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THE GOSPEL

OF JUDITH

ISCARIOT

 

by Y.I. H AY

 

 

(Text {for play/movie/novel} for an Eco-Feminist Passion Play, and for initiating seekers of redemption in our technotronic and bureaucratic age into The Order of The HEJERA (The Heavenly Jerusalem Association.)

Version A.2

COPYRIGHT: THE HAYUT FOUNDATION

P.O.B. 8115, Jerusalem 91080, Israel


Table Of Contents

ACT ONE - THE SQUARE
Scene One - JUDITH AND TERESH
Scene Two - THE RASAN AGENTS
Scene Three - JESUS OF NAZARETH
Scene Four - HAKI AND JUDITH
Scene Five - JUDITH AND JESUS

ACT TWO -
Scene One - JUDITH OBSERVED IN THE LABORATORY
Scene One - JUDITH OBSERVED IN THE LABORATORY - Part B
Scene Two - JUDITH AND HAKI
Scene Three - JUDITH IN THE MESSIAH MACHINE
Scene Four - JUDITH AND Mr. SMYTH-JOBS
Scene Five - JESUS AND THE RASAN AGENTS

ACT THREE
Scene One - HAKI AND JUDITH WATCH TV
Scene Two - THE CIRCLE OF JESUS
Scene Three - THE NEW SEDER ORDER
Scene Three - THE NEW SEDER- ORDER - Part B
Scene Four - HAKI RETURNS TO GETHSEMANE
Scene Five - THE CIRCLE OF THE RASANS - AT HEADQUARTERS
Scene Six - JESUS-JOB ON T.V.

EPILOGUE

Notes - CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISISM ON JUDITH


THE GOSPEL OF JUDITH ISCARYOT - ACT III

EPILOGUE

(It is late morning on Mount Scopus. On the slope, below and West of the university campus is sitting Teresh, his eyes fastened towards the Temple Mount and the valley of Kidron in front of it, with the garden of Gethsemane to the left and down the valley. An old man is coming slowly down the slope, it is the Great Parshan. When he reaches Teresh it becomes apparent that the two men look amazingly like twins.)

TERESH (not turning his head): Who are you, going down this little used path? I think I know you. Were you not used to sit at the top there?

GREAT PARSHAN: And were you not used to sit on the other side of the campus for so many years, waiting for your savior? And I suspect you were wandering for countless years to trek him down. For were you not the original wandering Jew? Yes, I knew you. So what are you doing, sitting again on the dirt, wasting your newly­-gained eyesight, this time watching the city? Has not your redeemer come already and saved you? Why are you not joining in the "Jesus Lives" club?

TERESH: Have you no shame? to ridicule a poor old man like me, who has known so many disappointments in his long life. Yet of all the disappointments I have had, this last one was the very worst. Within less than one month, the sublime has turned into a ridiculous, hideous farce. Have I had my eyesight restored only to see televised lies and organized stupidity? Just like in the Middle-Ages, only then, the crooked clerics had more dignity.

GREAT PARSHAN: You, at least, seem to have found your station around this mountain which I used to run. Now it is I who is on the run now. Now it is I who has to become the wandering Jew.

TERESH: Is it all over for you with the university?

GREAT PARSHAN: It is. The Rasans served us notice to leave at once, vanish or perish. All the books, all the laboratories and the equipment we have developed, all was confiscated. All that was left is just the few fiches and gadgets I could put in this little phylacteries bag. But I may have something for you here.

(He opens his phylacteries bag and produces a small crystal cube, under one inch on each side, set inside a dark metal frame of twelve edges.)

TERESH (shaken): My Jewel! You had it! I have been looking for it for decades! I knew it must be near here!

GREAT PARSHAN: Our Jew-El. There was no point in your keeping it after you went blind. It only shines very rarely, and you would have missed its signal. But I guess now you can be its keeper again. That is, if you were its keeper before. So tell me, how did you acquire it originally?

 

TERESH: It is an old story... many many centuries ago, a shepherd lad found a jewel in the form of a dark glassy cube. He didn't know what it was, and traded it to some peasants for food and drink. The peasants brought the jewel to the sages at the Academy to determine its worth. The sages said that it was worthless. The peasants then tried to sell the jewel to the goldsmiths, who found it worthless, and would not buy it. The peasants then took the jewel to the marketplace in hopes of selling it to an unsuspecting buyer, but were descended upon by the police before they could. In a rage, the peasants hurled the jewel - or if you like, the jew-el - into the street, where a wandering Jew happened upon it. The wandering Jew picked up the Jew-El and went on his way.

GREAT PARSHAN: Why? What was your impression of it?

TERESH: He thought that this was no ordinary jewel, nor one that could be found by just anybody. You called it Jew-El. Maybe the inherent meaning has to do with Jew and God or God's Jew?

GREAT PARSHAN: And what have you come to think of it since?

TERESH: Somehow, trading in whatever esoteric lore that he could find on his ceaseless wanderings, the Jew came to think that this was the jewel of redemption, a symbol of man as he might be, the perfection of moral and aesthetic beauty, molded by God and Nature, as was the Redeemer himself. And he also came to suspect that whoever possessed the jewel would be doomed to an everlasting life of wandering in search of the redemption that the jewel promised, and that the savior-nature of the jewel was such that it would only shine every thousand years or so, through one of the faces of the cube, to herald the re-appearance of the Savior, and the time of redemption.

GREAT PARSHAN: That's one way to put it. So, have you seen it shining?

TERESH: The wandering Jew waited a thousand years for a face of the jewel to heald the re-appearance of the Savior. Meanwhile, his wanderings had taken him to all the corners of the world where his exiled brethern were instigating some spiritual revivals, be it in Glastonbury, Mecca or the Rhineland. But each time was a disappointment, and it was getting worse and worse for us. With the Crusades and the Templars it became a holoucast, they butchered all the Jews on their way through the Rhineland. And the wandering Jew was waiting for them here in Jerusalem, only to see how they burned all her Jews alive.

PARSHAN: It was a disaster which almost brought an end all our work in the Rhineland. And yet, we just managed to make a good job there, with a whole new commentary for the Bible and the Talmud that that preserved all the mysteries and the skills, and which made us last another thousand years. And those grail legends with which we infected them - you cannot yet say they were all in vain. But where did your man go?

TERESH: He wandered for almost another thousand years before another face of the jewel would shine to herald the re-appearance of the Savior. This time he made sure not to stay within Jerusalem, but to come to this place, to Mount Scopus, which is the Mount of Watchers, to watch well and determine if it was true or not. It was here he entrusted it to me.

GREAT PARSHAN: And you lost it.

TERESH: First I lost my eyesight. Then one day, not so long ago, just a few decades I guess, I realized that it was gone.

GREAT PARSHAN: So now you have it back. And your eyesight too.

TERESH: So all is not yet lost.

GREAT PARSHAN: We don't know yet. It's pretty close to being lost. Certainly any hope for work from our university position is now void. But now that the Rasans have dumped their idol of rationality, the stage has shifted anyway. Now it's the media where the action is, and there's a new prospect I must check. In a few moments, I may need your help.

TERESH: To do what?

GREAT PARSHAN: For start, just what you are so used to doing. You sit and watch the garden I am going to now. I have there a student with whom I am well pleased. You just watch for something you may consider as a sign - the shining of the face of the Jew-El, a halo, a burning thorn bush, a crown of thorns, whatever. If you pick up on something - then come over. We'll need you there as an external examiner. And this time, be more critical.

TERESH: Am I to be duped again into yet another Messianic trip?

GREAT PARSHAN: Just as you said, it is this Messianic Jew-El syndrome we are infected with. And this enchanted die you hold may still roll. For most people, this is just a worthless trinket, a piece of bric-a-brac, a bauble. For us, this may yet be the holy grail.

TERESH: And what really is this jewel cube? Where does it come from?

GREAT PARSHAN: It is not of this world, but of the world to come. It is a model of the Heavenly Jerusalem, a brick of her you may say, perhaps her corner stone.

 

(The air changes. It is the finale of the play, and the actors start to show for the closing of the curtains. The Tall Agent leads a chorus of characters from the play, including the Short Agent, Mr. Jobs-Smyth, Jesus' disciples and the studio staff etc. He conducts the choir.

CHOIR: Everyone always tries to find
What is behind the flow of time.
Time and again it seems intent,
(Whatever means we have at hand,)
On overturning all our schemes.
Perhaps mankind will never find
If there's intent and end to Time,
Or does it always keep recurring,
(Ever changing, without caring,)
Only to be and become the same.

(The Great Parshan motions to the wings and the other characters come, including the Parshans, Haki, Judith and Jesus. They form the Second Choir.)

SECOND CHOIR (singing, to much the same tune):
It is still hard to understand
How Heavenly Jerusalem
Will land again to bring the End
Of history.
But though we've spent thousands of years,
In exile, strife and countless tears,
We'll always turn to you again,
Jerusalem.

(The last verses are sung by the two choirs together):

THE RASAN TELEVISION CHOIR:
To understand the end of time,
Perhaps we should regard mankind,
As if it were a single person,
Growing up with an obsession;
Or a lesson he needs to repeat,
Time and again 'til it would fit.
For generations pass and generations come,
And nothing is found about the flow of time.
What was, will be, what is, has been,
Until her end will humankind be wondering.

THE PARSHANS CHOIR:
This story that you have been told,
Is ever young and very old.
It always seeks to be expressed,
To show the whole.
So come with us and say "I AM",
For the Heavenly Jerusalem.
There is no better place on earth
You can belong.

(Curtain.)

End of Part One of The Gospel of Judith Iscariot.

NOTES:

* John Moat' s comments on this scene:

To be honest, this section carries me way out of my depth. Part of my problem is that I don't have any of the dramatist's craft.

I feel sure it is far too long and complex to sustain the interest of anyone but an esotericist... I mean if presented as part of a stage-performance. But clearly it is pivotal to your drama and to your entire vision.

To be guided you would have to consult not just someone versed in the practicalities of theatre, but of the very specific theatre that you have conceived as vehicle.

My own hunch is that it's going to have to be enormously simplified. Shakespeare at times introduced an esoteric dimension by means of a masque, or play within play, perhaps most relevantly in The Tempest.

The play within the play, charged with meaning, is presented to the characters as a kind of ghostly diversion. Very short, - with music - very powerful.

I think you'll need to solve it is some similar way. So: -

Your characters meet for this ceremony. Parshan outlines the proceedings. The characters dramatically, in discussion of their roles, begin to indicate the tensions, personal and historic (cultural).

And than BANG! They are frozen to become spectators, in a panoramic show - where quite shortly, and ritualistically, perhaps in dumb-show, as the means of some highly mennered theatre, they see themselves, or rather the roles they were to assume, enact this symbolic drama that leads to reconciliation. And then BANG! The show is finished. And the original characters celebrate the revelation with the meal, which leads to the superbly dramatic moment of Haki drinking the blood.

 

*** John Moat's comments on Haki's soliloque at Scene 4, (before it was made into a duet):

{curly brackets - {} - recommended to dispense with}

All goes on far too long and is very repetitive. One beautiful little lyric would do the trick.

Again: from here to the end of the scene - can't conceive how this long monologue could be sustained dramatically. Music might manage it - but it remains repetitive.