Page 241 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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WALDMAN /GLIMPSES OF JESUS IN YIDDISH AND HEBREW LITERATURE
233
desecration o f his brother with sidelocks and beard . . . who
was born in Bethlehem, who spoke in my tongue, Hebrew, and
prayed to my God on Mount Moriah, and — here Greenberg
parodies the Apostles’ Creed — whom Pilate turned over for
crucifixion and he called to my God in Hebrew from the cross
and died and was buried in mine and his Jerusalem.”25
IN DRAMA
Nathan Bistritsky-Agmon (1896-1980) was the author of the
drama
Judas Iscariot
(1930), which he later revised and entitled
Jesus ofNazareth.26
The Jesus of this drama is a confused person,
who is unsure of his mission and is being manipulated by in­
dividuals with different goals. Jesus has the power to look at
a person and make him see the shame of his/her entire life,
as was the case with Mary Magdalene and Claudia, the wife
of Pontius Pilate. Jesus is a healer, but he does not see healing
and miracles as the key to his mission. He is greatly wearied
by this process. Lazarus, whom Jesus brought back from sleep­
ing sickness and death, is to his community a terrifying visitor
from the world of the grave.
Judas Iscariot is a supporter of Jesus, but he, like the Phar­
isees, does not want to hasten the coming of the kingdom before
its time. He tries to persuade Jesus to leave his Galilean admirers
and come with him to Keriyyot for inner peace. The Galilean
followers, on the other hand, are convinced that Jesus will soon
be king over Israel, and they quarrel among themselves as to
who will have a higher position in his kingdom. They want Jesus
to enter Jerusalem riding a horse. The anti-Roman militants,
led by Bar-Abba and Simon the Zealot, want to use Jesus to
stir the Judean populace to revolt against the Romans, but Jesus
must not attract too much attention. It is better, then, that he
enter riding a donkey. Jesus himself accepts the latter sugges­
tion, but his view o f his mission is quite different: he is to pro­
claim the Kingdom o f the Son of Man. However, he is beset
by doubts about his own sincerity. He condemns himself for
25. The poem, entitled “The Father Who Lives by the Tiber,” is included in
the collection
Sefer Ha-Kitrug Veha-Emunah
(1937), 81-82.
26. Nathan Bistritsky,
Jesus of Nazareth,
(Hebrew) (Tel Aviv, 1951). For a dis­
cussion see G. Shaked,
The Hebrew Historical Drama in the Twentieth Century
(Hebrew) (Jerusalem, 1970), 81-88 .