A somewhat light-hearted rendering of the traditional story with a woman as the traveler … light until you realize how a woman attacked on the road long ago and now would be blamed …
Narrator = N; Hannah = H; Aaron (a priest) = A; Jacob (a Levite) =L; Samuel (a Samaritan) =S
N: Jesus told a story once about a traveler on the steep and dangerous road from Jerusalem to Jericho. We always assume it was a man, but maybe it wasn’t …
H: That’s me – Hannah bat Jonah and I know I shouldn’t have come on this trip alone. A good housewife without an escort is just looking for trouble. My nice neighbor Hiram was going to come with me, but well, the thing is he left a day early without letting me know – and all those servants he has. You would have thought … well, never mind. I had to go. My kids always say I don’t have the sense I was born with. You see, my sister Esther’s daughter is to be married and Esther, like me, is a widow, and she really doesn’t have anything. Well, Rachel can’t be married without some kind of dowry and I had a little put away – I was planning to go see Greece some day – a little trip, but that’s not as important as family! What I have more than silver is this beautiful and expensive purple cloth from the center of purple fabric Thyatira. It’s Lydia’s best! Rachel will be just gorgeous … or would have been …
N: She’s right … just looking for trouble and trouble found her. About half an hour ago Hannah was jumped by a pack of wild boys – wannabe robbers, but young. The Romans turned them out of their homes and they roam around looking for travelers small enough to be their prey …
H: I walked right up to the leader and said, “You boys should be ashamed of yourselves. What would your mothers think?” Then one of the boys said something so rude, I won’t repeat it. Right then, I knew there wasn’t any “mothering” for these boys. Well, while I was bending over this one boy – no more than ten, another hit me on the head with a rock and I went down hard. I saw green and pink stars, I’ll tell you. When I woke up the moon was just rising in the east, and all my coins and the beautiful cloth and … even the cheese and bread for my supper were gone! My ankle is so swollen, it can’t support my weight. Who’s coming? Hello, hello, you. Help me!
A: Oh, by Ezekiel’s wheels, what’s that over there in the darkness? A bundle of rags? A woman? A witch? Worse? No well-bred woman would be out at this time on the Jericho road.
H: Help me, holy man!
A: I’ll pray for you woman. I’ll pray that God forgive you for your sins.
H: I don’t need your prayers! I need help to get up. Give me your arm so I can limp into town. My sister will pay you … something.
A: What about your husband, woman?
H: I’m a widow.
A: A likely story. Don’t tempt me! (He starts to leave)
H: Priest, priest, please come baaaaaaaack! (He’s gone but another man appears)
J: (to himself) busy, busy, busy … I’m so busy. I’ve got the scrolls to clean, the Passover vessels to prepare. And the boys in the synagogue school – they are so far behind in their lessons. What will their parents say when it comes time to pay their tuition? That substitute synagoguer has no discipline at all. Disciples need discipline – that’s what I always say … but I just had to go to Jerusalem. I mean, there were things to do! Busy, busy, busy!
H: Rabbi, Rabbi, Mr. Levite, sir. Please help a woman with a broken ankle and a lump on her head the size of a Roman’s fist.
J: (ignoring her) Goodness, I wonder if those lazy workmen have finished the synagogue repair while I was gone. If you aren’t on top of it nothing gets done! I mean nothing. And the preparations for having the Tribune for dinner tomorrow night! I wonder if my dear wife Deborah has finished her baking with the finest of flour. She’s a good wife but she had the tendency to squeeze a denarius at the wrong time. . When having Romans to dinner do as the Roman’s – hm, that’s catchy. Nice phrase … just a little something missing. when … Rome, do … I’ll have to think about that, but just now I’m so busy.
H: Please don’t go, Rabbi. Please just look over and see me. I’m on the other side of the road. (He leaves and another man enters … patting a plump old donkey)
S: Get up you old girl. I’m for an inn’s supper and a bath … and how would you like some nice oats. Let’s hurry for the hay, old Zebbie.
H: Mister, Oh! … (She really sees him and puts her hand over her mouth)
S: What was that? Did you hear something, old girl? I would have sworn I heard somebody. Hello, it is somebody on the other side of the road. Hello?
H: Whimpering and whispering Oh, my goodness, it’s a Samaritan. Oh, dear, that’s worse than the robber boys. Oh, I hope he doesn’t see me!
S: What’s that? It’s a woman. My dear are you all right? Silly me, Of course you’re not – you poor thing! (feeling her head) What a lump. How many fingers am I holding up?
H: (weakly) Uh, two. Please don’t hurt me.
S: Well, now why would I do that?
H: Aren’t you … aren’t you … a Samaritan?
S: Yes I am. Samuel bar Gamaliel, of Samaria at your service – or as they call me in the market – Sam the Sam, son of Gam. There now I got a little smile out of you. Just me with this lazy old lady donkey loaded down – to the donkey not-that- heavily with purple cloth for the market. Look at your ankle! Let me get you on the donkey. I can tie these bales on my back.
H: I was robbed of everything by these … well, they were boys, but I wasn’t being careful. I’m going down from Bethany to see my sister Esther in Jericho. She’s a widow you see and her daughter Rachel doesn’t have a dowry. Oh, you’re not interested in that. Ouch. Well, they took everything.
S: Easy there. Lean on me. (Hannah looks disgusted) It’s just for a minute, dear. Don’t slam the Sam, darling. Besides, I know an inn – all you can eat lamb roast and a warm bed and a healing woman who will straighten that ankle out … and a boy to run to your sister’s house so she won’t worry. Yep, let’s just call it my little Sam’s club!
H: I’m sorry – I don’t have any of my coins left…
S: Don’t worry – moneybags are us – Zebbie and me, that is — and what do I have to spend it on. A beautiful woman in the road? Even better a lovely niece getting married. I don’t have a niece. I will have to borrow yours. Well, you are going to be laid up a bit and I bet you can sew. I have cloth for a wedding gown .. .the finest weave … and it’s…purple. Thyatira purple cloth. Rachel will be a beautiful bride.
H: Thank you. Its’ too much really … Sam.
S: No it isn’t at all. Let’s get going now if you are ready …
H: Hannah. My name is Hannah. Thanks for being such a good neighbor.