Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

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


ACT ONE - THE SQUARE

 

Scene One - JUDITH AND TERESH

 

(the stage is lit with a dim, pre-dawn, hazy moonlight­. The setting is the square of the University campus on Mount Scopus. An old man is sitting on the edge of the square, facing east toward the desert, motionless. A young woman is approaching him from the top of the slope to the desert. The cry of an Arab Muezzin breaks the silence "B'ism Allah ar-rahman ar-rahim ..." The young woman is startled by the cry, and hesitates in the half­dark, trying to regain her composure. The light becomes somewhat brighter. The square is bordered on one side by the buildings of the University, on the other there's a view of the desert and the distant mountains. The old man is bent over. He wears a ragged shawl. He has white hair, a straggly white beard, and a wrinkled, withered face. The young woman is strongly built and quite pretty, and wears a white garment cinched at the waist.)

 

JUDITH: (to herself) There's something strange about this old man. He looks at me but doesn't see me. Stranger still, when I look at him, I have the feeling I know him, though I'm sure we never met. It is somehow like looking at myself. It's silly, I know, the tricks that one's eyes can play in the dark of night, at the dawn of day, he looks nothing like me. Yet ..... there is something.

I wandered and searched all over to find what had already been near. But he waits and watches as if it will come to him. Something about his eyes brings to mind my own eyes, but he appears to be blind. Is there some message here, in the illusion that he is me? Are those who seek and find no different from those who sit and wait? Are the sighted as blind as the blind are sighted? The old as young as the young are old? Are then women part men and men part women? Come off it, Judith! The strange darkness at dawn plays on your nerves!

TERESH: Who are you, climbing from the desert, coming from the east before dawn, when night's all around? What news do you bring?

JUDITH: Who are you who can see in the dark?

TERESH: I am Teresh the blind, the watcher from Mount Scopus. For a blind man the night is no veil. There are greater darknesses in the world.

JUDITH: What on earth are you doing here at this hour?

TERESH: I sit alone at the fringe of the city, watching the night, waiting for dawn. I turn my back to the built-up land, steady and sightless, facing the Dead Sea.

JUDITH: How long have you been sitting like this?

TERESH: I count no more the passing of the seasons. It must have been scores of years, since the darkness fell upon the world, since the Rasans, those who hold the reins, captured the full reign of all lands. I was much younger then, and my eyes could see. Now, I am content in my darkness. The summers have been too hot and the winters too cold for my old bones, this is what I know. My eyes were burned by false rising suns, then decayed by idle gazing at the distant mountains.

JUDITH: What do you do here, besides guarding the night and speaking in riddles?

TERESH: I can no longer set my lands in order, nor my mind. Of all that I had known, I now have only fragments to shore up my ruins, and I cannot connect them anymore. I am a waste, old and blind and dying. I wait for the world to be restored, and for the true sun to rise again. Only that hope is still alive in me. That's where I try to keep my sights fastened.

JUDITH: But why do you sit here, of all places?

TERESH: This is the mountain appointed for the watchers, of whom I alone am now left. The Savior will come through this place on his way to redeem the earth, and I hope to meet him when he comes, if I live long enough.

JUDITH: Sorry to be asking so many questions, I thought that you might be one of them... Your face is wrinkled, and you are a riddle. I don't understand a word of what you say - but I may have brought the answer that you're waiting for. In just a short time Jesus of Nazareth will pass this way, as you yourself will see.

TERESH: Do you make fun of a blind, old man, who can see nothing?

JUDITH: So sorry, that was thoughtless. I said "you will see" just as a figure of speech.

TERESH: It is alright, child. I can sense that you are kind. Yet what you said was more than I could bear to hear. All things are possible with God, but ... are you really suggesting that salvation is at hand, coming right this way, and in a short while?

JUDITH: Salvation? I simply said that Jesus of Nazareth would soon pass this way, when he enters the city today.

TERESH: But do you not know that the name "Jesus" is "Yeshua" in Hebrew, which means salvation?

JUDITH: No, I never thought of that connection. In any event, that's what's about to happen - and Yeshua is coming this way today.

TERESH: My old heart is already weak from too many disappointments. I must take care. I might be able to trust in your Yeshua if I knew more about his messenger. I like your voice, it is reassuring and inspires trust. Tell me who you are, and what is your name?

JUDITH: My name is Judith, Judith Ishkrayot, or, as most people say, Iscariot. That's my name, it's not who I am.

TERESH: What an intriguing name, Judith Ishkrayot. Judith means "Jewess", and it is only fitting to have a Jewess tell me of the coming of salvation. But Ish-krayot means "a man of cities", and you did not come from the city, but from the desert, nor are you a man. Or are you both, like I was long ago, I thought I was alone in that. Tell me more of your past, and what have you to do with cities.

JUDITH: When I was a child, I was a suburbanite, looking up at night at the glittering city on Mount Carmel and dreaming to make it my own. So when young, I even dreamed of building cities, cities of light, cities of hope and delight, to replace those bad, ugly cities we're all trapped in. But when I grew up I realized how difficult it is to change things. I gave up the confusion and the confinement of the city, and the dream of making cities better, and took myself to the desert, there you feel free. In the desert I found peace. And it was in the desert that the Master found me, and in Jesus I found all that I was looking for. (pause) Funny thing though, you're right - I'm the only city person among all his disciples. But what about you? What does your name mean? It also sounds unusual.

TERESH: Teresh is the kind of rock that you find in barren, untilled land. It is quite weathered and quite fragmented.

JUDITH: Poor Teresh. For you, the name fits. I truly hope the Savior will come and make your fragments whole, as he will turn hearts of rock to living flesh.

TERESH: Now you just said that you hope! A moment ago you were more certain! My eyes are blind, but my ears do not deceive me. How certain are you of this Master of yours, if you are not even certain of when he comes or where he goes? Say nothing but the truth to me! Why are you so sure of this Jesus of yours? I have waited too long to be disappointed once again.

JUDITH: It was but a figure of speech again, but your hearing is amazing, you seem to see my doubt through my words. (pause) My eyes have seen him working miracles. All the other disciples are so certain and dedicated, and trust with all their hearts and minds. Only I, the novice, the urbanite, do still have some doubts. They all just accept and believe, but I need to understand . That's the truth. (pause) Sometimes it seems as if I am two persons. Judith, a Jewess of the desert, who would simply accept and believe, and Ish-krayot, a man of cities, who demands to understand. Jesus explains things to me more than to the rest. He quiets my heart, but not my mind. I am sure that he can do miraculous things, and that his rising is destined to liberate Jerusalem from the reins of the Rasans, but .... they are clever and are present everywhere, watching and listening, to keep us in their control...

TERESH: Quiet... I hear people coming, and sense that their intent is evil. You must go! Thank you for the news you have brought. But now, go!

(The stage goes dark.)

 

 

 

 

Scene Two - THE RASAN AGENTS

 

(The stage is still illuminated with pre-dawn light. Two men enter from the right and walk around the square. Finally they place themselves in the front right corner, so that they can see without being seen. They are dressed alike, in black trousers and white shirts, but one is tall and lanky, and the other is short and stocky. The tall one looks friendly, which belies the fact that he's an agent. The short one is as inscrutable, like a professional poker player.)

 

SHORT AGENT: What are we doing here at such an early hour? Only one student, and she's disappeared already. There's only the dotty old man, as always. Almost dawn, nothing happening. What time is it, anyway?

TALL AGENT: We are here to keep the public peace, which, at certain times, might be shattered into chaos. We might listen to that hoarse old Muezzin announcing times, and to watch that crazy blind old seer who are here. But mainly to keep an eye on the volatile students. So if you want to know what time it is, listen to that old Muezzin. If you can make out the hour and the era from his call. But since when are you interested in the question of time? Do you even know what year it is?

SHORT AGENT: Why, it is the third year of the Five-Year World Plan!

TALL AGENT: But which Five-Year World Plan is it? The sixth Five-Year World Plan, or the tenth or the twentieth?

SHORT AGENT: This should not matter. The present is the only thing that counts. All other countings should be forgotten.

TALL AGENT: Well said. You have learned your lessons well. For people who live in the present, time may not matter. But there are others, relics of those primitive cultures that ruled a fragmented world before it became unified and Rasanalized.

These people have not yet forgotten the other times, or they won't. And, if time matters for them, then it should matter for us, who have to keep a watch on them. So what year do you think that Arab Muezzin counts?

SHORT AGENT: If you insist, probably he counts the years since the migration of his ancient prophet from one desert city to another.

TALL AGENT: That's good... You seem to know more than you let on. Now, see any danger on account of his counting thus?

SHORT AGENT: No. Only a few old men listen to his prayer calls, and they are no danger to public order or to social progress.

TALL AGENT: I tend to agree. And this blind, old fool, does he count the years? And if so, do you know what year he is counting?

SHORT AGENT: No, but I can ask him. He probably loves to talk.

(The Short Agent goes over and taps the blind, old man on the shoulder, startling him.)

 

SHORT AGENT: Tell me, old man, what year is it?

TERESH: What do you mean? The year? I have not counted the year for many years now.

SHORT AGENT: But you must know some history, you've lived long enough! You've been sitting here so long, and a great deal must have happened during that time.

TERESH: Are you trying to trap a blind, old man? And of what use is history to you?

SHORT AGENT: I only ask out of curiosity. Just that, nothing else. I swear.

TERESH: I might well be wrong, with winters and summers crowding my memory. I know little of history, and I doubt I have learned anything from it. And it seems to me nobody else has either. But, to make numbers round and easy, the year might well be two thousand, or just a little after.

SHORT AGENT: Is there some significance to that number?

TERESH: Are you Christian?

SHORT AGENT: No, I am not.

TERESH: Then it would mean nothing to you. But, when I was your age, there were many of them about, and several of their sects reckoned the second coming of the Savior would occur during the millennium year following his birth. When he did not appear during the first millennium year, they predicted that he would appear during the second millennium year.

SHORT AGENT: What does all this talk of millennium years and second comings have to do with what year it is?

TERESH: The millennium years was believed to signify the end of time or, if you will, the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. However, if the millennium has passed and a new time has come, I do not know how to count it, and do not care. And, if the millennium has not yet come, then I await it. And that is the end of what I know.

(The Short Agent thanks him and leaves, shaking his head in bewilderment.)

 

SHORT AGENT: Well, I wouldn't say I learned much.... but, according to that blind, old man - the year may be around two thousand, at least as far as some Christian sects are concerned. This was to be the end of their time and, I think, the beginning of ours. He also said something about a second coming and about millennium years, which I did not understand. It sounded like something I heard about from the forbidden book, the infamous Babble. Does any of this matter to us?

TALL AGENT: It matters enough for us to be on the alert. Hard to eradicate once and for all, things said to recur or resurrect. And such things are indeed connected to stories found in the book we renamed "the Babble", and then eliminated. The Christians count their time in millenniums of years, from around the birth of their Savior, who later died and was said to have been resu­rrected. Some of them believe that he will come again. The Moslems, on the other hand, count their time from the passage of their prophet from one desert city to another, a passage modelled after that of their legendary father, called "Abraham" in the Babble Book, which was made more than two thousand years before him. But neither are a real problem. The chief trouble makers were, and still are, the Jews who also relate themselves to that Abraham. They were always different and they also count time very differently. Do you know what next week is for the Jews?

SHORT AGENT: Their Passover, if that's what you mean. But who cares about old men and their ancient myths. Not people of our age who have been raised and educated on the solid science of dialectical Rasanalism. Since we prohibited the use of their Babble Book and took good care to destroy all copies that we could find - all these superstitions are irrelevant to us. Rasan world rule means freedom from religions. All these old men who still cling to them will die out soon, including the Jews, and the world will be well rid of them and their beliefs.

TALL AGENT: You are being too simplistic. Take care. Our job as Rasans is to safeguard order and to ensure continued progress of the people. But for this, we must know them well. The benefits of our new secular world order are not yet fully accepted by them. No need to worry about the Muezzin and his handful of old listeners. They are mere relics, just like the old fool sitting there for years in the dirt, waiting for his Messiah to appear. Centuries ago there were hundreds like him, sitting for years on pillars, waiting. Now there's only one left.

 

But these Jews here are more obdurate. They have kept, for several thousand years, their Passover ritual, celebrating their legend of how the Maker of the Universe, Himself, through no other agent, released all Jews together from bondage. Their own scriptures and history attest that they are the most stiff­necked people upon earth. They are hard to convert. That was the experience of all the prophets and Messiahs. And don't forget that, in a sense, some of the greatest Rasanalists were Jewish prophets.

SHORT AGENT: Don't mix Rasanalism with all those old religions and their prophets. The victory of Rasanalism over the whole world brought an end to all superstitions. History has already reached its goal, so it's not about to repeat itself.

Sometimes I wonder why we still need to be on our guard at all. Why should there be trouble makers? Why would anyone complain of bondage? The New Order is for the happiness of all. No more wars and religious fanaticism, no more anarchy, and no more economic depressions or threats to global ecology. This is what any rational person must see, and all who see it should accept our rule in gratitude.

TALL AGENT: You may be a proper rational Rasan, but there are others who are not like you. We must be sure that they do not infect the people. But, rational Rasan as you are, don't you sometimes have strange irrational dreams? Strange irrational dreams may also come to trouble even whole nations. Just as the earth knows tides that ebb and flood, so there are tides in the affairs of people. We guard them, as one guards children, so that they come to no harm while dreaming their dreams.

SHORT AGENT: But why watch the students? Why would they, of all people, be impressed with ancient myths and symbols and memories of old derelicts? The young should be interested in progress.

TALL AGENT: Ah, but one's view of progress depends on one's concept of time. What if mankind undergoes several cycles, each one or two-thousand years long? Then progress would only lead back to the same starting point. All that we know for sure is that the young are easily influenced and susceptible to all sorts of different movements. So we guard them for their own good, lest they repeat the past.

SHORT AGENT: You really believe that time moves in circles, and that there's no such thing as progress or new? Sounds a lot of nonsense to me.

TALL AGENT (in a sing-song manner): 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 shattering all our schemes.

Perhaps mankind will never find - if there's intent and end to Time. Or does it always keep recurring - ever changing, never caring - only to be and become the same.

To understand the end of time - perhaps we should regard mankind - as if it were a single person - growing up with some obsession - or a lesson he needs to repeat - and repeat again until it would fit.

SHORT AGENT: I've known for quite some time that you're interested in the nature of time. I remember the visit we paid to that so­ called "Great Parshan" at the University, the weird one who is still allowed to keep of the old books. In his study there was a whole shelf of books about time. I seem to remember you even borrowed some.

Myself, I think you should beware of books, and of prying into old myths and superstitions.

TALL AGENT: For most people, yes, but not for those who watch. We watchers should be familiar with all the inclinations of those we watch. I'm not interested in the ancient stories as such, only as additional information about those we watch. The Parshans, even though they can't teach from those old books, are allowed to keep some of them. In order to watch over the students, it's wise to know the teachers who teach them, and how better to know the teachers than by knowing the books they value?

SHORT AGENT: Don't let it turn you into one of them.

TALL AGENT: Don't worry, my friend. I don't believe in any of those things. The times we are in are pregnant with rumors of change and recurrence, of second comings and of insurrection, and now there are these rumors from the Galilee. So better be prepared, than caught unaware.

SHORT AGENT: You mean the rumors about that man, Jesus of Nazareth? Surely he's just another charlatan healer. Nothing dangerous there.

TALL AGENT: Maybe? Maybe not? He is also a preacher of sorts, who goes around moralizing and healing, and giving the impression he's a prophet and Messiah. He's quite good at what he does. He draws large crowds wherever he appears. People spread rumors he can work miracles, and even that his appearance is miraculous and connected with the millennium year two thousand. And that can be dangerous.

SHORT AGENT: But does he preach politics, or give advice on the affairs of state? Does he preach insurrection?

TALL AGENT: Not as far as we know. Not yet anyway, or not overtly. But as his following grows, so might his folly, and it would be even greater folly to allow him to continue unimpeded. In the books I read, incidentally, I met some odd coincidences. And our information says that he, and his followers, are coming to Jerusalem for the Passover holiday, which is definitely carrying the coincidence dangerously far.

SHORT AGENT: It's you who should have been a prophet. Look! No sooner you speak - they arrive, coming from the desert.

(Both agents go to the edge of the square overlooking the desert.)

 

TALL AGENT: You're right, it is them. Some synchronicity. The Jews used to say "We should have mentioned the Messiah.", as if by mentioning him, he would come. Maybe one should beware, after all, those old Jewish sayings.

SHORT AGENT: That's nonsense. I only know that we should report this to headquarters right now.

(Both agents step back into the right-hand corner of the square, in order not to be seen, and wait for the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth and his followers. The Short Agent starts talking into his wrist-watch transmitter.)

SHORT AGENT: They are here, Jesus of Nazareth and his followers. They are now climbing the slope to the square at the edge of the University campus on Mount Scopus. We are in position. Do you hear me?

TRANSMITTER VOICE: We hear you. We hear you. Stay in position. Record every word, but do not take any action. Repeat, do not take any action.

SHORT AGENT: Understood. Will do.

(The Rasan agents go to their hidden positions. The stage lights mark the dawn and the sunrise.)