Torah Monologues

Examples of Torah Monologues

Excerpt from “Jonah Learns to Swallow”

Click on the arrow to start the video (filmed by Cathy Zheutlin.)

Excerpt from “The Designated Man”

Of all the priests and Levites serving at the Temple this week, why do I have to be the Designated Man?  Why do I have to lead the goat to Azazel? I know, they draw lots to decide our duties on Yom Kippur.  But I’d rather be up on the platform singing, like every other year.  Instead I’m standing here by the north wall, next to two hairy goats.  Oh, they’ve been washed, and tethered to the wall with red ribbons, but they’re still goats.  I’m a silversmith when I’m not on religious duty, and all goats look the same to me:  wicked.  Maybe it’s their yellow eyes, with the black pupils like slits, set sideways.  It’s not natural.  Besides, their horns are sharp as daggers. Really, the Designated Man ought to be some gung-ho priest who gets a kick out of animal sacrifices, and never reads the Torah.

(Inspiration for “The Designated Man”:  In Acharei Mot/Leviticus 16, God tells Moses how the high priest should conduct an annual atonement ceremony, which includes sending one of two goats into the wilderness, to Azazel, by the hand of a designated man.  Talmud Bavli, Tractate Yoma, describes how much this ritual had changed by the time of the Second Temple.  What if, one year, the designated man had doubts about what God really wanted?)

Excerpt from “Eldad and Medad Become Prophets”

Eldad:   So there you are, Medad!  I’ve been looking all over the camp for you.  Moses posted a list of seventy elders, and we’re on it.  We’re supposed to report to the Tent of Meeting, and—Hey!  What are you eating?

Medad:  Cheese curds.

Eldad:  God gave us manna to eat, not cheese.

Medad:  Well, my goat gave me milk.  Why not use it?  After all, God told us to bring our livestock along into the wilderness.

Eldad:  Come on, Medad, we elders have to set an example for the rest of the Israelites.  and you know we’re only supposed to eat manna.  Baked manna, boiled manna, fried manna.  Manna in the morning, manna in the evening, manna at suppertime.  Nothing but manna.

Medad:  And it all tastes the same.  Sweet and rich.

Eldad:  Sweet is good.

Medad:  I’m sick of it.

LIST OF MY TORAH MONOLOGUES 

Genesis/Bereishit

– Cain’s Mark

– Noah and the Voice

– Avram Gets Going

– Abraham’s Unbinding

– Isaac’s Binding

– Hagar Versus Sarah

– Rebecca’s Escape

– Isaac Gropes for a Blessing

– Rachel’s Terafim

– Esau at the Yabbok

– Joseph, Naked

Judah and His Brothers

Exodus/Shemot

– Pharaoh’s Daughter

– Yitro’s Advice

– Standing at Sinai

– Eldad and Medad See Divine Feet

– Eldad and Medad Become Prophets

– The Golden Calf Worshipper

Leviticus/Vayikra

– Itamar Sees Strange Fire

Aaron’s Guilt

– The Designated Man

Numbers/Bemidbar

– Miriam’s Healing

– Caleb Waits

– Bilam’s Donkey

I Samuel/Shmuel א

– Channah’s Prayer

– Peninnah, the Second Wife

– King Saul’s Daughter

Jonah/Yonah

– Jonah Learns to Swallow

Job/Iyov

– Job’s Wife

from the Talmud

– Shimon bar Yochai Comes Out of his Cave

… and I keep writing more!

 

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