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1:09
PA teaches Children: All Jewish History is Lies
15 Oct 2006
1507
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0:50
Nathan and Isidor Straus were the owners of Macy's department store in New York City. On a trip to the Land of Israel in 1912, Nathan fell in love with the country, while Isidor decided to leave, returning home on the Titanic. When the Titanic sunk, Nathan Straus believed that it was a sign from Above, and he remained in the Land of Israel. He opened a school, a health clinic and other charity institutions, something for which he was also known in America. The city of Netanya was named Nathan Straus in 1927 as well as Straus Street in Jerusalem. He was also honored for his work by President William Howard Taft. This Jewish History is brought to you by Israel National Radio.
16 Jan 2008
3253
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1:01
In 1976 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked a commercial airplane heading to France from Israel. They took the plane to Entebbe Airport in Uganda where they separated all the Jewish and Israeli passengers and threatened to kill them if Israel did not give in to their demands. Israel sent in a secret undercover unit into the airport where they shot up the terrorists and freed the prisoners. The surprise rescue mission was led by Lieutenant Yoni Netanyahu, the only soldier killed during the mission. The success of the mission called Operation Thunderbolt lead to books and movie being made of the rescue and Yoni Netanyahu's being hailed as a hero. For more visit http://www.IsraelNationalRadio.com
16 Jan 2008
3599
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0:53
Adjacent to the Western Wall Tunnel lies a museum called "The Chain of the Generations Center". The impressive site, which incorporates ancient and modern Jewish history, includes an elaborate audiovisual show, and nine magnificent glass sculptures created by the artist Jeremy Langford.
23 Mar 2009
754
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9:53
Jews already tried to rebuild the Temple. In 363 A.D., the opportunist Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate encouraged the Jews to rebuild their Temple and the Jews tore down every remaining stone from the old temple to begin rebuilding it again. But God miraculously halted this work. Jesus predicted that not one stone of the Jewish Temple would remain atop of another. The Romans utterly destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. What many people don't know is that in 363 A.D. the Jews tried to rebuild it, but God would have none of this. In doing so, Jews themselves took the remaining stones from the Temple Mount. In hindsight, the extraordinary act of Moshe Dayan handing over the Temple Mount to the Mohammedans can actually be seen as an Act of God. This is because, according to the New Testament, as Lightening strikes in the East and flashes towards the West, so shall be the Second coming of Christ called Satguru in Punjabi. This happened in 1469 when Satguru Nanak Dev Ji appeared in the Punjab among the people of Khatri tribe, the most spiritually sick people needing the Spiritual Doctor the most. Whereas the people of Judah tribe were just the Princes of Darkness, in the Punjab we have the Khatris of the Punjab as Kings of Darkness whilst those of the Kashmir, the Emperors of Darkness or Emperor hypocrites, who propagate all sorts of stories that Christ Jesus lived in Kashmir, etc. So, this Jewish Temple would not be re-built forever in this Age, which is ending soon through an Atomic War expected in 2012 when Mayan Calendar touches Zero. Matt.13.24-30 is being fulfilled in the establishment of Israel where the Tares are bundled up for Final Burning. The dual destruction of the two temples, five hundred years apart, marks two central eras in Jewish history: the first marks the beginning of the Babylonian Exile; the second marks the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora. For the last 1900 years, Jews have prayed that God would allow for the rebuilding of the Temple. This prayer is a formal part of the thrice-daily Jewish prayer services. A few, very small, Jewish groups support constructing a Third Temple today, but most Jews oppose this, for a variety of reasons. Most religious Jews feel that the Temple should only be rebuilt in the messianic era, and that it would be presumptuous of people to force God's hand, as it were. Christ Jesus was the Messiah and the hypocrite Temple Priests knew this fact as Jesus stated in the Parable of Winepress, the Jerusalem Temple and the fruit was Scriptures. And these people are right! Conservative Judaism has modified the prayers; their prayer books call for the restoration of Temple, but they do not ask for resumption of animal sacrifices. Most of the passages relating to sacrifices are replaced with the Talmudic teaching that deeds of loving-kindness now atone for sin. The Jewish religion was a temporary dispensation, intended by its divine author, God himself, to prefigure one more complete and perfect, and prepare men to embrace it. That is, morality is the base for spirituality or John, the Baptist came to pave the way for Christ Jesus, who came to preach Gospel. It not only essentially required bloody sacrifices, known as the korbanot, but enjoined a fixed and certain place for them to be performed in; this was the temple at Jerusalem. Hence the final destruction of this temple was the abolition of the sacrifices, which annihilated the whole system of this religious institution. Jesus Himself was made the innocent sacrificial Lamb by the Temple blasphemers or hypocrites and he made the perfect sacrifice for us when He died on that cross atop Calvary. That is, they killed the very Son of the Owner of the Vineyard, God, and that is why the Temple was destroyed for ever and given to the people of the Punjab where the Second anointed Christ Nanak appeared among the people of Khatri tribe, who got the Temple gilded with gold to fleece the simpletons, the stones much more than what the Temple Priests were doing in Jerusalem. The Pool in which this Golden Temple is built is the same as the Bethesda Pool of Mercy in Jerusalem where the sick people waited for the Angel to stir the water. Whosoever jumped first was cured of sickness. Any attempts by the Jews to sacrifice animals again in the Temple can be and was seen by God as a mockery of the Jesus' death. God would not allow this in 363 A.D., and He won't allow it now. They may succeed in rebuilding the Temple by 2012 when the Atomic War is expected to end this era of Dark Age.
19 Sep 2008
921
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11:32
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
9 Jan 2011
265
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18:33
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible. TAGS assimilation, intermarriage, tsar nicholas 1, russian history 1827, pale of settlement, cantonists, catchers, crimean war, jewish marriage, matchmakers, shiduch, jewish-christian relations, teenagers in love, russian orthodox church
15 Feb 2011
218
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5:41
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible. TAGS assimilation, intermarriage, tsar nicholas 1, russian history 1827, pale of settlement, cantonists, catchers, crimean war, jewish marriage, matchmakers, shiduch, jewish-christian relations, teenagers in love, russian orthodox church
15 Feb 2011
138
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5:41
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
15 Feb 2011
159
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9:27
Here's the Book; The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast - Joel Richardson http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Antichrist-Shocking-Truth-Nature/dp/1935071122 Though many people think that it will be total and complete chaos before Christ's return, I should like to remind people what Jesus Himself says about His return? Luke 17:20-30 (King James Version) 20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. 26And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. Though the world itself would have to seem fairly normal for the people to be caught in such extreme unawares by Christ's return, is there another way for us to get a grip on the general time of His return? I believe there is; The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948 - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041241/ Biblical Prophecy: Israel to be Restored as an Independent Nation in 1948 http://brittgillette.com/WordPress/?p=16 Bible Prophecy Fulfilled - Israel 1948 - article http://ezinearticles.com/?Bible-Prophecy-Fulfilled---Israel-1948&id=449317 The precisely fulfilled prophecy of Israel becoming a nation again is of no small importance, since the restoration of Israel clearly signifies the time immediately preceding the return of Christ. The Signs of Israel's Rebirth: Lesson 1: The Parable of the Fig Tree Concluding Statement: Now it should also be perfectly clear what the parable of the fig tree in the Olivet Discourse means (Matt 24:32-34). As the disciples were walking into the city on Tuesday morning after Palm Sunday, they noticed that the tree which Jesus had cursed the day before had withered and dried up. Later, on Tuesday evening, when the memory of the withered fig tree was still fresh in their minds, Jesus spoke the parable in question. He said that when the church sees the fig tree leafing out again, it will know that "it is . . . at the doors." The Greek for "it is" can also be translated "he is." In prophecy, "door" is often a symbol for the passageway between heaven and earth (Rev. 4:1). What the parable means, therefore, is that when the nation of Israel revives after its coming disintegration and death in A.D. 70, the return of Christ will be imminent. http://www.themoorings.org/prophecy/Israel/Israel1.html Even Sir Isaac Newton, who is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, scientist who has ever lived, was a avid student of Bible prophecy: Sir Isaac Newton's Prediction For The Return Of Christ - Sid Roth video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041154 "Prophetic Perspectives, 2008-2015" - Jim Bramlett Excerpt: For years I have been intrigued with Newton's interpretation of Daniel 9:25 and the 62 weeks and 7 weeks (62 X 7 = 434 years, and 7 X 7 = 49 years), counted "from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem." In his commentary on Daniel, a copy of which I have, Newton wrote that the interpretation of those 69 weeks is usually incorrect, violating the Hebrew language. He said the two numbers should not be added together as most scholars do, but the 434 years refer to Messiah's first coming (which he demonstrated), and the 49 years refer to His second coming, after Israel is reestablished, an idea unheard of 300 years ago but happening in our generation The start date for counting has been controversial. Many thought the 49-year-count would be the date of Israel's rebirth on May 14, 1948, but, alas, that did not work out. Other dates were tried unsuccessfully. But what if the count begins on one of the two most historical dates in Jewish history, the date in the miraculous Six-Day War when Israel captured Jerusalem and the Temple Mount: June 7, 1967? Assume the 49-year count (49 Jewish years X 360 days = 17,640 days), does start on June 7, 1967. Using a date-counter Web site at http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html we learn that the 17,640-day count takes us exactly to September 23, 2015. September 23, 2015 is the Day of Atonement! What are the odds against that? Many have believed that the Second Coming will be on the Day of Atonement. If he knew this, old Isaac Newton would be doing cartwheels and back flips right now. http://www.prophecyforum.com/bramlett/prophetic_perspectives.html The following scripture, which Jesus Himself spoke, gives significant weight to the idea that we should start our count of 17,640 days from the time Jerusalem came back into the hands of the Hebrews instead of counting the days from when Is...rael became a nation. Luke 21:24 "They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." This following videos give 'astronomical' weight to the preceding prediction by Sir Isaac Newton of how the 'days of Daniel' are to be counted and is indeed very sobering: Mark Biltz Talks About The Return Of Christ On Sid Roth - Solar & Lunar Eclipses - 2014 - 2015 - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4056071 2012 - 2015 - Is Jesus Coming Soon? - Lunar Eclipses - Bible Prophecy - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4056087 Here is another line of 'mathematical' evidence, which came from a completely different perspective of how one should count Daniel's prophesied weeks, that also lines up with the year 2015 as well: Do 70 Jubilees predict the end of the world in 2015? Excerpt: The 70 “sevens” in Daniel 9:24 are 70 Jubilee cycles. These 70 Jubilee cycles bring us to the end of the world. When the children of Israel entered Canaan, their promised land, the LORD gave them sabbatical cycles and Jubilee cycles. Sabbatical cycles are 7 years long and Jubilee cycles are 49 years long. Each Jubilee cycle consists of 7 sabbatical cycles. The 50th year is called the Jubilee. Seventy “sevens” = 70 Jubilee cycles 70 x 7 x 7 = 3,430 years Daniel 9:24 Seventy “sevens” are decreed for your people to put an end to sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness. The 70 Jubilee cycles point to the time when God’s people will no longer transgress His law. Eternal righteousness will be brought into their lives. Then Jesus will come to take them to heaven. The 70 Jubilees predict Christ’s second coming. The 70 Jubilees began in 1416 BC when God’s children entered Canaan. The 70 Jubilees will end 3,430 years later in 2015 AD when God’s children will enter heavenly Canaan. (Of note: In Bible prophecy 360 days are used for calculating the length of a year: http://www.360calendar.com/#Part%20One) http://www.markbeast.com/endworld/jubilees-end-world.htm Another piece of very interesting evidence indicating that the return of Christ is very soon is the "Prophecy of the Popes": Prophecy of St Malachy - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UThJkZuI1c Further notes: End time prophecy from the Bible http://100prophecies.org/page9.htm
20 Feb 2011
1803
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18:46
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible. TAGS assimilation, intermarriage, tsar nicholas 1, russian history 1827, pale of settlement, cantonists, catchers, crimean war, jewish marriage, matchmakers, shiduch, jewish-christian relations, teenagers in love, russian orthodox church
13 Mar 2011
308
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18:46
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
13 Mar 2011
162
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14:18
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
15 Mar 2011
150
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14:18
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
15 Mar 2011
149
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8:55
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
15 Mar 2011
187
Share Video

8:55
"IN THOSE DAYS": A MUSICAL ABOUT A JEWISH BOY'S RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA Original script, music, performance and video by Franklyn Wepner. "IN THOSE DAYS" is a musical show based on the Hebrew novel of the same name written by Yehuda Steinberg in 1904. It is an epic tale tracing the adventures of a Jewish boy named Samuel Horvitz who is a "Cantonist", one of the tens of thousands of Jewish boys who were kidnapped for service in the Tsar's army. Growing up far from his family in a Christian foster home in Central Russia, Samuel confronts all the trials which led most Jewish children who endured similar pressures to convert to Christianity. On the one side there were the physical and psychological tortures, and on the other side there were the seductive advances of a charming young Christian woman named Marusya. Samuel resists all of these forces, and after proving himself a hero in the Crimean War he returns home to his childhood shtetl, to his aged parents and to a very surprising joyful "shidduch" (traditional Jewish marriage). The musical score draws from Hassidic, Russian, and American musical theater traditions . TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: franklynwepnergmail.com. IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. ACT ONE: SCENE 1: 1896. A Jewish home in Pinsk, in the west of Russia. Yosie, who has been drafted into the Army, sits with his father Samuel Hourvitz, his mother and his girl friend. Samuel reminisces about how 50 years ago he himself was by force kidnapped at age 10 to be a "Cantonist", a Jewish recruit to be raised in a Christian family in central Russia until age 18 and then forced to serve many years in the Tsar's Army. SCENE 2: Flashback to 1846. The Jewish "Catcher" (who does the kidnapping for the Tsar) sings about difficulties he is having finding enough Jewish children to catch. SCENE 3: Despite his mother's efforts to protect him, Samuel finally is grabbed by the Catcher. Samuel is betrayed by the Rabbi, who substitutes him for a different Hourvitz who is a married Torah scholar with a child. SCENE 4: Russian soldiers force the Jewish children to say the oath of loyalty to the Tsar before an open Torah scroll. The Rabbi visits their prison cell to encourage them to behave like Joseph the Righteous in Egypt, and not give in to pressures to abandon Judaism. SCENE 5: The children journey to central Russia. Samuel prays for deliverance, and the angel Michael intercedes for him against the cruel guards. SCENE 6: Samuel, now age 18, is punished for refusing to eat pork by Anna, his fanatically Christian foster mother. Anna's husband Peter and daughter Marusya (also age 18) request leniency for Samuel from Anna. SCENE 7: Marusya and Samuel are falling in love. It is April. She sings to him, "It's Springtime". SCENE 8: Anna forces Samuel to eat roast pork, but he vomits it out. She orders him out of the house for the night. Marusya brings Samuel a bag of acceptable food in the woods, and asks if she can kiss him good night. Despite misgivings he agrees. Samuel hears the chanting of three other Cantonists who are singing psalms in honor of Tishah B'Av. Samuel confesses to them his growing love for Marusya. Jacob, their leader, warns him to resist temptation. ACT TWO: SCENE 9: Samuel is becoming an excellent soldier. Peter, Marusya and Samuel playfully act out the legend of Prince Oleg, who led the Russians against the Greeks. SCENE 10: The Sergeant catches Samuel talking in ranks and sentences him to 20 strokes with the birch rod. The Sergeant respects Samuel's ability as a soldier, and he reduces this to 10 strokes. Marusya intercedes on Samuel's behalf, and the Sergeant cancels the other 10 strokes also. This infuriates the anti-semitic Demitri, who calls Marusya a "Zhidovka" ("Jewess"), since there is gossip in the village that Anna is a convert from Judaism. Samuel beats up Demitri. SCENE 11: Peter returns home drunk and he is aggravated by Anna's self-righteous nagging. He also calls Anna "Zhidovka". To learn if Anna really is Jewish, Samuel one night pretends he is dreaming. He calls out loudly to his mother not to kill Anna for abusing him, since Anna also is Jewish. Samuel and Marusya see that when Anna overhears this she is deeply moved. SCENE 12: Anna confesses her Jewish past and shares with Samuel her anxieties that Peter's relatives, especially the bigot Demitri, may disposses her and Marusya if Peter should die before she does. SCENE 13: Marusya considers converting to Judaism. She will not, however, tell anyone about this until she fully has prepared herself. SCENE 14: Samuel's troop is leaving for the Crimean War. To Marusya he sings, "If I Return, To You I Return". Samuel proves himself to be a hero by grabbing the battalion colors from a fallen soldier and leading an assault. Demitri, who would like to be an officer, proposes to Samuel that he take credit for the heroism of Samuel. Samuel agrees, on condition that Demitri signs the house over to Anna. Wounded, Samuel arrives in the hospital, where Marusya is serving as a nurse. He gives her the note from Demitri. SCENE 15: Samuel is discharged from the army and he returns home to his parents' village in Pinsk. Despite his love for Marusya, he agrees to accept a Jewish bride which the Rabbi has found for him. SCENE 16: In the original novel on which this play is based Marusya does not convert, and the story ends tragically when Samuel marries the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for him. I have rewritten the ending. In the present version the Jewish woman which the Rabbi has found for Samuel turns out to be Marusya, and as was the custom in those days among religious Jews, Samuel joyously meets his bride for the first time at the wedding. PLAYWRITE'S COMMENT: True, the sequence of events in this melodramatic 19th Century story do certainly seem a bit contrived and unlikely from a 21st Century point of view. Nevertheless, the story does have value as a snapshot of an important moment in Jewish history, and it is especially relevant today in view of the serious manner in which it portrays the problem of assimilation. The play targets the lives of teenagers, a group especially susceptible.
16 Mar 2011
196
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