I invite her to the market for a little fun,
But it's sure you're going to hear before you walk-far
She reminds you that her brilliant son's a doc-tar...
Oh Shimi, Shimi show them what it takes!

Bridge:
(MIRIAM stands behind a different recruiter for each of the following 
stanzas, while only the recruiters remain in a total freeze)

(Behind Zaddok the Hasid, she brushes dusty cloak and almost sneezes)

It's as Hebrew as a Pomegranate Punch,
To want your son to rise above the bunch!

(Behind Lemuel the Sofer)
To do exploit's for the Lord as you stand
A Scholar of renown throughout the Holy Land!

(Behind Benyamin the Perush)
I've the best intentions for,
But there's times you need to push the door!

(Behind Alexander the Z'adduk)
That's what imaginations for,
To soar to heights unknown before...

(Center Stage, aside to the audience)\
Oh Shimi , Shimi, sometimes the door you have to jimmy!

Chorus One :
(Twice with big Broadway ending to Act One.)

Oh Shimi, Shimi show us what it takes,
Such an opportunity we never had before
Back in Ziklag we had nothing but a closing door.
But here in Zion waiting is so much in store.
Oh Shimi, Shimi show us what it takes! (Repeat chorus to end)
(
At first of last chorus Shimon back onto
forge by accident and gets hotseat!!)

(Blackout, all actors exit stage)

END OF ACT ONE ***** INTERMISSION