TAMAR    4'1m*f RT: Tamar, Judah have twins, coming messiah

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience)

JUDAH -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, crosses to podium,
reads) My name is Judah, son of Jacob. The reason I called this
press conference is to announce the birth of my twin sons. Their
names are Perez and Zerah.

REPORTER -- Judah, we were under the impression that your wife

JUDAH -- Um, ah, she did.

REPORTER -- Then, who is the mother of these twins?

JUDAH -- Her name is (covers mouth) Tamar.

REPORTER -- Excuse me. Did you say her name was Tamar?

JUDAH -- Um, ah, Tamar. That's right. Thank you all for coming.

REPORTER -- Judah, wasn't Tamar the wife of your son Er?

REPORTER -- According to my notes Tamar also married your son
Onan after Er died.

REPORTER -- Is this the same woman?

JUDAH -- (turns) Um, ah, yes. Thank you all for coming. (turns)

REPORTER -- Judah, isn't this a bit unusual?

JUDAH -- (turns) Unusual? Why no. You Canaanites do this sort of
thing all the time. Don't you? (smiles nervously)

REPORTER -- Yes, but according to my notes on Hebrew levirate
marriage, Tamar was SUPPOSED to marry your youngest son after
Onan died. Wasn't he?

JUDAH -- Well, as a matter of fact, my youngest son, Shelah, was
too young to marry when Onan died.

REPORTER -- So, you married Tamar right after Onan's death?

JUDAH -- Well, no. I sent Tamar back to live with her relatives
until Shelah came of age.

REPORTER -- According to my notes, Shelah is now of age to
marry. Why didn't Tamar marry Shelah?

JUDAH -- Well, it's kind of a long story.

REPORTER -- I have plenty of time.

REPORTER -- I have nowhere else to go.

REPORTER -- Me either.

REPORTER -- Tell us how it is that YOU came to marry Tamar
instead of your son Shelah.

JUDAH -- (exhales in frustration) Alright! Alright! I'll tell
you! The reason I didn't allow Tamar to marry my son is, well...
She married Er and God killed Er. Then she married Onan and God
killed Onan. I thought... well, I just didn't want to lose my
last remaining son!

REPORTER -- So, you did the unselfish thing and risked your own
life by marrying Tamar yourself.

JUDAH -- I suppose you could say that.

REPORTER -- Then why do I have eye witness reports that Tamar
tricked you into marrying her?

JUDAH -- Who told you that?!

REPORTER -- Is it true?

JUDAH -- I wasn't exactly TRICKED.

REPORTER -- Eye witnesses said that Tamar got tired of waiting
for your son, so she dressed up as a prostitute to seduce YOU.

JUDAH -- Well, my wife was dead. I was lonely.

REPORTER -- So, it's true?

JUDAH -- Alright, it's true!

REPORTER -- At an earlier press conference you told us that your
family and their descendants would be used by God himself to
become a man and save the world.

JUDAH -- Yes, I said that. So?

REPORTER -- So, if God himself was going to use your family for
his own purposes, don't you think your son Shelah was safe in
his hands?

JUDAH -- Well, I believed in my head, but I guess I didn't
believe it in my heart.

REPORTER -- So, you didn't trust God.

JUDAH -- Make no mistake about it, God is a God of love. If he
says he will become a man and save humanity, he will do it. My
problem is that God is also a god of justice. I have done some
things, some terrible things in my life -- right here in the
land of Canaan. I helped my brothers wipe out a whole village of
men because one of those men raped my little sister. I sold my
little brother Joseph into slavery. I thought that God was
punishing me for those sins by killing my sons.

REPORTER -- It sounds like Tamar's faith in your God was
stronger than yours.

JUDAH -- I'm ashamed to admit that it's true. And when people of
the future see our messiah, they will remember Tamar's faith.
Thank you all for coming. And may God bless my sons Perez and
Zerah. (exits)

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