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UNIVERSITY

OF FLORIDA

LIBRARIES

COLLEGE LIBRARY

THE TENTH MAN

Random House,

Neio York

A new play by Paddy ChayefsJcy


i

flRfvEi

THE TENTH MAN


/-

A
\

FIRST PRINTING

COPYRIGHT, AS AN UNPUBLISHED WORK,

I960,

BY

SPD PRODUCTIONS, INC.

COPYRIGHT,

I960,

BY SPD PRODUCTIONS, INC.

All rights, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form
are reserved under

Published in

New

Toronto, Canada, by

International

and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

by Random House, Inc., and


Random House of Canada, Limited.

Yor/<

simultaneously

in

caution: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that the tenth man,
being fully protected under the Copyright Laws of the United States of America,
the British Empire, including the

Dominion

of Canada,

and

all

other countries

Copyright Union and Universal Copyright Convention, is subject to


royalty. All rights, including professional amateur, motion picture, recitation,
of the

lecturing, public reading, radio

and

television broadcasting,

and the

rights of

translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved. Particular emphasis


laid

is

on the question of readings, permission for which must be secured from

the author's agent in writing. All inquiries should be addressed to the author's

agent, Robert San ford, 25 West 45th Street,

New

Yor\, N.Y.

The amateur acting rights of the tenth man are controlled exclusively by
Samuel French, 25 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y., without whose permission in writing no amateur performance of it may be made.
Photographs by courtesy of Arthur Cantor-Sheldon Secunda

Library of Congress Catalog Card

MANUFACTURED

IN

Number: 60-8375

THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

To
Tyrone Guthrie

Digitized by the Internet Archive


in

2012 with funding from

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation

http://archive.org/details/tenthmannewplaOOchay

The Tenth Man was


thur Cantor at
5> J 959>

first

The Booth

presented by Saint Subber and Ar-

Theatre,

New

Yor\

City,

November

w tn tne following cast:


i

{In order of appearance)

Arnold Marie

THE CABALIST

David Vardi

THE SEXTON
SCHLISSEL

Lou Jacobi

ZITORSKY

Jack Gilford

George Voskovec

ALPER

FOREMAN

Jacob

THE GIRL (EVELYN FOREMAN)

Ben-Ami

Risa Schwartz

Donald Harron

ARTHUR LANDAU

Martin Garner

HARRIS

Gene Saks

THE RABBI
KESSLER BOYS

(Alan Manson
Paul Marin

THE POLICEMAN

Tim Callaghan
Directed by Tyrone Guthrie

Settings and lighting by

David Hays

Costumes by Frank Thompson


Associate: Caroline

Swann

An

Orthodox Synagogue

ACT ONE
Before the Morning Prayers.

ACT TWO
Scene

The Morning Prayers.

Scene 2 Before the Afternoon Prayer*.


:

ACT THREE
The Exorcism.

ACT ONE

ACT ONE

Interior of the

synagogue of the Congregation Atereth-Tifer-

eth Yisroel.
It is a

poor congregation, and the synagogue

verted shop.

A raised platform

is

actually a con-

surrounded by a railing contains

and the Holy Ar\. This altar is surrounded by rows of


wooden folding chairs which constitute the seating accom-

the lectern
plain

modations for the congregation.

On

the far side of the altar

old des\ at which the rabbi presides

when

teaching

is

an

Hebrew

school.

partitioned area downstage right

crowded
chair,

little

is

the

cubicle containing a battered

rabbi's study, a

mahogany des\ and

an old leather armchair, a worn leather couch, and piles of

blac\ prayer boo\s.

On

the walls are old framed pictures of

bearded patriarchs in desolate obsession over their Talmuds and


perhaps a few familiar scenes from the Old Testament.

Downstage
unit upstage,

is

a metal heating unit.

There

and a door leading apparently

is

a second heating

to a bathroom.

The

front door is stage left.


It is

6:30 a.m. on a cold winter day.

At rise, the cabalist stands in


tirely

wrapped

the middle of the synagogue, en-

in a thic\ white linen prayer

shawl with broad

blac\ stripes, praying silently from a heavy prayer boo\ that rests

on the railing of the

altar.

Suddenly he pauses

in his intense de-

THE TENTH MAN


votions, clutches at the railing as

We have the impression

that he

if

to

\eep himself from

is faint,

He is

and

lined,

a small, bearded man, in his seventies; his face


his eyes

sunken and hollow.

from beneath which

He

falling.

near to swooning.
is

lean

wears a small blac\ skullcap

stic\ out gray forelocks

and

sidecurls

testament to his orthodoxy. After a moment, he regains his


strength

and returns to his prayers.

Three men hurry into the synagogue out of the oppressive cold
of the street.
all

They are the sexton,

schlissel

and zitorsky. They

wear heavy overcoats and gray fedoras, schlissel and zitor-

sky are in their early seventies, the sexton is a small, nervous, bespectacled

man

We

of forty-eight.

hjiow he

he carries a huge ring of \eys. The

warmth and huff and puff and

is

men rub

a sexton because
their

hands for

dart quic\ loo\s at the cabalist,

who is oblivious to their entrance.

(Muttering)
Close the door. (Light pours

sexton

flicks

down on

the synagogue as the

on the wall switch, the sexton scurries upstage to

fuss with the heater in the rear of the synagogue, schlissel

and

zitorsky shuffle downstage to a small uncovered heater and


stand silently
sighs)

indeed a

little

wearily

ZITORSKY

How should

it

go ?
SCHLISSEL

Have a pinch of snuff.


ZITORSKY

No, thank you.


4

for a moment, schlissel

So how goes it with a Jew today ?

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

Davis won't be here

this

morning.

has a cold. His daughter-in-law told

stopped by his house.

He

me he's still in bed.

ZITORSKY

My daughter-in-law, may she grow rich and buy a hotel with a


thousand rooms and be found dead in every one of them.
SCHLISSEL

My
tors,

daughter-in-law,

may

she invest heavily in General

Mo-

and the whole thing should go bankrupt.


ZITORSKY

Sure, go have children.


SCHLISSEL

The devil take them all.


THE SEXTON
{Scurrying downstage; to the cabalist as he passes)

Hirschman, are you

all

right

{He flutters, a small round ball of a man, to the door of the


rabbi's office, which he now opens with one of the many
\eyson

his chain .)

SCHLISSEL

Foreman won't be here today.


ZITORSKY

What's the matter with Foreman ?


SCHLISSEL

His granddaughter today. This

is

the morning.

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

Oh, that's

right.

Today

is

the morning.

SCHLISSEL
Listen,

it's

better for everybody.

Sure.
SCHLISSEL
I

told

The girl

Foreman,
is

said:

"Foreman,

becoming violent.

it's

better for everybody."

spoke to her father.

He said to me

they live in terror what she'll do to the other children.

home one

night, they

They came

found her punching one of the

little chil-

dren.

ZITORSKY
Well, what can you do ?

SCHLISSEL

What

can you do ?

You do what

they're doing. They're put-

ting her back in the institution.

ZITORSKY

Of

course.

There she

will

have the benefit of trained psychi-

atric personnel.

SCHLISSEL

The

girl is incurable. She's

tions since she

been in and out of mental

was eleven years

you know, when

was up there

old. I

met the

to visit

cussed the whole business with him.

institu-

psychiatrist there,

Foreman last week. I disfine young fellow. The

THE TENTH MAN


schizophrenic with violent tendencies.

girl is a

(zitorsky considers this diagnosis for a moment, then


sighs.)

ZITORSKY

Ah, may

my

daughter-in-law eat acorns and

may

branches

sprout from her ears.


SCHLISSEL

May my daughter-in-law live to be a hundred and twenty, and


may she have to live all her years in her daughter-in-law's house.
(the sexton has been tugging a large opened brown cardboard carton out of the rabbi's
extracts

two

zitorsky.
patrician

velvet bags

fifth

from which he now


to schlissel and

few now

from the

enters

street,

with a Vandyke beard and a blac\

name

horn burg. His


as

old

man

little

office,

which he hands

is

alper.

He

bursts into shrill prayer

he enters?)

{Chanting)

"As

come

for

me

abundance of thy loving kindness

in the

into thy house;

the fear of thee.

How

will

goodly are thy

precipitously as the prayer

had begun,

more than a rapid movement


alper's arrival with a

will

worship toward thy holy temple in

nod and

of lips,

tents,
it

now

Jacob

."

(As

drops into nothing

the sexton acknowledges

the rabbi's office,


where he plun\s himself behind the des\ and begins hurriedly to
dial the

darts bac\ into

phone, alper's voice zooms abruptly up into a

cantation again)

".

in the truth of thy salvation.

schlissel

Amen.

shrill in-

Amen!"

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

Amen.
(alper joins the other two old

men and

they stand in

si-

lent, rueful speculation .)

THE SEXTON

{On phone)
Hello, Harris? This

is

Bleyer the Sexton.

Come on down

Foreman won't be here. Davis is sick. We


won't have ten men for the morning prayers if you don't come
down
Services start in twenty minutes. Hurry up

today,

we need
.

Wear

you.

a sweater under your coat

(He hangs

All right

up, ta\es a large ledger from the des\,

and

begins nervously to examine its pages.)


SCHLISSEL

Hirschman

slept over in the

synagogue again

last night.

Have

you ever seen such pietistic humbug ?


ALPER

Well, he

a very devout man.

is

A student of the cabala. The

Rabbi speaks of him with the greatest reverence.


SCHLISSEL

Devout indeed.
is

assure

you

a very profitable business.

day that

his

this lavish display of

was told

orthodoxy

confidentially just yester-

board and food are paid for by two foolish old

women who consider him a saint.


ALPER
It can't cost

days.

them very much. He's been

fasting the last three

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

And

the reason he sleeps in the synagogue so frequently

because his landlady does not give

him

heat for his

is

own room in

the mornings.

ZITORSKY

Ah, go be an old man in the winter.


ALPER
I

must

say, I really don't

know what

do with myself on

to

these cold days.

SCHLISSEL

I'm an

atheist. If I

had something

better to do,

would

be

here?

ZITORSKY

You know what would


would be nice to take a
have a look

at

my

course, actuaUy.

By

be a nice

trip

up

burial plot.

to

way to kill a day ? I think it


Mount Hope Cemetery and

lovely cemetery.

the time one gets there

whole day has been used up. Would you

Like a golf

and comes back, the

like to

come?

I'll

pay

both your fares.


ALPER

Why not
plot

? I

have never been to

Mount Hope. I have my

burial

on Mount Zion Cemetery.


ZITORSKY

Oh, that's a beautiful cemetery.

Yes,

it is.

My wife wanted to buy plots in Cedar Lawn because

her whole family

is

buried there, but

wouldn't hear of

it.

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

Oh, Cedar Lawn.

wouldn't be buried in Cedar Lawn.


ALPER

It's

in such a

the other,

bad

state.

The

headstones tumble one on top of

and everybody walks on the graves.


ZITORSKY

They

don't take care in Cedar

Lawn.

should rest in peace, that Cedar

My

wife once said, she

Lawn was

the tenement of

cemeteries.

ALPER

A well-turned phrase.
ZITORSKY

She had a way with words, God grant her eternal

rest.

ALPER
I'd like

you to come to Mount Zion sometimes, see my plot.


ZITORSKY

Maybe we could make the trip tomorrow.


SCHLISSEL

Listen to these two idiots, discussing their graves as

were country

estates.

ZITORSKY

Where are you buried, Schlissel ?


SCHLISSEL

Cedar Lawn.

if

they

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER
Well,

listen, there are

many

lovely areas in

Cedar Lawn. All

my wife's family are buried there.


ZITORSKY

Come with us, Schlissel, and have a look at my grave.


SCHLISSEL

Why not ? What else have I got to do


(alper

now

slowly goes about the business of donning his

prayer shawl and phylacteries, which he takes out of a

Among

velvet prayer bag.

dividual matter,
ritual of laying

]ews, prayer

on the phylacteries

extracts his left

arm from

the

arm

is

rolled

a highly in-

a colorful one. alper

and rebuttons

arm hangs

up almost

loose.

his

Then,

to the shoulder,

and

phylactery, a long thin black leather thong,

put on by wrapping

it

around the

three times around the palm,

middle

is

his jacket

jacket so that his shirt-sleeved left

the shirt sleeve

is

and peripatetic to the bargain. The actual

finger. All this is

prayers, as

is

left

arm seven

is

times,

and three times around the

accompanied by rapidly recited

the laying on of the head phylactery. All the

while alper walks, bending and twisting at the \nees,


raising his voice occasionally in the truly lovely

under

his enveloping white tallith

back to everyone
meditations.

else,

words

of

the cabalist huddles

incantation. In a far upstage corner,

prayer

his

shawl

deeply involved in his personal

The synagogue

itself is

a shabby

little

place,

the walls yellowed and cracked, illumined by a fitful over-

head bulb. There


lessness,

is

indeed at this

moment a

sense of age-

even of primitive barbarism. During this, the sex-

ton has dialed a second number.)

THE TENTH MAN


THE SEXTON
Hello? Mr. Arnold Kessler, please

This
call

Mr. Bleyer the Sexton

is

me

Did

soul

fly

on the eleventh day

straight to the

down with your


father's

name?

know we
men.
a

If

my books,

can't

How

do you do?

synagogue. Perhaps you

wake you up? I'm

you're up, according to


yesterday,

at the

terribly sorry.

re-

As long

as

your father died one year ago

in the

month

of Shvat,

how

Heavenly Gates, and

may

his

about coming

brother and saying a memorial prayer in your


.

Let

me

put

this

it

way, Mr. Kessler.

You

have morning prayers without a quorum of ten

you and your brother don't come down we won't have

quorum ... As

a favor to

me

Kessler,

may your chilYou are

dren be such devoted sons, and bring your brother.

doing a good deed. Peace be with you. Hurry up.

(He hangs up, sits frowning, totaling up on his fingers


number of men he has, scowls. In the synagogue,

the

alper's voice rises for a brief

moment.)

ALPER

"... and

it

shall be to thee for a sign

a memorial between thy eyes

(the sexton

rises

upon thy hand, and

for

."
.

abruptly from his chair

and

bustles out

of the office to the front door of the synagogue.)

THE SEXTON

(To nobody in particular)


Listen, I'm going to have to get a tenth Jew off the street somewheres.

I'll

be right back.

Schlissel, will

you please

fix

that

bench already, you promised me.

(He exits, schlissel nods and pic\s up a hammer. For a


moment, only the singsong murmur of the rapid prayers
and the upstage tapping of schlissel's hammer fill the

THE TENTH MAN


The front door to the synagogue now opens, and a
sixth old ]ew peers in. He is a frightened little wisp of a
man, named foreman. He is obviously in a state. He darts
stage.

terrified loo\s all

about the synagogue, and then abruptly

disappears bac\ into the

street,

leaving the synagogue

door open. Nobody noticed his brief appearance.

ment later, he

of eighteen wearing a topcoat,

man

old

pushes her

She stands

terror,

mo-

who

is

also

herds her quic\ly across the synagogue to the

rabbi's office,

her.

young girl
distracted. The

bac\, this time leading a slim

is

in

foreman

schlissel loo\s

the

scuttles

up and

in,

and

closes the

door behind

rabbi's office, almost rigid with

bac\ to close the front door.

notices

foreman and nods

to

him;

he nods bac\. hi\e his friends, foreman wears a heavy


winter coat and a worn fedora some sizes too small for

him.

At

He

last

and watches the

stands

others apprehensively.

alper reaches the end of his laying on of the

phylacteries, his voice climbing to a shrill incantation^)

(To foreman, moving slowly as he prays)


shall be for a sign upon thy hand, and for frontlets
between thy eyes; for by strength of hand the Lord brought us
"... and it

out from Egypt.

Amen

FOREMAN
(Muttering, his head bobbing nervously)

Amen!
ALPER
I

thought you weren't coming down today, Foreman.


J

THE TENTH MAN


FOREMAN
(His mouth wording without saying anything. Finally, he says)
Alper

ALPER

You seem agitated. Is something wrong?


FOREMAN
(Staring at his friend)

Alper,

have her here.


ALPER

You have who here ?


FOREMAN
I

have

Rabbi's

my

granddaughter Evelyn here.

have her here in the

office.

ALPER

What are you talking about ?


FOREMAN
I

took her out of the house while nobody was looking, and

brought her here.

(He sin\s

am faint. Let me sit down.

onto a chair. His friend regards him with con-

cern.)

ALPER

Here, David, let me take your coat.

FOREMAN
Alper,

me

in

14

have seen such a thing and heard words

my

as will place

grave before the singing of the evening service.

THE TENTH MAN


Thou, O Lord, King of the Universe,

"Blessed art

wrought the wonders of the world." {Suddenly


from

his seat)

must speak

to

Hirschman who has delved

Hirschman! This

into the cabala

is

who

hath

half-starting

an

affair for

and the forbidden

mysteries of numbers.

Sit

down, Foreman, and compose

slowly bac\ onto his chair)

Why

(foreman sin\s

yourself,

did you bring her here? Fore-

my oldest friend from our days in the seminary

man, you

are

gether in

Rumni

in the Province of Poltava,

and

to-

speak to you

You are making too much


know how dear she is to
you, but the girl is insane, for heaven's sakes! What sort of foolishness is this then to smuggle her out of your son's home ? To
what purpose? Really, Foreman, a gentle and pious man like
harshly as only a friend

may

speak.

out of this whole matter of the

girl. I

you! Your son must be running through the streets

at this

mo-

ment shouting his daughter's name. Call him on the phone and
tell him you are bringing her back to him.
(foreman

stares at his friend, his pale eyes filled with

tears.)

FOREMAN
Alper

ALPER

David,

my dear

make peace with this situation.

friend,

FOREMAN
(

She

is

possessed, Alper.

spoke to me.

Whispering)

She has a dybbuk in

{He stares down

ror settling over his face)

It

her.

A demon!

at the floor at his feet, a

spoke to me.

went

into

It

numb termy grand-

THE TENTH MAN


daughter

you?"

this

And

morning

comfort her, and

to

said:

she seemed quite normal. She has these

absolute lucidity.

(He loo\s

she

fell

what's the matter?"

to the floor in a

And

of

to the institution again.

swoon.

said: "Evelyn,

she looked up at me, and

longer her face, but a face so twisted with rage that

my

are

desperately at his friend again) She

seemed to know she was being taken

Then suddenly

"How

moments

it

was no

my

blood

And a voice came out of her that was not her


own. "Do you know my voice ?" And I knew it. I knew the voice.
God have mercy on my soul. I stood there like a statue, and my

froze in

body.

granddaughter lay on the

with her eyes closed, and the

floor

came out of her, but her lips never moved. "David Foreman, son of Abram, this is the soul of Hannah Luchinsky, whom
you dishonored and weakened in your youth, and the Gates of
Heaven are closed to me." And my granddaughter began to
writhe on the floor as if in the most horrible agony, and she began
voice

to laugh so loudly that I

the living

my son

room could

flung the door open in panic, and

and daughter-in-law were

heard nothing.

from

my son and daughter-in-law in

was sure

hear.

this girl

God, and

down on

And

I tell

on the

finally the

sitting there talking,

floor.

And

closed the door

dybbuk was

this spot, Alper, if every

(alper has slowly sat

silent.

word

and besought

May God

I tell

down on an

lutely enthralled by the story.

you

is

strike

me

not true.

adjacent chair, abso-

He stares at foreman.)

A dybbuk ?
FOREMAN
(Nodding)

A dybbuk. Could you believe such a thing?


16

and they

you shrieks of laughter were coming

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

Who did the dybbuk say she was ?


FOREMAN

You should remember her. Hannah Luchinsky.


ALPER

The name is vaguely familiar.


FOREMAN

You remember Luchinsky, the sexton of the Rumni seminary,


with his three daughters ? Hannah was the handsome one who
became pregnant, and they threw stones

at her, called

her harlot,

and drove her out of the city.


ALPER
{Recognition slowly coming over him)

Ooohhh.

FOREMAN
I

was the one who debased her.


ALPER

You ? You were such


fellow.

Dear me.

thing. Schlissel,

a nose-in-the-books, a gende

dybbuk. Really!

What

and modest

an extraordinary

do you want to hear a story ?


SCHLISSEL

{Coming over)

What?
ALPER

Listen to

{To zitorsky, who amble s over)


this. Foreman is telling a story here

that will turn

your blood into water.


i7

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

What happened ?
FOREMAN

What happened, Schlissel, was


daughter
a

this

dybbuk.

that

Now,

my grand-

went in

to see

that she

was possessed by

morning and discovered

please, Schlissel, before

you go

into

one of your

interminable disputations on the role of superstition in the capitalist

economy,

monidesand

let
.

me remind you

that

am

a follower of

Mai-

SCHLISSEL

What are you talking about ?


FOREMAN

dybbuk!

sessed by a

dybbuk!

dybbuk! Oh,

I tell

my

my

you

head

is

granddaughter

just

pounding!

is

pos-

do not

know which way to turn.


SCHLISSEL

What are you prattling about dybbuks ?


ALPER
(

To schlissel)

The voice of Hannah Luchinsky spoke to him through the lips


of his granddaughter.

Oh, a dybbuk.
schlissel

What nonsense is this ?


18

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

(To foreman)
Are you sure ?

FOREMAN
(Angrily)

Am
I

ever

me

sure ?

shown

Am

who leaps at every black cat ? Have

a peasant

Have you not

a susceptibility to mysticism?

seen

engaging Hirschman over there in violent disputation over

Have

the fanatic numerology of the cabala ?

very face the

murky

Am

floating in space ? Really!

mocked

I tell

you

phylactery on your

brow

this

moment.

follower of the great

For heaven's

Rambam who
sakes! Really!

it

flared)

My

see the

was a teacher of biology


School.

dedicated

scoffed at augurs

and

sor-

what

report to you only

(He strides angrily away, and then

subsides as abruptly as

High

for thirty-nine years at the Yeshiva

see!

wom-

heard that

hear the cold wind outside our doors now, and saw

my granddaughter writhing in the toils of possession as

cerers!

to his

Do you take me for a fool, a

sure!

pratder of old wives' tales? Really!


an's voice as

not

fantasy of the Gilgul with wispy souls

temper

his brief flurry of

dear Alper, please forgive

am so distressed by this whole business that


I cannot control my wits. I assure you that it is as hard for me to
believe my own senses as it is for you.

this burst of

temper.

ZITORSKY

When

was a boy

in Lithuania, there

was

worked for the butcher who was possessed by

young boy who

the dybbuk.

SCHLISSEL

(Scornfully)

dybbuk. Sure. Sure.

heard

stories

about a

When

man who

was a boy

in Poland,

lived in the next

also

town who was


i9

THE TENTH MAN


possessed by a dybbuk.
school,

town,

was eight years

old, and,

one day

after

my friends and I walked barefoot the six miles to the next


and we asked everybody, "Where is the man with the

dybbuk ?" And nobody knew what we were talking about. So I


came home and told my mother: "Mama, there is no man with a

dybbuk

in the next town."

the face that

And

she gave

turned around three times.

me such a slap across


And she said to me

"Aha! Only eight years old and already an

my

friend,

wife.

you talk

like

my

mother,

Foreman,

atheist."

who was

an ignorant

fish-

am shocked at you.
FOREMAN

me be,

Oh, leave

tificating this

Schlissel. I

have no patience with your pon-

morning.
ALPER

Don't

let

him

upset you, Foreman.

The man

is

Communist.

FOREMAN

He is not a Communist. He is just disagreeable.


SCHLISSEL

My

dear fellow,

believe in

demons ?

have never believed in God. Should

now

A dybbuk. This I would like to see.


FOREMAN
{Furiously)

Then

see!

(He

strides to the

door of the rabbi's

office

wrenches the door open. The others gingerly follow him

opened doorway and peer


terrified.

direct

in.

the girl

and

to the

evelynstares at them,
Dybbuk!

In a thunderous voice, foreman cries out

you to reveal yourself!


(the girl

stares at the four patently startled old

men, and

THE TENTH MAN


then suddenly bursts into a bloodcurdling shrie\ of laughter.

The four old men involuntarily ta\e one step bac\ and

regard this exhibition wide-eyed?)

FOREMAN

What is your name ?


THE GIRL

am Hannah Luchinsky.

Who are you?


THE GIRL
I

am the Whore of Kiev, the companion of sailors.


FOREMAN

How come you to be in my granddaughter's body ?

was on a yacht

in the sea of Odessa, the pleasure of five

wealthy merchants. And a storm arose, and


soul rose

my

from the water and flew

all

soul appealed to the sages of that city.

bauched they turned

their backs

were lost. And

to the city of

my

Belgorod where

But since

was de-

on me.

And then?

Then my

soul entered the

and was brought


as

if

to slaughter

divinely directed.

body of a cow

and

who became

insane

flew into the body of this girl

THE TENTH MAN


FOREMAN

What do you want


THE GIRL
I

want the strength of

a pure soul so that

may

acquire that

experience to ascend to heaven.

FOREMAN
I

plead with you to leave the body of this

have wandered through Gilgul many

girl.

THE GIRL

Why

do you plague

done the same

as

among you who

me ? There
and

years,

are those

and I want peace.

among you who have

will sufler a similar fate.

has lain with whores

many

times,

There

and

is

one

his wife

died of the knowledge.

ZITORSKY

(Aghast)

Oh, my God!
THE GIRL
(Laughing)

Am
but

visit

to

answer questions of old

men who have nothing

to

do

each other's cemeteries ?


ZITORSKY
(Terrified)

A dybbuk

...

dybbuk

FOREMAN
Evelyn

Evelyn

(the girl

now

She is again in a catatonic state.

sits in

the

rabbi's chair,

sprawling wan-

THE TENTH MAN


tonly, apparently finished with the interview.

men

The jour old

regard her a little numbly. They are all quite pale as a

result of the experience. After a

the door of the rabbi's


in a silent

office,

moment, foreman

and the four old men

closes

shuffle

group downstage, where they stand, each

re-

own mind the bizarre implications of what

viewing in his

they have seen,

foreman sin\s

into a chair

face with his hands. After a long, long

and covers

his

moment, zitorsky

speaks.)

ZITORSKY
Well, that's some dybbuk,

all right.

schlissel

The

mad

girl is as

trollop.

This

is

as a hatter

and

fancies herself a

Ukrainian

dybbuk ?
ALPER

found it quite an unnerving experience.

She caught

me

dead to

rights.

I'll tell

you

that. I

was the one

who trumpeted around

she was talking about there,

with

women. Listen, when I was in the garment business, if you didn't


have

women

dozen

dresses.

business, a

for the out-of-town buyers,

Oh,

madcap

shop with a model

day?

really.

One

day,

who knew

she

my

wife caught

me

sell

was

a
in

in the

would be downtown

that

and from that moment on, my wife was a sick woman

and died three years

later,

That was some dybbuk,


gave

you couldn't

was quite a gamy fellow when

cursing

my name with her last breath.


How she picked me out! It

all right.

me the shivers.
23

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

Did you notice her use o archaic language and her Russian
accent ? The whole business had an authentic ring to me.
SCHLISSEL

What

nonsense!

confided to

me

dybbuk Ever

full of the

she thinks she

last

time

was up

in a whisper that she

is

to

Foreman's the

girl

was Susan Hayward.

was a child Foreman has been pumping

since she

her head

The

wretched superstitions of the Russian Pale, so

a dybbuk.

The

girl is a lunatic

and should be

packed off to an asylum immediately.


(alper regards schlissel with a disapproving eye; he then
ta\es schlissel's

arm and leads him

jew

steps

away

for a

private chat.)

Really, Schlissel,

are

all

must you always be

here agreed that

we have

you always seem intent on being

least a silence

really, for

in our

how distraught

he

is.

an old friend, can you not

on the matter ? And,

We

company, but

odds with everyone around

at

you. Really, look at poor Foreman,

simple courtesy,

so argumentative?

dybbuk

after

all,

what

else

Out

of

affect at

have you

got to do today ? Ride two and a half hours to look at Zitorsky's

tombstone?

When you stop and think of it, this dybbuk is quite

an exciting

affair. Really,

nothing like

Kornblum and Milsky had


the seat by the East

that

fist

since

have

Wall during the High Holidays.

{Ambling over)
That's some dybbuk,
24

happened

who would

this has

fight over

all right.

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

(Frowning)
All right, so what 11

we do

with

this

dybbuk now

that

we

got

it?

ALPER
It

seems to me, there

is

some kind of

ritual,

an exorcism of

sorts.

ZITORSKY

Maybe we should tell the Rabbi.


SCHLISSEL

A young fellow like that. What does he know of dybbuks A


?

dybbuk must be exorcised from the body by


standing.

You

low

from the seminary

fresh

can't just call in

a rabbi of

some

some smooth-shaven young

fel-

for such a formidable matter as a

dybbuk. This Rabbi has only been here two months.

He

hardly

knows our names.


ALPER

He's right. You have to get a big rabbi for such a business.

SCHLISSEL

What

has to be done

is

we must

get in touch with the Kor-

who has inherited the mande


of the Great Korpotchniker of Lwow, whose fame extends to all

potchniker Rabbi of Williamsburg,

the corners of the world.

ZITORSKY

Oh,

a sage

among sages.
25

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

was about

to suggest the Bobolovitcher

Rabbi of Crown

Heights.
SCHLISSEL

Where do you come

to

compare the Bobolovitcher Rabbi with

the Korpotchniker ?

ALPER
I

once attended an afternoon service conducted by the Bobo-

lovitcher,

and

it

was an exalting experience.

A man truly in the

great tradition of Chassidic rabbis.

ZITORSKY

sage

among

sages,

may

his

name

be blessed for ever and

SCHLISSEL
It

shows how much you know. The Bobolovitcher Rabbi

disciple of the

Korpotchniker and

sat at the

is

Korpotchniker's feet

until a matter of only a few years ago.

ALPER
Listen, I'm not going to argue with you. Either

one

is

fine for

SCHLISSEL

The Korpotchniker

is

the

number one Chassidic

world. If you're going to involve yourself at


straight to the top

ALPER
All right, so let it be the Korpotchniker.
26

all,

rabbi in the

why

not go

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

For that matter, the Lubanower Rabbi of Brownsville is a

man

of great repute.

SCHLISSEL

The Lubanower!

Really! He's a

young man,

for heaven's

sakes!

ALPER
Zitorsky, let

it

be decided then that

it

will

be the Korpotch-

niker.

ZITORSKY
I

only

made a suggestion.
SCHLISSEL

The

how

One
home as if it were a public library. One has
secretary and petition for an audience. It may take

question

is

does one get to the Korpotchniker ?

does not drop into his


to solicit his

weeks.

ALPER
I

do think,

Schlissel,

rabbi than that.

we

Ah, here

is

shall

have to get a more accessible

Hirschman,

who I am

sure can give

us excellent counsel in this matter.

(the cabalist has indeed finished his prayers, and


fling downstage, a small, frightened

from

is

shuf-

man. foreman leaps

his chair.)

Hirschman!
{Everyone crowds around the cabalist.)
27

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

Oh, boy, Hirschman, have we got something to

tell

you

ALPER
Zitorsky, please.
cabala, a

man who

Hirschman, you are a


prays with

man

the seventy-two

all

versed in the

names

of the

Most Ancient of the Ancient Ones.


FOREMAN
(Blurting out)

Hirschman, my granddaughter is possessed by a dybbuk!

THE CABALIST
{Starting bac\ in terror)

A dybbuk!
ALPER

Foreman, please, one does not announce such a thing

as baldly

as that.

THE CABALIST

Are you sure?

FOREMAN
Hirschman, as a rule, I

am not given to whimsy.


THE CABALIST

Was it the soul of a woman wronged in her youth ?


FOREMAN
Yes.

THE CABALIST
I

heard her cry out

tions,

28

last night. I

awoke

for

my

midnight devo-

and as I prayed I heard the whimpering of a woman's

soul.

THE TENTH MAN


(A

fasted three days


this

wonder

strange expression of

dybbuk

whom

and three

as a fantasy of

the Ancient

dybbuks.

Is this

One

settles

and

over his face)

have

my weakened state. For only those to

sign.

have

that
felt

my

penitence

is

traffic

over?

of
I

strange things these past

days. Sudden, bursting illuminations have bleached

and

dismissed the sound of

has raised his veil can hear the

from God

a sign

have prayed for such a

nights,

mine

eyes,

have heard the sounds of dead and supernatural things.

{He
The

lifts

his

worn

little face,

others are put a

burst,

his eyes

little ill-at-ease

foreman, indeed,

is

wide with wonder.

by this effusive out-

quite overwhelmed.)

ALPER
to know is if you knew
number of the Korpotchniker Rabbi.
(the cabalist with some effort brings himself bac\ to

Actually, Hirschman,

all

we want

the

telephone

the

moment at hand})
THE CABALIST

He is my cousin. I will call him for you.


(He moves slowly off, still obsessed with some private
wonder of his own, to the phone on the outside wall of the
rabbi's office.)

(Quite awed)

Your cousin? You

are the Korpotchniker's cousin, Hirsch-

man?
ZITORSKY

(Hurrying after the cabalist)


You'll need a dime, Hirschman.

(He gives the cabalist the ten-cent piece.)


29

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER
Schlissel, the

ently, he's not

Korpotchniker's cousin, did you hear? Appar-

such a humbug.
SCHLISSEL

I tell

you, he gives

me the creeps, that Hirschman.

(the cabalist has dialed a number on the wall phone.

foreman stands at his elbow, hunched with

anxiety.)

THE CABALIST

(To foreman, gently)


Where is she, the dybbuk ?
FOREMAN
In the Rabbi's

office.

THE CABALIST

You are wise to go to the Korpotchniker. He is a Righteous


One among the Righteous Ones. We were quite close as children
until

abandoned the rabbinate. (On the phone,

tones) Hello ?

Is this

Chaim son

of Yosif

in soft, gentle

This

is

Israel

son

And peace be unto you


There is a man here of
my congregation who feels his granddaughter is possessed by a
dybbuk and would seek counsel from my cousin
He will
of Isaac

you for your courtesy. Peace be unto you, Chaim son of

bless

(He hangs the receiver bac\ in its cradle and turns to foreman) Give me a paper and pencil. (The others, who have
crowded around to hear the phone call, all see\ in their poc\ets
for a paper and pencil and manage to produce an old envelope
and a stub of a pencil between them) That was the KorpotchYosif.

niker's secretary,

can.

30

and you

are to

will write the address

go

to his

down for

home

you.

It is

as quickly as

you

in Williamsburg

THE TENTH MAN


in Brooklyn.

And you

will be received directly after the

morn-

ing services.

{He

gives

foreman the

address, sweeps his prayer shawl

on and retires upstage again for continued devotions.)

Thank

The

you, Hirschman.

Lord

open

to

you talking about ? Foreman, you take the Long

Is-

eye of the

will be

you in the time of your need.


ZITORSKY

Oh, Williamsburg. That's quite a ride from here.

What

are

land Railroad to Atlantic Avenue Station, where you go downstairs,

and you catch the Brooklyn subway.

Maybe,

should go along with you, David, because a simple

fellow like you will certainly get lost in the Atlantic


tion,

Avenue

Sta-

which is an immense conflux of subways.


SCHLISSEL

What you
to the

train

do,

Foreman,

is

you take the Long Island Railroad

Adantic Avenue Station, where you take the Double

on the lower level

ALPER

Not the Double G train.


SCHLISSEL

What's wrong with the Double

3i

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

One
him

The Double

takes the Brighton train.

to

Smith

Street,

which

is

good eight

train will take

blocks' walk.

SCHLISSEL

The Brighton train will take him to Coney Island.


ALPER

Foreman,

structions for

didn't point

what

listen to

you.

I tell

will write

you because an innocent fellow

down

like you,

the in-

they

if

you in the right direction, you couldn't even find the

synagogue in the morning. Where's

{He has ta\en

the paper

my pencil ?

and pencil from foreman's numb

fingers and is writing down the traveling instructions.)

FOREMAN
{Staring off at the wall of the rabbi's office)

What shall I do with the girl ?

can't leave her here.

ALPER

Don't worry about the

girl.

She knows me. I'm

like a

second

grandfather to her.

don't like to leave her.

kidnaping her

this

psychiatrist said

it!

The

rest of

night thinking about


ceptibility in

her

in

32

it all

right,

Alper ? Did

ourselves that she

mental

life! I

Perhaps

it.

me so that

life

do

right,

was
this

institutions.

would prob-

The irrevoc-

in tears almost the

whole

produced a desperate

sus-

clutch even at dybbuks rather than be-

lieve she is irretrievably insane.

thought,

do

we must prepare

ably spend the rest of her


ability of

Did

morning and bringing her here ? Because the

Now,

in the sober chill of after-

seems so unreal and impetuous.

And

here

am

THE TENTH MAN


bucketing ofr to some forbidding rabbi to listen to mystical

in-

cantations.

ALPER

The Korpotchniker
to sell

is

not a rogue, Foreman.

you patent medicine.

He

will advise

He

is

not going

you quite

sensibly, I

am sure.

(Buttoning his coat)


Yes, yes,

come

back.

shall

My

go

to see

him.

You

shall

have to hide her

till I

son has probably called the police by now, and

sooner or later they will

come here looking for her.


ALPER

Don't worry about it.

won't leave her side for a moment.

FOREMAN
I

better tell her

I'm going. She'll be frightened

if

she looks for

me, and I'm not here.

(He
a

hurries quickly to the rabbi's office,

moment, regarding the

derness,

where he stands

girl with mingled fear

and

ten-

the girl has sun\ into the blan\ detachment

of

schizophrenia and stares unseeingly at the floor.)


schlissel

So the

girl

is

a fugitive

The

situation

is

be-

retired revolutionary.

As long

as

it's

from the

police.

ginning to take on charm.

Look

at Schlissel.

The

against the law, he believes in dybbuks.

33

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL
I

believe in anything that involves a conspiracy.

(At this point, the front door bursts open, and the sexton

returns with the announcement

THE SEXTON
I've got a tenth

Jew!
ZITORSKY

Sexton, have

we got something to tell you!


SCHLISSEL

(Shushing him abruptly)


Sha! Idiot! Must you

tell

everyone?

THE SEXTON

(He

leans bac\ through the open door to the street


to

and

says

someone out there)

Come in, come in ... (A fine-looking, if troubled, young fellow

in his

middle

thirties enters;

clothes, albeit a little

he

is

dressed in expensive

shabby at the moment, as

a bender for the last couple of days. His

if

he had been on

name is Arthur landau.

He stands ill-at-ease and scowling, disturbed in


berry topcoat hangs limply on

aspect. His burhim the sexton has scooted to an


.

open carton, from which he ta\es out a blac\ paper s\ullcap,


nervously talking as he does) Harris didn't come in yet ?
SCHLISSEL

No.
THE SEXTON

The two Kessler boys, I called them on the phone, they didn't
show up yet? (He thrusts the s\ullcap into Arthur's hand)
Here's a skullcap, put
34

it

on. (arthur ta\es the skullcap absently,

THE TENTH MAN


move to put it on. He is preoccupied with deep and
dar\ thoughts, the sexton heads for the front door) The Rabbi's
but ma\es no

not here yet ?


SCHLISSEL
He'll be here in a couple of minutes.

THE SEXTON
It's

only seven minutes to the services. Listen, I'm going to the

Kesslers'.
I'll

I'll

have

to pull

them out

of their beds,

can see

that.

be right back. (To Arthur) You'll find some phylacteries in

the carton there. Alper, give the

ten Jews

man a prayer book. Sure, go find

on a winter morning.

(He exits, closing the front door.)


FOREMAN
(As he comes out

of the office)

All right, I'm going. She didn't eat anything this morning, so
see she gets

some

coflfee at least. Let's see. I

take the

Long Island
num-

Railroad to Atlantic

Avenue

ber of years since

have been on the subways. Well, wish

luck.

Have

got

money

Station. Listen,

it

for carfare? Yes, yes.

has been a

Well

me

well

my dear friends, peace be with you.


ALPER

And with you, Foreman.


ZITORSKY

Amen.
FOREMAN
(Opening the door)

Oh, it's cold out there.

(He exits, closing the door.)


35

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER
He'll get

lost.

I'm sure of

it.

ZITORSKY

Oh, have you ever seen such excitement ?

My

heart

is

fairly

pounding.
ALPER

Oh,

it's

just starting.

Now comes the exorcism. That should be

something to see.
ZITORSKY

Oh, boy.

Oh, I don't know. You've seen one exorcism, you've seen them
all.

ZITORSKY

You saw one, Schlissel ?


SCHLISSEL

When I was a boy in Poland, we had more dybbuks than


we had pennies. We had a fellow there in my village, a mule
Sure.

driver, a burly

morning

till

chap

night.

who reeked from dung and was drunk from


One day, he lost his wits completely, and it

was immediately attributed


haps eleven, and

to a

dybbuk.

was a boy of

ten, per-

watched the whole proceedings through a hole

in the roof of the synagogue.

A miracle-working rabbi who was

passing through our district was invited to exorcise the dybbuk.

He drew

several circles

on the ground and stood in the center

surrounded by four elders of the community,


linen

36

and trembling with

terror.

The

all

dressed in white

Miracle- Worker bellowed

THE TENTH MAN


out a series of incantations, and the poor mule driver,
beside himself with fear, screamed

{This

who

making

He

into the

leg.

was

The

who was

Harris

hello,

man named harms,

synagogue

at this

mo-

the floor.

fell to

so petrified that

Miracle- Worker

mule

It

I fell

on" the roof

wandered

driver sold his

his

was a marvelous vaudeand almost

work

off to

mule and went

to

other

America

assume, because he was a habitual drunkard and an in-

sensitive boor,

had a

and

miracles and the


I

into the

synagogue and close the door, schlissel continues

ville, really. I

where

way

his halting

barely nods to the others, having all he can do to get

blithe story)

broke a

addressed to a very, very old

last is

is

ment.

and

brief

he achieved considerable

month

of notoriety,

success.

and we were

Our little village

all

quite proud of

ourselves.

ALPER

Oh, it sounds like a marvelous ceremony.


SCHLISSEL

Of course, they

don't exorcise dybbuks like they used to.

Now-

adays, the rabbi hangs a small amulet around your neck, intones,

"Blessed art Thou,

O Lord," and that's an exorcism.

Oh, I hope not.


SCHLISSEL
Really, religion has

worth while being an

become

so pallid recently,

it

is

hardly

atheist.

ZITORSKY
I

don't even

know if I'll come

shivering just hearing about

to see this exorcism.

I'm already

it.

37

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

Well, you know,

we

are dealing with the occult here,

quite frightening. Hello there, Harris,

the octogenarian has

removed

how

and

it is

you? (By now,

are

under which he

his overcoat,

wears several layers of sweaters, one of which turns out to be one


of his grandson s football jerseys, a striped red

garment with the

number 63 on it. For the rest of the act, he goes about the business
of putting on his phylacteries, alper claps his hands) Well,

let

me

to-

find out

if

we

can help this young Jew here.

ward Arthur landau, smiling) Can

(He moves

give you a set of phylac-

teries?

ARTHUR
(Scowling

a man who has had a very bad night the night


before)

I'm afraid

wouldn't have the

first

idea

what

to

do with them.

ALPER
You'll find a prayer shawl in one of these velvet bags here.

No, thank you.

(Offering a small blac\ prayer booI()

Well, here's a prayer book anyway.

ARTHUR
is a little man stopped me on
me if I was Jewish, and gave me the impression

Look, the only reason I'm here


the street, asked

he would
38

kill

himself if

didn't

come in and complete your quo-

THE TENTH MAN


rum.
utes

was

told all

wearing a

want to pray about,


want

to

know

feel very well,

had

to

do was stand around

hat. I can't read

is

so there's

how

long

Hebrew and

no sense giving me

is this

for a

few min-

have nothing

that book. All

going to take, because

and I have a number of things

don't

to do.

ALPER

My dear young fellow, you'll be out of here in fifteen or twenty

ARTHUR

Thank you.
(He absently
and

sits

puts the blac\ paper s\ullcap on his head

down, scowling, on one

alper regards him for a

of the

moment; then

wooden

chairs.

turns and goes bac\

to his two colleagues?)

(To schlissel and zitorsky)

To
what

such a state has modern Jewry


phylacteries are.

He

doesn't

fallen.

want

He

a shawl.

doesn't

He

know

can't read

Hebrew.

ZITORSKY
I

wonder

if

he's

still

circumcised.

(arthur abruptly stands.)

I'd like to

make

peats louder)

a telephone

I said, I'd

like to

call.

(Nobody hears him.

He

re-

make a telephone call.


39

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER
{Indicating the wall phone)

Right on the wall there.

ARTHUR
This is a rather personal

call.

ALPER
There's a phone in the Rabbi's

office there.

(ARTHUR CrOSSeS tO THE RABBl's

office.)

SCHLISSEL

Well, look about you,

really.

Here you have the

Orthodox Judaism graphically before your


gogue ?

eyes.

This

decline of
is

a syna-

A converted grocery store, flanked on one side by a dry

and on the other by a shoemaker. Really, if it wasn't for


Holy Ark there, this place would look like the local head-

cleaner

the

quarters of the

were

all

American Labor

Party. In Poland,

where we

one step from starvation, we had a synagogue whose

shadow had more dignity than this place.

It's

shame and a

disgrace.

ZITORSKY

A shame and a disgrace.


(In the rabbi's office arthur

is

regarding the girl with a

sour eye.)

ARTHUR

make a rather personal call.


(the girl stares down at the floor, unhearing, unmoving,

Excuse me.

40

I'd like to

THE TENTH MAN


off in a

phantasmic world of her

arthur

sits

to

at

the

Where

are all the

distorted creation.

Orthodox Jews ? They have apostated

temples, where they

lians, listening to

use of the

word "apostasy"

"Even

they are foolish, even

terrible to

Schlissel. Is

it

they are

if

still

be a Reform Jew ?

disputation? Oh,

around

to the

like Episcopa-

in referring to

Reform Jews

not written in Sifre on Deuteronomy,

me,

full of blemishes,

sit

organ music.

interests
if

own

rabbi's des\, turns his shoulder

the girl, and begins to dial a number?)

Reform Jewish

Your

down

they transgress, even

called sons" ? So, after

Is this

if

they are

all, is it

so

not an interesting issue for

my God!

{He wheels and

starts

bac\ for the rabbi's

office.

The

same thought has been entering the other two old fellows
minds, as has been indicated by a growing frown of consternation on each of their faces.
rabbi's office,

in at

They follow alper to the

where he opens the door quickly and

arthur landau. The

rabbi's des\, waiting for

an answer to his phone

the girl

immobilized

is still

in her

stares

latter is still seated at

state,

call;

arthur

the

and
casts

such a baleful eye at this interruption that the three old

men bac\

out of the office and close the door. They re-

main nervously outside the door of the


someone responds to Arthur's phone call.)

office.

At

last,

ARTHUR

{On

and peeping his voice down)


wake you up? This is Arthur Landau

the phone, shading his face,

Hello, Doctor, did

4i

THE TENTH MAN


.

Yes,

know.

morning?

Do you think you can find an hour for me this

Oh,

could be in your

or so. I'm out in Mineola.

My

And

I've

you know.

parents,

figured

out

it

three

office in

about an hour

ex-wife lives out here with her

been blind drunk for

And

days now.

just

just

found myself out

here at two o'clock in the morning banging on their front door,

screaming

(the

girl's

across the des\ to her


call,

and

would

and

He

presence bothers him.

says

Look,

really appreciate

leans

this is a very personal

your letting

me

have the use

of this office for just a few minutes.

(the girl loo\s up at him blan\ly.)

{Hollowly)
I

am the Whore of Kiev, the companion of sailors.


{The bizarreness of this stops arthur. He considers
moment, and then goes bac\ to the phone?)

it

for a

No, I'm

still

{On the phone)


At least, I'm

here. I'm all right.

hides his face in the palm of one

hand and rubs

ously) I've got to see you, Doc. Don't


If

my

analyst hangs

a couple of minutes

on
I

that'll

his

brow

hang up on me,

be the end. Just

let

nerv-

please.

me talk

I'm in some damned synagogue.

was

my way to the subway. Oh, my God, I've got to call my office.

was supposed

had the brains

know. I'm
right

to be in court twice yesterday.

to apply for an adjournment.

So

hope somebody
it's

funny, you

damned synagogue. I'll be down in about an


Okay. Okay
I'm all right
No, I'm
see you in about an hour. (He hangs up, hides

in this

hour, Doctor
all

up on me,

{He

still alive.

I'll

THE TENTH MAN


his face in the palms of both hands

together. After a

to staring at the floor.

opens

office,

it,

at

the

pulls himself

girl,

who

is

bac\

He frowns, stands, goes to the door of the

gives one last loo\ at the girl,

door behind him.


of the three old

and slowly

moment, he loo\s up

and

closes the

He finds himself staring at the inquiring faces

men)

Listen,

hope you know

there's a pretty

strange girl in there.

{The old men bob

their heads nervously.

the synagogue to a chair


his emotions.

The

and sits down,

three old

men

Arthur

crosses

dar\ with

his face

regard him anxiously.

After a moment, schlissel approaches Arthur.)

schlissel

A strange girl, you say

ARTHUR
Yes.

SCHLISSEL

Did she say anything ?


ARTHUR
She said

"I

am the Whore of Kiev,

the

companion

of sailors."

SCHLISSEL

That was a very piquant statement, wouldn't you say ?


ARTHUR
Yes,

think

would

call

it

piquant.

SCHLISSEL

What do you make of it ?


43

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
(Irritably)

Look, I'm going. I have a hundred things

to do.

SCHLISSEL

No, no, no. Sit down. For heaven's

sakes,

sit

down.

{Hurrying over)
Don't go. Oh, my, don't go.

We haven't had ten men in


I

We

the

need you for a tenth man.

morning

in

more than

a week,

think.

ZITORSKY

(On Morn's tail)

Two weeks, at least.


(At

this point, Harris,

his muffler

who

has finally divested himself of

and the heavy, ribbed sweaters which were

over his jacket, and

is

now enwrapt

in a prayer shawl,

bursts into a high, quavering prayer.)

"Blessed art thou,

who

Lord, our God, King of the Universe,

hath sanctified us by his

(The words

commandments and

dribble off into inaudibility.

darts a startled loo\ at the old

for this

method

of prayer,

."
.

Arthur landau

man, not being prepared

and moves

few nervous

steps

away from the other old men, then stands rubbing


brow, quite agitated?)
44

his

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER
(

Whispering to schlissel)

So what happened in there ? Did she say anything ?

SCHLISSEL

was the Whore of Kiev, and the companion

Yes, she said she

of sailors.

Oh, dear me.

SCHLISSEL

we

I'm afraid
because
she

is

asylum.

have

Whore

And

let

as

the girl, he has kidnaped her,

not

good idea

(The wall phone

that

to

however

expect the police to regard a

keep the

Ah!

rings)

Foreman's son calling

I'll

case,

girl a little less accessible.

tell

to find out if

(The phone rings again) Well,

answer

the insane

any kind of sensible explanation. Whatever the

would be

here.

in there that

all off to

us be quite sensible about this situation. If

kindly his motives

it

who walks

of Kiev, they will pack us

Foreman has kidnaped


dybbuk

to get her out of the Rabbi's office

she keeps telling everybody

if

the

shall

you who that

Foreman and
if

is.

That's

the girl are

you won't answer

it, I'll

it.

(He crosses to the wall phone.)

ALPER

We

could take her to

We'll put her in the

my

house. Everybody

is still

sleeping.

cellar.

(The phone rings again schlissel pic\s up the phone?)


.

45

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

{On
Hello.

(He

he was quite right

move
.

closer to the

Listen,

I tell

slightest idea.

Tuesday.

last
.

Okay

in guessing the caller.

The

other two old

phone) Mr. Foreman, your father


you, he

here ...

isn't

haven't seen her since

Isn't
.

the phone)

turns to the others and nods his head, indicating

she

home? ...

If

isn't

here

wouldn't have the

was up

he comes

to
in,

your house
I'll tell

(He hangs up and turns to the other two)

men

him

Well,

we are in it up to our necks now.


ALPER
(Stripping off his phylacteries)

So shall we take her to my house ?


SCHLISSEL

All right. Zitorsky, go in and

tell

her

we

are going to take her

some place else.


ZITORSKY

(Not exactly inspired by the idea)


Yeah, sure.
SCHLISSEL

(To zitorsky)
For heaven's

sakes, Zitorsky,

you don't

really believe that's a

dybbuk in there.
ZITORSKY
If that's

no dybbuk, then you go in and take her.

(schlissel shuffles slowly to the door of the rabbi's


office.)

46

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

{Pausing at the closed office door)


getting kind of complicated.

It's

man's son and

tell

him she's

Maybe we ought to call Fore-

here and not get involved.

Oh, no!

Ah,

well,

foolish old

come

on.

What

can they do to us ? They'll

men, but then foolishness

age. So, Alper, you'll deal with her.


her,

and

citement.

we'll hide her in

sits in

us

So

we'll

to talk to

have a

little

ex-

sodden, detached immobility) Listen. Alper,

get along, you

starts

You know how

cellar.

call

the only privilege of old

(He opens the door, and the three old men regard the

girl as she
let's

your

is

know. Before the Sexton comes back and

asking us where we're

all

going.

(alper nods apprehensively and ta\es a jew steps into the


office.)

ALPER

(To the

girl,

who

doesn't actually hear

him

or

\now

of his

presence)

How do you do, my dear Evelyn. This is Alper here. (She


ma\es no answer, alper turns to the other two) She's in one of
her apathetic

states.

(Darting bac\ into the synagogue proper)


I'll

get your coat, Alper.

47

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

(Looking around

to see if

Arthur

is

paying any attention

to

what's going on; he is not)

Well, take her by the arm.

ALPER
Evelyn, your grandfather suggested

You

we

take you to

always liked to play with the children's toys in

there,

you remember ?

Come along, and

we'll

my house.
my cellar

have a good time.

ZITORSKY

{Giving schlissel an overcoat)


Here. Give this to Alper.

{He

hurries off to the front door of the synagogue.)

HARRIS
{In the process of laying on his phylacteries)

"And from thy wisdom, O Most High God, Thou shalt reserve
forme

."
.

{He dribbles off into inaudibility.)

ALPER
{Placing a tentative hand on the girl's shoulder)

Evelyn, dear

{She loo\s up, startled?)

{Leaning out the front door, searching up and down the

Oh, it's cold out here.


48

street)

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

(To
I

who

schlissel,

is

hurriedly putting on his

own

overcoat)

have a feeling we're going to have trouble here.

SCHLISSEL
I've got

Evelyn

your coat here.

(A

and she begins


alarmed. This

is

were born. (He

coming out
to her feet.
in the

to

moan

softly)

Evelyn dear, please don't be

Mr. Alper here who has known you


is

the

of

She

strange animal-like grunt escapes the girl,

getting a
girl,

little

and he

you

since

panic\y at the strange sounds

grab her arm to help her

tries to

bursts into a shrill scream, electrifying everybody

synagogue with the exception of the cabalist, who

oblivious to everything, zitorsky,

who

is

has just closed the front

door, stands frozen with horror. Arthur, sun\ in despondency,

The

loo\s up, startled.

sound has been some

mumbled prayers)

old man, harris, pauses briefly, as

distant buzzing,

Evelyn,

and then goes bac\

the

if

to his

my dear girl, for heaven's sakes

the girl
(Screaming out)

Leave me alone! Leave me alone!

ARTHUR

(Coming

to schlissel,

who

shuts the office door quickly)

What's going on in there ?

SCHLISSEL
It's

nothing,

it's

nothing.
49

THE TENTH MAN


THE GIRL
{Screaming)

They are my seven sons!

My seven sons!

Who is trying earnestly to get out of the office)

Who closed this door

ZITORSKY

{Reaching for the front door)


I'm getting out of here.

SCHLISSEL

{To zitorsky)

Where are you going ?


{But zitorsky has already fled into the street.)

ARTHUR

{To schlissel)
What's all this screaming ?
(alper, at last out of the office,

comes scurrying

to

SCHLISSEL.)

ALPER
I

this

put
fit

my hand

on her arm

(arthur

strides to the

girl stares at him,

and at bay.)
50

to help her up,

and she burst into

of screaming.

open doorway of the

hunched now

office,

the

in terror, frightened

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR

(To schlissel)

What have you been doing to this girl?


SCHLISSEL

The girl is possessed by a dybbuk.

What?
schlissel

(Toalper)
Zitorsky ran out in the street like a kangaroo.

ALPER
Listen,

maybe we should call somebody.

Listen,

what is this ?

ARTHUR

ALPER

My
There

dear young man, there


is

an insane

girl in the

is

no reason

Rabbi's

office,

to

alarm yourself.

but she appears to

have quieted down.

ARTHUR

What do you mean, there's an insane girl in the Rabbi's office ?


ALPER
Yes, she
really,

is

a catatonic schizophrenic, occasionally violent, but

go back to your

seat.

There

is

no cause

for alarm.

5i

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR

Am

to understand,

sir,

that

it is

a practice of yours to

keep

insane girls in your Rabbi's office?

No, no. Oh,

dear,

must promise,
tween

us.

(To

my

suppose

we

shall

have

to tell

him. But you

dear fellow, to keep this whole matter be-

schlissel) Zitorsky, you say, took to his heels?

SCHLISSEL

Absolutely flew out of the door.

Well,

moment.

really can't
I

was a

little

blame him.

It

was quite an apprehensive

shaken myself. (He pee\s into the

Yes, she seems to be quite apathetic again.

think

office)

we just

better

leave her alone for the time being.

ARTHUR
Look, what is going on here ?
ALPER

My

dear fellow, you are, of course, understandably confused.

The girl, you

see, is

possessed by a dybbuk.

ARTHUR
Yes, of course. Well, that explains everything.

ALPER
Well, of course,

dybbuk
52

is

how would

he

know what

dybbuk

is ?

a migratory soul that possesses the body of another

THE TENTH MAN


human being in order to return to heaven. It is a Lurian doctrine,
actually tracing back to the Essenes,

suppose, but popularized

during the thirteenth century by the Spanish


several articles
is

on the matter

Moyshe Alper, and

at

one time

repute, (zitorsky appears in the

Come

was a

in, Zitorsky,

Look, are you trying to


think

is

possessed by

father or

tell

wrote

My name

journalist of

some

doorway again, peering

come in. The


(zitorsky approaches them warily?)

vously in)

cabalists. I

for Yiddish periodicals.

me you

ner-

girl is quiet again.

have a

some demon? Where

girl in there
is

somebody who should be responsible

you

her mother or

for her ?

ALPER
If there

in the

first

were someone responsible for her, would she be insane


place ?

ARTHUR

Of course, this is none of my business

You are a good fellow and let me put you at ease. The girl is in
is going to hurt her. Her grandfather, who
adores her more than his own life, has gone off for a short while.

good hands. Nobody

zitorsky

To Williamsburg on the Brighton train.


SCHLISSEL

The Brighton train takes you to Coney Island.


53

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

You said the Double G.

All right,

all right.

ARTHUR

Of course, this is none of my business.

(To Arthur)
I

can understand your concern;

it

shows you are a good fellow,

but really the matter is well in hand.

(The front door opens and there now enter the sexton
and two young men in their thirties, apparently the kessler boys,

who

are none too

this cold winter

happy about being roused on

morning. They stand disconsolately

around in the bac\ of the synagogue.)

THE SEXTON

Here are two more, the Kessler boys.


ALPER

Now we'll have ten for a quorum.


ZITORSKY
Kessler? Kessler? Oh, yes, the stationery store.

knew your

father.

(There
ries

is

a general flurry of movement, the sexton hur-

about the ritual of baring his

left

arm, donning the

prayer shawl and phylacteries, walking nervously about,


54

THE TENTH MAN


mumbling

his prayers rapidly.

again, loo\s into

slowly into the

own.

He

the rabbi's

office,

Arthur, quite disturbed

office at

the girl

is

the girl, then moves

again in a world of her

door and studies the

closes the

girl, schlissel,

alper and zitorsky watch him warily, taking off their


overcoats again

and preparing

services. Harris' shrill

to stay for the

impending

quavering voice suddenly leaps

up into audibility again.)

"Thou

shalt set apart all that

and the firsding


shall

that

openeth the

womb of the Lord,

cometh of a beast which thou

belong to the Lord

shalt have,

it

."

(To alper)

What
office ?

are

we going to do when

He'll see the girl,

the Rabbi tries to get into his

and that will be the end of our exorcism.

What shall we tell the Rabbi ?


{The front door
comes striding

of the synagogue opens,

efficiently in, right

on cue.

and the

rabbi

He is a young

man

in his early thirties, neatly dressed if a little thread-

bare,

and carrying a

briefcase?)

zitorsky

Peace be with you, Rabbi.

the rabbi
Peace be with you.
ALPER
{Intercepting the rabbi as he heads for his office)

How do you do, Rabbi.


55

THE TENTH MAN


(the rabbi nods as he strides

to the

door of his

office,

where schlissel blocks the way.)


SCHLISSEL

We have ten men today, Rabbi.


THE RABBI

Good. {He reaches for the door

to his office)

I'll

just get

my

phylacteries.

ALPER
{Seizing zitorsky's phylacteries)

Oh, here, use these. It's late, Rabbi.


THE RABBI
(

Fine. Well,

Taking the phylacteries)

let's start

the services.

{He turns bac\ to the synagogue proper. From


each man's voice rises into prayer.)

The

56

Curtain Falls

all

around,

ACT TWO

Scene

Fifteen minutes later.

zitorsky

is

reading the prayers. He stands before the lectern on

the raised platform, singing the primitive chants.

"And we beseech thee according to thine abundant mercies, O


Lord

r
THE SEXTON

Young Kessler, come here and open the Ark.


{The younger kessler ascends the platform and opens the

Ar\ by drawing the curtains and sliding the doors apart.)

ZITORSKY

"And

it

came

said, Rise up,

to pass,

when

the ark set forward, that

Moses

O Lord, and Thine enemies shall be scattered, and

they that hate

Thee

shall flee before

Thee. For out of Zion

shall

go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."

quorum plunges into


Thy name, O Sovereign of

mumbled

(Immediately, the rest of the

response: "Blessed be

the World!
59

THE TENTH MAN


Blessed be

Thy crown, and Thy abiding

place!" Jewish prayers

are conducted in a reader-congregation pattern, although fre-

quently the reader's vocalized statements and the congregation

mumbled responses merge and run along simultaneously In this


specific moment of prayer, when the Ar\ has been opened and
.

the Torah

is

about to be ta\en out, the demarcation between

reader and congregation

doors of the

Ar\

are

is clear-cut. The sliding brown wooden


now open, the sexton is reaching in to ta\e

out the exquisitely ornamented Torah, which,

brocaded velvet cover

parchment

is

ta\en

off,

will

show

divided on two carved

scroll

ton gets the Torah

out,

rollers.

he hands it carefully

when

itself to

its

lovely

be a large

When the sexwho has

to zitorsky,

been chosen this day for the honor of holding the Torah until
is

to be read from zitorsky,


.

ing along with the congregation although more audibly,

lows his voice to ring out

Thy Law, and

clearly,

May

graph of prayers) "...


heart in

it

who, as today's reader, has been read-

it

be

to grant

marking the end of

Thy

my

now al-

this para-

gracious will to open

heart's desires,

my

and those of

Thy people Israel, for our benefit, throughout a peaceful life."


let us exalt His name
together." (Again, the congregation leaps into mumbled reall

(Pause) "Magnify the Lord with me, and

sponse. "Thine,
glory,

and the

Lord,

victory,

is

and the power, and the

the greatness,

and the majesty

."

zitorsky marches

solemnly to the front of the lectern, carrying the Torah before


passes him. There

is

now

the ritual of removing the velvet cover, and the Torah

is

laid

him. Each

man

fysses the

Torah

as

it

upon the lectern, zitorsky, Harris and the sexton form a hovering group of three old betallithed Jews over it. the rabbi stands
rochjng slightly bac\ and forth to the

left of

the lectern. Off the

raised platform, but immediately by the railing, stands


list,

60

the caba-

rocking bac\ and forth and praying, alper and schlissel

THE TENTH MAN


mumbling their responses. The two

stand at various places,

kess-

ler boys have removed their coats and wear prayer shawls, but
still

stand as close to the front door as they can. arthur landau

stands, leaning against the wall of

the

rabbi's office, quite in-

trigued by the solemn prayers and rituals, the girl


rabbi's office, but she is standing
to the prayers.

Her face is peaceful now and

zitorsky's voice rises to indicate the

prayer) "Ascribe

all

is still

the

in

now, listening as well as she can

end

quite lovely. Again


of a paragraph of

of your greatness unto our

God, and render

honor to the Law."


{There

is

now

a quic\

mumbled

conference

among

the

three old Jews at the lectern, then the sexton suddenly


leans out and calls to the

two kessler boys in the rear.)

the sexton
Kessler,

you want to read from the Torah ?

THE ELDER KESSLER

No, no, no. Get somebody else.


THE SEXTON
Alper ? (alper nods and ma\es his way
ton's voice, a high,
air,

whining incantation,

announcing the

to the lectern,

is

the

Moyshe son of Abram will read


Reb Moses Ha'Kohan, son of Abram,

and speak the blessing on the Torah. "Blessed be He,

Lord

sex-

fact that

from the Torah) Rise up,


Holiness gave the

the

rises piercingly into

Law

unto his people

Israel,

the

who in His
Law of the

perfect."

CONGREGATION
{Scattered response)

"And

ye that cleave unto the Lord your

one of you

God

are alive every

this day."

61

THE TENTH MAN


{Now at the lectern, raises his head and recites quickly)
"Blessed

is

the

Lord who is to be blessed for ever and ever."

"Blessed

is

the

Lord who is to be blessed

CONGREGATION
for ever

and ever."

ALPER

"Blessed art Thou,

who hast chosen

us

Blessed art Thou,

from

Lord our God, King


all

of the Universe,

peoples and hast given us

Thy Law.

O Lord, who givest the Law."


CONGREGATION

Amen!
THE SEXTON
."
"And Moses said
{There are now four mumbling old Jews huddled over the
.

lectern.lt all

becomes very indistinguishable; the sexton's

now and then to indicate he is


moves into the reader's position and begins

piercing tenor rises audibly


reading, alper

to read from the

Torah, bending his \nees and twisting his

body and hunching over theTorah, peering


lous

at the meticu-

Hebrew lettering inscribed therein, schlissel and the

kessler boys find seats where they were standing, as does

the cabalist. the rabbi and Harris are seated on the raised
platform. In the rabbi's office, the girl decides to go out
into the

synagogue proper. She opens the door and moves

a few steps out. Arthur hears her and turns to her warily.)

{Quite lucidly and amiably)

Excuse me, sir, are they reading from the Torah now ?
62

THE TENTH MAN


(She peers over Arthur's shoulder toward the old

men

at

the lectern.)

ARTHUR
Yes,

think

so.

(He watches
there

is

tative,

her carefully. She seems

all

right

something excessively ingenuous about

now.
her,

Still,

a ten-

wide-eyed, gently smiling innocence.)

THE GIRL
Is

my grandfather here ?
(She peers nervously around the synagogue.)

ARTHUR

Which one would be your grandfather ?


THE GIRL

(Growing panic)
No,

he's not here. I see

Mr. Alper, but

don't see

my

grand-

father.

ARTHUR
I'm sure he will be back soon.

(His calmness reassures her.)

THE GIRL
(She studies this strange young man)
I

as

think

all

synagogues should be shabby because I think of God

being very poor as a child.

What do you think of God as ?


ARTHUR

I'm afraid

think of

God

as the Director of Internal

Revenue.

(the girl laughs brightly and then immediately smothers


her laughter, aware she is in a solemn synagogue.)
63

THE TENTH MAN


THE GIRL
You're irreverent. {Frowning, she goes into the rabbi's
plops

down on

much

his swivel chair,

li\e a child,

arthur follows her

tentatively , studying her

cautiously, yet ta\en by her ingenuousness.

frightened loo\ at him)

office,

and swivels bac\ and forth, very


She darts a quic\

Were you in here just before ?


ARTHUR

Well, yes.

THE GIRL

Did I

did

say anything?

ARTHUR
{Amiably)
Well, yes.

THE GIRL
{Sighing)

Well,

I see.

institutions.

might

as well tell you. I've

{She loo\s quic\ly at him.

been to several mental

He

smiles at her)

You

don't seem very disconcerted by that.

ARTHUR

Oh,

expect

it

might be hard

to find

somebody who couldn't

do with occasional confinement in a mental institution.


{In the synagogue, the sexton

now

calls

harris to read

from the Torah.)

THE GIRL
{She frowns)

Did my grandfather

say

when he would be back

was going ?
{She starts from her seat frightened again.)
64

or where he

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
I

understand

he'll

be back soon.

Are you the doctor ?


ARTHUR

No. You don't have to be the least bit afraid of me.

(She brightens)

My grandfather and I are very close. I'm much closer to him


than I am to my own father. I'd rather not talk about my father,
if

you don't mind.

was nine years


is

It's

old, I

the practice of really

want

danger spot for me.

shaved

my

the hair off

You know, when

my head because that

Orthodox Jewish women.

to be a rabbi's wife,

wig. That's one of

all

mean,

if

you

you must shear your hair and wear a

compulsive dreams.

keep dreaming of

myself as the wife of a handsome young rabbi with a fine beard

down

to his waist

forelocks

on

his

and a very

brow.

stern face

and prematurely gray

have discovered through

many

cessful years of psychiatric treatment that religion has a

sexual connotation for me.

some again about


like
I

my

Oh,

unsuc-

profound

dear, I'm afraid I'm being tire-

psychiatric history. Really, being insane

is

being fat. You can talk about nothing else. Please forgive me.

am sure I am boring you to death.


ARTHUR

No, not

at all. It's nice to

hear somebody talk with passion

about anything, even their insanity.


65

THE TENTH MAN


THE GIRL
{Staring at him)

The word doesn't bother you ?

What word ?

Insanity.

ARTHUR

Good
other

heavens, no. I'm a lawyer. Insanity in one form or an-

is

what

fills

my

anteroom. Besides, I'm being psycho-

analyzed myself and I'm something of a bore about that too.


are a bright

young

thing.

You

How old are you?

Eighte

{Staring at her)

My God, you're a pretty kid!

can hardly believe you are psy-

chopathic. Are you very advanced ?

THE GIRL
Pretty bad. I'm being institutionalized again. Dr. Moli-

neaux's Sanitarium in
lucinate a great deal

Long Island. I'm a litde paranoid and hal-

and have very

for brief interludes like this,

and

the middle of a sentence into

happen, you must be very

little

might

sense of reality, except


slip off

some incoherency.

realistic

If that

with me. Harsh

most efficacious way to deal with schizophrenics.


66

any minute in
should

reality is the

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR

You seem well read on the matter.

I'm a voracious reader.

have so

little else

to

do with myself.
I

am

won't be as depressing an experience as you might think.

If I

Will you come and

visit

me

at

Dr. Molineaux's hospital ?

awfully fond of you.

Yes, of course,

I will.

THE GIRL
It

am

not in the violent ward,

the commissary

will probably be allowed to

go

to

and have an ice-cream soda with you. The worst

of an insane asylum

is

really

how poorly

dressed the inmates are.

They all wear old cable-stitched sweaters. I do like to look pretty.


(A vacuous loo\ is beginning to come across her face) They ask
me to be in a lot of movies, you know, when I have time. Did you
see David and Bathsheba with Susan Hay ward ? That was really
me. I don't tell anybody that. They don't want me to make
movies. My mother, I mean. She doesn't even go to synagogue on
Saturday. You're the new Rabbi, you know. Sometimes, I'm the
Rabbi, but they're

all

afraid of me.

The temple is sixty cubits long

and made of cypress and overlaid with gold. The burnished

Roman

legions clank outside the gates,

The Ten Commandments?


was

in that.

man

is

here.

Do you

saw

was the girl who danced.

here, too,

you know, and

see that

you know. Did you

that Tuesday,

my

boy over there?

see

Wednesday.

was in that. Mr. Hirsch-

grandfather. Everybody's

Go away. Leave

us alone

He's insane. He's really Mr. Hirschman the Cabalist. He's making a golem.

You ought to come here, Rabbi.


67

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
(

Who has been listening fascinated, now says firmly)

am not the Rabbi, Evelyn.

{She regards him

briefly.)

THE GIRL
Well, we're

making a golem and

You are not making a golem, Evelyn.


(She pauses, staring down at the floor.
moves quickly across her
moment, she mumbles

A grimace of pain

and then

face

leaves

it.

After a

Thank you. (Suddenly she begins to cry and she throws herself
on Arthur's

breast, clinging to

caressing her as he

would a

him, and he holds her gently,

child)

Oh,

can't bear being insane.

(Gently)
I

always thought that since the insane

was more pleasurable than

this

made their own world it

one that is made for us.

THE GIRL

(Moving away)
Oh, no,
desolation.
sibly

it is

unbearably painful.

You

It is

the most indescribable

are all alone in deserted streets.

You cannot pos-

imagine it.

ARTHUR

commit suicide so many times


now it has become something of a family joke. Once, before I was
I'm afraid

68

can. I have tried to

THE TENTH MAN


divorced,

my

wife stopped in to

out to shop "Oh, by the way,


:

and

tell

a neighbor before she

you smell

gas, don't

slash

my wrists

a last-minute telephone call

and there

themselves a thousand times, but one day


will forget to

went

worry about

only Arthur killing himself again." Suicides, you know,

it. It's

kill

if

will be

make

I'll

no stomach-pumping Samaritans to run up the stairs and

my bedroom door down and rush me


make it some day I assure you of that.

smash

off to Bellevue.

I'll

{Regarding him with sweet interest)

You don't look as sad as all that.


ARTHUR

Oh, I have made a profession of ironic detachment. It depresses

me

to hear that insanity

is

as forlorn as

anything

go crazy myself some day since

ways hoped

to

no talent for

suicide.

else. I

had

al-

have apparently

THE GIRL
I

always thought

Life

are

My

my
I

ways

if

you're sane, and unbearable

parents were very poor so

life

condemning the

rich for

spent the

my

Communist Party when

to seduce girls.

if

twenty

first

childhood night-

was quite a Bernard Barricade when

lege. I left the

easier

were only sane.

my

own

mares. Oh,

if I

you

life.

would be wonderful

cannot think of a more meaningless sham than

merely dreary

is

sensitive.

years of

life

was

in col-

discovered there were

turned from reproaching society for

my loneliness to reproaching my mother, and stormed out of her


house to take a room for myself on the East Side.

Then

I fell

69

in

THE TENTH MAN


love

that

is

to say,

found living alone

so unbearable

was

will-

me because all her friends were marrying somebody. Needless to say, we told each other how deeply in
ing to marry. She married

we

love

were.

you know, are


is

We

wanted very much

to

frantic about being happy.

be happy. Americans,

The American nirvana

man and his wife watching television amiably and then turn-

ing off the lights and

effortlessly

making

the

most ardent love to

each other. Television unfortunately

is

a bore and ardent love

an immense drain on one's energy.

began

my

night at

managed

law

my

wife entirely. For this deceit,

successful,
I

was

to

quite as bored with

me

as I

was with

her.

for fear that

if I

paused for

trembling sanity of my
feet

life

to

know

member whether
gan

to

about
I

we were

drove myself mercilessly

one moment, the whole

just

my

went

to a psychoanalyst

when

childhood

took a taxi or a bus to his

day.

re-

be-

drink myself into stupors, pursuing other men's wives,

mirror and could barely


meaningless.
prestige,

make out my

have had everything a

stared into the

features. Life

man

is

think of

utterly

can get out of

life

power, money, women, children, and a handsome home

only three blocks from the Scarsdale Country Club, and


is I

want

to get out of this as fast as

quite upset by now,

den welling of

tears.

and has

quite a theatrical

can.

all I

(He

and says

way when I want to.

get a
)

can

has be-

to avert his face to hide

He ta\es a moment to

himself, readouts his sardonic air

70

who

could barely

office that

and generally behaving badly. One morning,

come

slim,

would come crashing down about my

without the slightest sound.

wanted

wife,

We decided

have children because we couldn't possibly believe

that miserable together. All this while

called

my

ambitious and was respected by everyone including

who was

is

work day and

and besides becoming very

office,

to avoid

to

a sud-

good grip on

As you

see, I

have

THE TENTH MAN


{Brightly)

Oh, I think you

are wonderfully wise.

ARTHUR
Oh,
wisest

own King Solomon,


man who ever lived, when he wrote Ecclesiastes.
it

was

said best by your very

Oh, King Solomon didn't write

Ecclesiastes.

That was written

by an anonymous Jewish scholar in Alexandria.


too

much stock

in

it.

Weariness was

the rage

all

the

wouldn't put

among the Hel-

lenized Jews.

ARTHUR
{Staring at her)

You are an amazing kid.


{She smiles bac\ at him exuberantly unabashedly show,

ing her fondness for him.

away.

He

It

embarrasses him, and he turns

opens the door, and loo\s out into the syna-

gogue, where the reading of the Torah has come to an


end.)

THE RABBI
{Singing out)
"Blessed art Thou,

Lord our God, King of the Universe,

who hast given us the Law of truth, and hast planted everywhere
life in our midst. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who givest the Law."
{There is a scattered mumbled response from the old men
in the synagogue, zitorsky now takes the Torah and holds
it

up above his head and chants?)


ZITORSKY

"And

this

is

the

Law which

Moses

set

before the children of


7i

THE TENTH MAN


Israel,

according to the

of Moses."

commandment

(The four men on

zitorsky marches slowly bac\ to the

mumble

of the

Lord by the hand

the platform form a small group as

Ar\

carrying the Torah.

of prayers rustles through the synagogue, zitorsky's

them praise the name of the Lord;


name alone is exalted."
(He carefully places the Torah bac\ into the Ar\.

voice rises out) "Let

ble of prayer runs through the synagogue. All the

for

His

A rummen

in

the synagogue are standing now.)

ARTHUR
(Turning to the girl)
They're putting the Torah back.

Is

the service over?

No. I have a wonderful book I want to give to you. Mr. Hirschman, our Community

Cabalist, gave

it

to

me.

It is called

the

Book of Splendor, a terribly mystical book. And you are a mystic,


you know.

Oh,

am

Yes.

life

I?

never met anyone

as desperately as

who wanted to know the meaning of

you do.

have

to get the

book

(schlissel po\es his head into the office

Arthur that he is needed outside?)

think they need

me outside.

(He moves to the door.)


72

for you.

and

indicates to

THE TENTH MAN


THE GIRL
Yes,

we

really shouldn't

have been talking during the

(arthur goes out of the


him.

office, closing

service.

the door behind

He joins schlissel, who is a few steps away,

mutter-

ing the prayers.)

ARTHUR
(Shading his head)

What a pity,

really.

like a sensible sort of

mons ? You
is

really

A lovely girl. What a pity. Now, you look


man. What

should

call

is all

this

nonsense about de-

her father or mother or whoever

it

who is responsible for her.


SCHLISSEL

Young man,

if

we

called her father he

would come down and

take her away.

ARTHUR
Yes.

That would be the point, wouldn't it ?


SCHLISSEL

Then what happens to our exorcism ?


ARTHUR

What exorcism ?
SCHLISSEL
Listen, we've got to exorcise the dybbuk.

ARTHUR
(Aghast)
Exorcism!

(the sexton leans over the railing of the platform and ad-

monishes them in a heavy whisper.)


73

THE TENTH MAN


THE SEXTON
Sssshhhh!
(schlissel promptly turns bac\ to muttering his prayers.

Arthur stares at him with vague disbelief.)


ARTHUR

Are you serious ?


(zitorsky's voice rises up loud and clear.)

"...
earth;

And

it is

on that day

said,

and the Lord

shall the

be king over

shall

all

the

Lord be One, and His Name One."

(the congregation, which had been

sitting,

again, the sexton leans over the railing

and

now

stands

calls to

the

KESSLER boys.)

THE SEXTON
Kessler, stand up.

Now is the time for your memorial prayers.

{The two kessler boys nod,

down

stand,

at their prayer boo\s. Harris

and loo\ unhappily

po\es a palsied finger

onto a page to show them where to read, and the two


young men now begin to read painstakingly and with no
idea of what they are reading.)
KESSLER BOYS

"Magnified and sanctified be His great

which

He hath created

according to His

Name

will.

in the

May He

world

establish

His kingdom in your lifetime and in your days, and in the


time of
say ye,

all

Amen."
CONGREGATION

Amen. "Let His great Name be blessed for ever and ever."
74

life-

the house of Israel, speedily and at a near time; and

THE TENTH MAN


KESSLER BOYS

and

"Blessed, praised,

glorified, exalted, extolled

adored, and lauded, be the

beyond, yea, beyond

all

and honored,

Name of the Holy One, blessed be He,

blessings

and hymns,

which are uttered in the world, and say

ye,

and songs,

praises

Amen."

CONGREGATION

Amen.
(The

front door to the synagogue bursts open

man thrusts himself in, obviously much

and fore-

distraught; not so

distraught, however, that he doesn't automatically join in

the" Amen")
KESSLER BOYS

"May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life for us and
for all Israel; and say ye, Amen."
CONGREGATION

Amen.
KESSLER BOYS

"May he who maketh peace


us and for

all Israel,

in his high places,

make peace

for

and say ye, Amen."


CONGREGATION

Amen.
(The synagogue

bursts into a quic\

except for schlissel,

who

mumble

scurries over to

of prayers,

foreman, fore-

man stares at him, white with panic.)


schlissel

What happened? You


Railroad to Adantic
lantic

got lost?

Avenue

You

Station,

took the

and you got

Long

Island

lost in the

At-

Avenue Station?
75

THE TENTH MAN


FOREMAN

What Atlantic Avenue Station ?

couldn't even find the

Long

Island Railroad!
SCHLISSEL
Idiot!

You

are an innocent child! Really! Services are over in

a minute, and

I'll

take you myself, (alper

is

leaning over the

making obvious gestures, as if to as\


what had happened. Even zitorsky loo\s up from his hunched

railing of the platform,

position at the lectern, schlissel announces in a heavy whisper,


as he starts to put

on

his coat

Long Island Railway Station,

He

couldn't even find the

(alper clasps his brow, the sexton

turns around to schlissel and admonishes him with a heavy

"Ssshhh!!!" foreman has begun walking about,

mumbling the
As he

prayers by heart, automatically a part of the service again.

passes schlissel, he indicates with a ]er\ of his head that he

would
She's

li\e to

all right.

\now

of the well-being of his granddaughter)

Don't worry about her.

(foreman nods and continues mumbling


the rabbi's

office,

the girl, who has been

his prayers. In

sitting pensively,

now stands, puts her coat on, goes out of the office, calmly
crosses to the rear of the synagogue,

front door. Absolutely no one

is

and

exits

through the

aware she has gone, the

now bursts into a loud prayer, obviously the


men on the platform begin
meander off, and all those who are still wearing their

congregation
last

to

one of the service, since the

phylacteries begin to strip

them

off,

even as they say the

words of the prayer.)


congregation

"He is the Lord of the Universe, who reigned ere any creature yet
was formed.
76

THE TENTH MAN


At

when all things were made by His


His name proclaimed King.

the time

desire,

And after all things shall have had an end, He alone,


est

then was

the dread-

one shall reign

Who was, who

is,

and who

will be in glory."

(schlissel, alper, zitorsky,

and foreman have

all rattled

quickly through this final paean, impatient to close off the


service,

while the others continue the terminal recital.

four old

men form

The

a huddled group by the front door.)

{Rattling it off)

"And with my spirit, my


will not fear. Amen."

body, also; the Lord

is

with me, and

ALPER

Amen, what happened ?


SCHLISSEL

I'm taking him myself right away.


ZITORSKY

What happened, you got lost ?


FOREMAN
I

asked this fellow in the

street, I said

"Could you

."
.

SCHLISSEL

(To alper, pointing to Arthur)


Listen, keep an eye

Rabbi about the

girl.

on

that fellow there.

All right, listen.

He

shall

wants

to tell the

have to lead Fore-

man by the hand to Korpotchniker. All right, listen,

we're going.

Good-bye. Peace be unto you.


77

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

Take the Long Island Railroad


tion. Then take the Brighton train.

to the Atlantic

Avenue

Sta-

SCHLISSEL

Oh,

for heaven's sakes.

Are you presuming

to tell

me how

to

get to Williamsburg ?

ALPER
All right, go already.
SCHLISSEL

{Muttering as he leads foreman out the door)

The Brighton

train. If

we

took the Brighton train,

we would

spend the day in Coney Island.

{He exits with foreman,

closing the door.

The

rest of the

congregation has finally come to the end of the service?)

CONGREGATION
(

Their scattered voices rising to a coda)

"And with my spirit, my body


will not fear.

Amen

also; the

Lord

is

with me, and

zitorsky and alper

Amen!
{There

is

mumble
street,
is

a flurry of dispersion.

The two

kessler boys

good-byes and disappear quickly out into the

buttoning their coats against the cold. Harris,

who

slowly and tremblingly removing his phylacteries, con-

tinues slowly to dress himself again throughout the rest of

the scene, the sexton


various phylacteries

now

scurries about, gathering the

and prayer shawls and putting them

bac\ into the velvet prayer bags and then putting


78

all

the

THE TENTH MAN


velvet bags

and prayer books bac\

ton they were

all

into the cardboard car-

ta\en from, an activity he pursues with

his usual frenetic desperation.

Only the rabbi and the

cabalist continue to say a few extra prayers:


teen Principles of Faith," etc.

ting

"The Thir-

the cabalist reads them

sit-

down, hunched over his prayer boo\. alper and zitor-

sky have genuine cause for alarm concerning Arthur landau, for he has ambled

down

to the platform,

where he

stands waiting for the rabbi to finish his prayers.

They

watch Arthur guardedly. Harris suddenly decides to be


communicative.

He

lifts

his old face to alper

and

zitor-

sky.)

HARRIS

Ah, am I thirsty!
ALPER
(

Watching Arthur carefully)

Good.
(the rabbi, having finished his
starts

down from

last prayer,

now

turns and

the platform. Arthur steps forward to

meet him.)

ARTHUR
Rabbi

THE RABBI
(
I'll

Walking by him)

be with you in just a moment.

{He

strides directly to his office, alper leaps to intercept

him.)
ALPER

Rabbi

79

THE TENTH MAN


THE RABBI
{Continuing into his office)
I'll

be with you in a minute, Alper.

{He goes into

his office

and

brow and shrugs, zitorsky mutters an involuntary "Oy." They both nod their heads and wait
with the sufferance that is the badge of all their tribe. Arthur
closes the door, alper clasps his

moves a few steps to the rabbi's door and also


the rabbi

sits

down all

business

spea\s into the phone) I'd like to

waits. In the office,

and dials a number. Then he


make

a person-to-person call to

Rabbi Harry Gersh in Wilmington, Delaware. The number in

Wilmington

hums

is

Kings wood 3-1973

Thank you

{He

a snatch of the service, alper \noc\s lightly on the door,

and, receiving no answer, opens the door

and comes

into the

He staresopen-mouthednoting the absence of the


He tugs at his Vandyke beard in contemplation) Yes,

office.

girl.

Alper?

ALPER
Well,

I'll tell

you, Rabbi

{He

scowls, a

then turns and goes out of the office) Excuse me.

THE RABBI

{On the phone)


Locust 6-0932.

ALPER

{To zitorsky)
She's not there.

She's not there ?

80

little

flustered,

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

have to go out and look for her.

I'll

{Frowning

contemplation, alper puts his coat on

in

slowly and exits from the synagogue, the rabbi


the phone.

His

is still

on

voice rises to the pitch usually used for

long-distance calls.)

THE RABBI
Harry,

how are you, this is Bernard here,

last night,

my

voice after

all

these years,

how are

just gotten

advice since

how much

your

first

you, Shirley, and the kids, oh,


it.

have already been


.

And what

saindy, scholarly,

But

and

I've got things

its first

Dinner,
you'll

a one-year contract ?

truly pious

You've got
in

Good,

isn't

bad

always thought out-of-town

Well, what

You

are a

man, and you have no

busi-

to be a go-getter,

now is in

Harry, unfortu-

an unbelievable

moving now.

I've started a

state of

you

to

mick.

listen,

what do

little-league baseball

have sixteen boys in


I

know

is

putting

The Man Who Came

to

come, Harry, bring the wife, I'm sure

have an entertaining evening.

you organize a

Youth Group,

Club which

People's Club, a Theatre

production next month,

I'd like

rupt you.

Well, five thousand

expect to see us in prouder premises within a year.

Young Married
on

is it,

The synagogue I am

nately.

neglect

my wife tells me you

give you ? Especially you, Harry.

and

ness being a rabbi.

Harry,

fired several times


.

for a first congregation although

paid better.

wasn't in

to hear your

congregation and you wanted some

are you getting ?

kind of advice can

I'm sorry

was wonderful

it

wonderful, I'm glad to hear

that's

have

wife Sylvia said

And let me recommend that


team.

It's

a marvelous gim-

my Sunday School now

about baseball ?

Harry,

let

Harry,

me inter-

How in heaven's name are you going to convey an awe


81

THE TENTH MAN


of

God

stages?

who

to boys

model rocket

will race out of

hundred

ships five

To my

God

boys,

a retired

is

rush to the printer's to get some

go

Town

to the

fact, I

was

gation,

in

also

{He

printed,

my pulpit every

religion.
to

my

My

Of

course,

pressed you ?

God

sad

it's
.

it.

and

have

and from there

my

as

first

at

them

congre-

stood up

for violating the

charge disappeared into a morass of

when

don't care

long as they come to the synagogue

Harry,

been

it's

Come and see

Of course. Good-bye.
{He hangs up,
case,

Well, I'm

congregations dwindled, and

mortgages. Harry, I'm afraid there are times


they believe in

was bringing the word of God.

Sabbath and carped

own

one synagogue given

if

on you,

almost forgot to come to the

says gently) Harry, with

thought

rituals of their

Hall for a permit to conduct bingo games. In

so busy this morning,

synagogue

mechanic

raffles

classes to fly

exploding in three

When I hang up

organizing a bazaar right now.


to

your Hebrew

feet in the air

us,

my

Harry

stands, starts looking

strides out into the

Have I
Good luck

pleasure.
.

around for

synagogue

still

de.

his brief-

searching for

He is interrupted by Arthur.)
ARTHUR

Rabbi,

have to hurry off, but before I go I would like

you about that


possessed by a

some kind

girl in

your

office.

demon and I

These old

men

tell

to talk to

me

she

is

think they are intending to perform

of an exorcism.

must caution you

that that girl

should be treated only by competent psychiatrists and the most


frightful

harm might come

to her

if

she

is

subjected to anything

Look, do you know about this exorcism, because

like

believe

82

you would tolerate any

cannot

THE TENTH MAN


THE RABBI

Who has been trying very hard to follow all this)


I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage.
(

ARTHUR
I'm talking about the girl in your office.

THE RABBI
I'm somewhat

new

here and don't

name. Please be patient with me. Now,

know
I

take

everybody yet by
it

you want

to get

married.

(For a
is

moment arthur

briefly considers the possibility

he

not really awake.)

ARTHUR
(Pensively)

This whole morning


Rabbi, there

is

is

beginning to seem absolutely

a girl in your office

who is insane.

THE RABBI
In

my

office?

(the rabbi

is

suddenly distracted by zitorsky,

who has been wandering around the synagogue, looking up and


down between the rows of chairs, and is now looking into the
bathroom

at the upstage

end of the synagogue) Mr.

Zitorsky,

what are you doing ?


ZITORSKY

(To arthur, who is moving quickly to the rabbi's office)


Well, have you ever seen such a thing ?

The

girl

has vanished

into thin air.

(He

shuffles to

the

rabbi, absolutely awe-struck by

it all.)

83

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR

(Now examining the interior of the rabbi's office)


I

suspect something

more mundane,

like

simply walking out

the door.

{He moves

quickly to the front door, which

now

opens,

and alper returns, frowning with thought?)


ALPER

(To Arthur)
Well,

is

that something or isn't it?

looked up and down,

couldn't see her.

(arthur scowls and goes out into the

street,

where he

stands looking up and down.)

THE RABBI
Mr. Zitorsky, if you will just tell me what this is all about.
ZITORSKY

(His eyes wide with awe)


Rabbi, Mr.

Foreman brought

morning, and he

said:

"She

is

granddaughter

his

down

this

possessed by a dybbuk!" Well,

what can you say when someone tells you something like that ?
THE RABBI

Oh, Mr. Foreman's granddaughter. Yes, of course, I

see.

ZITORSKY

So he took us into your


spoke to us!
voice of the
eternity,

What an

office

dybbuk spoke

and the

girl's

light! Fire flashed

where she was standing, and

experience!
to us. It

You
was

cannot imagine!
like a

it

The

hollow echo of

whole body was illuminated by a frame of

from her mouth. All of us were

there, ask

THE TENTH MAN


Alper here,

he'll tell

you.

swear

this

on

my soul! The girl began

to rise into the air!

ALPER
Actually, Zitorsky

is

coloring the story a

little.

ZITORSKY
{Riveted by the marvelousness of the fantasy)

What are you

talking about?

You saw

it

with your

own

eyes!

ALPER
Well,

it

was an experience, I must say.


THE RABBI

And the girl has gone now.


ZITORSKY
Into the air about us.

THE RABBI

And where is Mr. Foreman ?


ALPER

He went to Brooklyn.
THE RABBI

What in heaven's name for ?


ALPER

To see the Korpotchniker Rabbi.


THE RABBI
(Quite impressed)

The Korpotchniker ?
85

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY
Certainly!

Maybe you

don't

know

this,

but Hirschman

is

his

THE RABBI
Mr. Hirschman ?

have to admit

didn't

know that.

ZITORSKY

Oh, sure. Listen, Hirschman is the first-born son of the original


Korpotchniker.

ALPER
I

am afraid we are drifting from the point.


THE RABBI
(Frowning)

The

girl

probably went home.

home, Mr. Alper, and find out

if

Why

don't you call the

she's there? I think

girl's

you are a

very close friend of the family.

ARTHUR
(

Who has come bac\ into the synagogue)

Well, thank

God for the first rational voice I've heard today.


ALPER

(Nodding his head sadly)


Yes,

suppose I had better call her father.

ARTHUR
(Buttoning his coat)
Fine. (Glancing at his watch) Gentlemen,
86

if

you don't need

THE TENTH MAN


me

for anything any more,

would

like to get to

my

analyst.

Good morning.
(He strides to the door.)
THE RABBI
Peace be unto you.

(arthur pauses at the front door, a

little

amused

at the

archaic greeting.)

ARTHUR
Peace be unto you, Rabbi.

(He opens the door and goes out.)


THE RABBI

Who was that fellow

ZITORSKY

Who knows ? The Sexton found him on the street.

(Buttoning his own coat)


Well,

have to be

What an

down

unusual thing.

way, Mr. Alper

Is

it is,

good.

I'll

man ? By the

think you should take a more active

come next time. (He finds his briefcase) Ah,


for the door) I would like to know

(He heads

what the Korpotchniker


today?

dybbuk. Really.

synagogue. Did you receive an announcement of

the meeting? Please


there

Mr. Zitorskyyou weren't at the meeting of

the Brotherhood last night.


interest in the

at the printer's.

Mr. Foreman a mystical

drop

in.

Let

said about this. Will

you be here

me know what happens. You

the girl's family right away, Alper.

later

better call

Good morning. Peace be with

you.

87

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER and ZITORSKY
Peace be with you, Rabbi.

(the rabbi

exits.

little balejully,

alper

sits

on the

The two

and then

men

old

shuffle to

down and puts his hand on


is

office,

where

the phone, resting

it

by the turn of events. In

receiver, quite depressed

the synagogue, the cabalist

regard each other a

the rabbi's

huddled in prayer, and the

sexton has gotten a broom out and is sweeping an upstage


area.

A long moment of hushed silence fills the stage.)


ALPER

(His hand still on the phone)


Zitorsky, let us reason this out.

Absolutely.

(The Talm udic sch olar)


If I call the girl's
is

home, there are two

home or she is not home.

home, then there

are

two

she

If

is

possibilities.

home, why

possibilities.

Either she

call ? If

are wasting a telephone

call. If

we

he has not called the

he will

two

why

ously, they will rush

down

know,

will

so

If

bother calling them ?

what gain

reasoned well, Zitorsky ?

call

possibilities.

matter seriously or they will not.


seriously,

al-

he has

already called the police, then

police, then there are

not

is

If

ready called the police, or he has not called the police.

police,

she

Either her father has

them.

If

he

calls

the

Either they will take the

they don't take the matter


If

they take the matter

here to find out what

we

seri-

already

have been made? Nothing. Have

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY

You have reasoned well.


ALPER

Between you and me, Zitorsky, how many people

we couldn't spot the girl

the streets at this hour that

Why

should

we

trouble the

We'll go out and find the

{They are both up

immense machinery

on

are there

in a

minute ?

of the law?

girl ourselves.

in a

minute, buttoning their coats and

hurrying to the front door, where they pause.)


ZITORSKY

{Regarding alper with awe)


Alper,

what a rogue you are

(alper accepts the compliment graciously, and they both


dart out into the street. Then, out of the hollow hush of the
stage,

the

cabalist's voice rises into a lovely chant as he

roc\s bac\ and forth, his eyes closed in religious ecstasy.)

THECABALIST
{Singing slowly and with profound conviction)
"I believe

with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and

though he
I

tarry, I will

wait daily for his coming.

believe with perfect faith that there will be a resurrection of the

dead
at the

time when

blessed be His

it

shall please the Creator,

name,

and exalted the remembrance of him for ever and

{The

front door opens,

and the

girl

ever."

comes rushing

in,

holding a beautifully bound leather boo\. She loo^s


quickly around the synagogue,

now empty

except for the

sexton and the cabalist, and then hurries to the rabbi's


office,

which

is

of course also empty.

\ind of panic
89

THE TENTH MAN


sweeps over her, and she rushes out into the synagogue
again, to the sexton.)

THE GIRL
Mr. Bleyer, the young

man

that

was

here,

do you know

{She whirls as the front door opens behind her and Arthur

comes in.

We have the feeling he also has been, if not running, at


He and the girl stare at each other

least

walking very quickly.

for a

moment. Then she

says to

him

) I

went home

to get this

book for you. I wanted you to have this book I told you about.

{Quietly)
I just

simply couldn't go till

{For a

moment

knew you were all right.

they stand poised, staring at each other.

Then she sweeps across the stage and flings herself into his
arms.)

{Crying out)

Oh, I love you. I love you. I love you

{They stand, locked

in embrace,

the

cabalist's voice rises

again in a deeply primitive chant, exquisite in

its atavistic

ardor.)

THE CABALIST

O Lord! I hope, O Lord, for


O Lord, for Thy salvation I hope!
For Thy salvation I hope, O Lord! I hope, O Lord, for
salvation! O Lord, for Thy salvation I hope!"

"For

Thy

salvation

hope,

Thy

salvation.

The
90

Curtain Falls

Thy

Scene 2

// is

now

several hours later.

settled over the

silent,

dozing quiet has

synagogue. Indeed, the cabalist has dozed

over a thick tome at the upstage desk on the far side of the
his

shawl-enshrouded head lying on his boo\. the

off

altar,

girl, too, is

napping, curled up in the worn leather armchair in the rabbi's

the sexton

office,

is sitting li\e

alper and zitorsky


stage.

sit

Only Arthur moves

loo\s into the rabbi's


sleeping sweetness,

a cobbler on a chair stage

drowsily on two
restlessly

office,

somehow

wooden

left.

chairs, center

around the synagogue.

checking on the

deeply troubled. All

He
her

girl, studies

is still, all is

quiet.

In the synagogue, the cabalist awakens suddenly and


upright, as

if

he has just had the most bizarre dream.

wide-eyed at the wall in front of him.

He

rises,

sits bolt

He stares

and moves

slowly downstage, his face a study in quiet awe. Apparently, he

has had a profoundly moving dream, and he puts his hand to


his

brow

as

if to

\eep his thoughts from tumbling out.

An

ex-

pression of exaltation spreads across his wan, lined, bearded old


face.

His eyes are wide with

terror.

THE CABALIST
(

Whispering in awe)

"Blessed be the Lord. Blessed be the Lord. Blessed be the

Lord."

{He stands now almost

at the footlights, staring out over

the audience, his face illuminated with ecstasy.

He

cries out)

9i

THE TENTH MAN


Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah! Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah!

good

It is

praise

unto our God; for

to sing praises

watched the cabalist with drowsy

and

it is

pleasant and

seemly. Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah!

is

stares at

him)

(Tears

fill

My

dear friends,

and

his old eyes,

his

my

(alper has

the cabalist turns

interest,

dear, dear friends

mouth wor\s without say-

ing anything for a moment.)

ALPER

Are you all right, Hirschman ?

THE CABALIST

(Awed by an inner wonder)


I

was studying the

because today

is

my

Law,

codification of the

paragraphs beginning with the

my

letters of

day of memorial.

father's

especially those
father's
I

name

have brought

some honey cake here, in my father's memory. I have it somewhere in a paper bag. Where did I put it? I brought it here last
night. It is somewhere around and as I studied, I dozed oft and

my

head

fell

have prayed to the Lord


a

dream.

my dear friends, I
me a dream, and He has sent me

upon the Book of Mishna. Oh,

dreamt that

mountain water.

And

send

to
I

was bathing

man

in a pool of the clearest

of great posture appeared

bank, and he said to me: "Rabbi, give


I

go

and

to
it

father,

make

a journey."

was the

And

me

on the

your blessing, for

looked closely on the man,

my father. And I said unto him: "My


call me Rabbi? For did I not lustfully

face of

why do you

throw away the white fringed shawl of the rabbinate and did
not

mock

the

Lord

to thy face

prayer and penitence so that


father smiled

92

my life in
might cleanse my soul?" And my

upon me, and

And

his

have

not spent

bearded face glowed with

THE TENTH MAN


gentleness,

and he

me

said unto

"Rise from your bath,

my

son,

have

and put upon you these robes of white linen which


arrayed for you. For thy soul

among

seat

doth smile upon thee


the

Holy

Place.

lay

this day.

For thine

Thus was

the righteous."

is

cleansed and thou hast found a

And

the righteous.

and

rise

rejoice

the

dream

on the Book of Mishna. {He lifts

that

his

and dance

and thou

eternal peace

is

Lord

the countenance of the

So

dreamt

as

in

among

art

my

head

head and stares upward)

Thy God, O Zion, unto all genera{He stares distractedly


around him) Where is the wine, Sexton? The wine! There
was a fine new bottle on Friday! I have been given a seat among
The Lord shall reign for

tions. Praise ye the

For

the righteous!

absolved!

Good!

this

Hallelujah'

{He

is

ever.

Lord. Hallelujah!

day have

lived

Hallelujah!

and

fasted! I

have been

Ah, the cakes!

beginning to laugh)

shall

Holy Ark! Sexton! Sexton! Distribute the macaroons

may

The Lord hath

share this exalteu day!

the face of

my

father smiled

Here!

dance before the

sent

me

that all

a sign, and

upon me!

{As abruptly as he had begun


in the effusion of his joy.

to laugh

He sin\s

he begins

to sob

onto a chair and cries

unashamedly^)

ALPER

My dear Hirschman, how delighted we are for you.


THE SEXTON
{Offering some honey ca\e to zitorsky)

You want some cake there, Zitorsky ?


zitorsky
I'll

have a little wine too as long as we're having a party.


93

THE TENTH MAN


(the sexton scurries

which

is

off to the lectern, the

bottom of

a cabinet containing various sacramental things

and wine.)
ARTHUR
(

Who has been

watching all this, rather taken by it)

What happened ?
ALPER

Mr. Hirschman has received a sign from God. His father has
forgiven him, and his soul has been cleansed.

ARTHUR
That's wonderful.

ZITORSKY

(To the sexton, now pouring wine from a decanter)


I'll tell

you, Bleyer,

if

you have

little

whiskey,

prefer that.

Wine makes me dizzy.


THE SEXTON

Where would

get whiskey? This

is

a synagogue, not a

saloon.

ZITORSKY

{Taking his glass of wine)


Happiness, Hirschman.

ALPER

Some wine
join

94

for our

young friend

Mr. Hirschman in

his

here.

moment

(To arthur) Will you

of exaltation?

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
Yes, of course.

who

(the sexton,
of his

tune.

own

pouring the wine and sipping a glass

is

as he pours, has

begun

to

hum

a gay Chassidic

He hands Arthur his glass.)

{Handing his glass bac\ for a refill)


Oh,

when he

will Schlissel eat his heart out

he

finds out

is

missing a party.

alper

(Maying a toast)
Rabbi

Israel,

rabbinical

title

son of Isaac,

think

it

is fitting

we

use your

we bow in reverence to you.


THE CABALIST
(Deeply touched)

My dear, dear friends,

cannot describe to you

There hasn't been a party here


last

month. Wasn't that

Another glass,

please, Sexton.

confirmation party that was!


ness in real estate

and

all

feast for a

Oh, I'm beginning

The

happiness.

since that boy's confirmation

skimpy

my

confirmation?
to sweat.

Some

boy's father does a nice busi-

down is a few pieces of


One bottle of whiskey

he brings

sponge cake and one bottle of whiskey.


for fifty people!

toothache.

As much whiskey

Oh, boy,

am

as

had couldn't even cure a

getting dizzy.

When

could drink a whole jar of potato cider.

was

a boy,

You remember

that

95

THE TENTH MAN


potato cider

we used

to

have in Europe ?

Oh, boy, what kind of wine

is

that?

My

It

could

kill

a horse.

legs are like rubber

already.

(zitorsky suddenly stamps his foot and executes a few


brief Chassidic

dance steps.)

ALPER

This

is

not bad wine, you know.

A pleasant bouquet.

Wavering over to Arthur)

Have a piece of cake, young man. What does it say in the


Bible? "Go eat your food with gladness and drink your wine
with a happy mind?" Give the boy another glass.

(Smiling)

Thank you. I'm still working on this one.


(the cabalist suddenly

raises his

head and bursts into a

gay Chassidic chant.)

THE CABALIST
(Bursting into song)

"Light is sown,

sown for the righteous,


and joy for the upright,
the upright in heart.

Oh,
light

is

sown,

sown for the righteous


96

."
.

THE TENTH MAN


ZITORSKY
{Gaily joining in)

"and joy for the upright,


the upright in heart.

Oh!"
(the cabalist and zitorsky take each other's shoulders

and begin

to

dance in the formless Chassidic pattern. They

are in wonderful spirits)

"Light

is

sown,

sown for the righteous

."
.

(the sexton and alper join

in,

clapping their hands and

eventually joining the dance so that the four old Jews

form a small

ring, their

arms around each

other's shoul-

ders, their old feet \ic\ing exuberantly as they

stamp

about in a sort of circular pattern .)

ALL
".

and joy for the upright,

the upright in heart."

Oh!
Light

is

sown,

sown for the righteous,


and joy for the upright,
the upright in heart.

{Round and round they stomp and


lustily,

shuffle, singing out

sweat forming in beads on their brows. The words

are repeated over

and over again

from the shortness of breath of the


bu-bi-bi-bi-bi-bi-bi-bibibi."

until they degenerate,


singers, into a "Bi-bu-

Arthur watches, delighted,


97

THE TENTH MAN


Finally, alper, gasping for breath, breads out of the ring

and staggers to a chair.)

THE CABALIST

good

sixty years

haven't danced!

Oh, enough! Enough!

My heart feels as i it will explode!


{He staggers, laughing, from the small ring
and sits down, gasping for air.)

of dancers

ALPER

Some more wine, Hirschman ?

THE CABALIST
{Gasping happily)

Oh!
(zitorsky looJ{s up, noticing the girl, who, awakened by
the romping, has sidled out into the synagogue and has

been watching the gaiety with delight, zitorsky eyes her

wickedly for a moment; then advances on her, his arm


outstretched, quite the old coc\-of-the-wal\.)

Bi-bi-bi-bi-bi-bi-bi

{He seizes her in his arms and begins to twirl around,


much to her delight. She dances with him, her s\irts
whirling and her feet twinkling, laughing at the sheer
physical excitement of

it all.

zitorsky supplies the music,

a gay chant, the lyrics of which consist of: "Bi-bi-bi-bi-bi~


bi-bi-bi

.")

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

The

last

time

danced was on the occasion of the

the Holiday of Tabernacles in 1896.

last

Day

was seventeen years

of

old.

(A sudden frightened frown sweeps across his face. He mutters)


Take heed

for the girl, for the

dybbuk

will be

upon her

soon.

{Leaning to him)

What did you say, Israel son of Isaac ?


(the cabalist turns to the girl dancing with zitorsky,

and stares at her.)

THE CABALIST
Let the

girl rest, Zitorsky, for she struggles

with the dybbuk.

Behold, (the girl has indeed broken away from zitorsky and

dance she does


at first,

is

is

The

is

gone

replaced by a sullen lasciviousness.

The

has begun an improvised dance of her own.

from her face and

gaiety

a patently provocative one. She dances slowly

and then with increasing abandon and wantonness.

zitorsky recoils in horror, the girl begins to stamp her feet and
to

whirl more and more wildly.

and she begins

to

Her eyes grow

bold and flashing

shout old Gypsy words, a mongrel Russian,

Oriental in intonation, the cabalist

now

slowly moves to the

who, when she becomes aware of his coming close, abruptly


stops her dance and stands stock-still, her face a mask f extravgirl,

agant pain, the cabalist regards her gently) Lie down,


child,

my

and rest.
{At

this quiet suggestion,

the girl begins

to

sway as

she is about to faint.)


99

if

THE TENTH MAN


THE GIRL
{Barely audible)
I feel

so faint, so faint.

{She sin\s slowly

to the floor, not quite in a

on the verge, arthur races

swoon, but

to her side.)

ARTHUR

Do we have any water here ?


ALPER

Wine would

be better. Sexton, give her some wine.

(the sexton hurries with someone's glass.)

ARTHUR
{Holding the girl's head)
Is

she a sickly girl?

ALPER

{Bending over them )

She was never sick a day in her life.

THE SEXTON
Here's the wine.

ZITORSKY

(To THE SEXTON)

Did I tell you ? Did I tell you ?


THE GIRL
I feel so faint. I feel

so faint.

Background George Voskovec, Jacob Ben-Ami, and Lou Jacobi,


foreman, and schlissel. Foreground: Risa Schwartz
:

as alper,

and Donald Harron, as the girl and arthur landai

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
(Bringing the glass of wine to her lips)
Sip

some of this.
THE GIRL

(Murmuring)
Save me

save

me

THE CABALIST

The dybbuk weakens her. I have seen this once before.


the sexton
(Tozitorsky)

When you told me about this dybbuk,

didn't believe you.

ZITORSKY

So did I

tell

you right ?

THE SEXTON
Oh, boy.
ARTHUR

Help me get her onto the chair in there.

Yes, of course.

THE SEXTON
Here, let

me help a little.

(Between them, they manage


her slowly to the rabbi's
her

lie

down on

to get

office,

the leather sofa.)

the girl up and wal\

where they gently help

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

(To zitorsky)
They haven't heard from Mr. Foreman

yet ?

No, we're waiting.


THE CABALIST
(Frowning)
It is

not that far to Williamsburg. Well, the girl will sleep now.

(He wal\s

slowly to the door of the rabbi's

office, fol-

lowed by a wary zitorsky. alper returns to the synagogue


proper to join the other old men, and, for the briefest of

moments, Arthur finds himself alone with the

girl,

holding her head gently in his arms. Suddenly he \isses


her brow and lightly strokes her hair.

He rises quickly as

the others return.)

ARTHUR
I

think she's fallen asleep.

ALPER

Thank heavens for that.

Look, I'm going

to call her family.

think we'd all feel a lot better


If

one of you will

just give

little

men,

really don't think

She may be quite

ill.

she were in the hands of a doctor.

me her home telephone number

annoyed, for nobody answers him) Please, gentle-

(fust a

longer.

if

it's

wise to pursue this nonsense any

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST
It is

not nonsense.

young man,

do not speak of dybbuks

saw hundreds of people come

ing to be possessed, but, of

Of

these two,

one was a

all these,

very

girl

to

casually.

my

As

father claim-

only two were true dybbuks.

much

like this

poor

and,

girl,

even before the black candles and the ram's horn could be

down

brought for the exorcism, she sank


died.
at
is

I tell

you

this girl

is

possessed,

onto the earth and

and she

will die, clutching

her throat and screaming for redemption unless the dybbuk


exorcised.

die.

{He stares at the others and nods his head) She

Wake the girl.

Zitorsky,

wake

cab for Rabbi

will take her to the

the girl.

Israel,

girl's coat, is stayed

will

Korpotchniker myself.

will get her coat. Sexton, call a taxi-

who had

(alper,

by Arthur.

been reaching for the

He loo\s up

at the

young man)

Young man, what are you doing ?


ARTHUR
Mr. Alper, the girl is

sick.

There may be something seriously

wrong with her.


ALPER

Young man, Rabbi Israel says she is dying.

Well, in that case certainly,

let

me

have her

home

telephone

number.
ALPER
{Striding into the rabbi's office)

You are presuming in matters that are no concern of yours.


103

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
{Following)

They

are as

much my concern as

quite fond of this


ties,

right

now.

they are yours.

want her returned

girl. I

If necessary, I shall call a

have grown

to the proper authori-

policeman.

Now,

let's

have no more nonsense.


(alper sin\s down behind the des\, glowering.
of silence

fills

A moment

Then the cabalist, who has been


of the office and watching with quiet

the room.

standing in the rear

interest, says

THE CABALIST

The young man doesn't believe in dybbuks ?

I'm afraid not. I think you are


(the cabalist considers

all

this

behaving like madmen.

answer for a moment.)

THE CABALIST
I

will tell

A deaf man passed by

which a wedding party was going on.

a house in

the

you an old Chassidic parable.

window and saw

all

the people there dancing

leaping about and laughing. However, since the

and could not hear the music of the


this

deaf,

must

You

it

follow that

are quite right.

apologize for

and,

if

104

looked in

man was

he said

deaf

to himself:

must be a madhouse." Young man, because you are

"Ah,

fiddlers,

He

and cavorting,

it.

he wants

we are

lunatics ?

did not

mean

However,
to

have the

am

to

going

mock your

beliefs,

and

to call the girl's father,

girl exorcised, that's his business.

THE TENTH MAN


(He

sits

down behind

the des\, puts his

hand on the

receiver,

and loo\s up at alper) Well ?

THE CABALIST
Give him the number, Mr. Alper. (alper

fishes

an old address

boo\ out of his vest poc\et, thumbs through the pages, and hands

who begins to dial) There is no one


Her father, who wishes only to forget
about the girl, has gone to his shop in the city, and, at this moment, is overeating at his lunch in a dairy restaurant. The stepmother has taken the younger children to her sister's. The girl's
the open boo\ to Arthur,

home

in the girl's house.

doctor has called the police and has gone about his rounds, and

up and down the

the police are diffidently riding

community, looking

an old Jew and

for

his

streets of the

granddaughter.

(arthur says nothing, but simply waits for an answer


ring,

the cabalist

template.

sits

down on

At last he says

) I

the

arm

to his

of the couch to con-

cannot understand

why

this

young

man does not believe in dybbuks.

It is

symptomatic of the current generation, Rabbi

utterly disillusioned. Historically speaking,

following an era of hard times usually produces a


despairing and quietistic philosophies, for the

now

people have found out they are just as unhappy as

were poor. Thus when an


discovers that

two

intelligent

television sets

man

assumption that life

is

be

number

of

prosperous

when

they

of such a generation

have no more meaning than

one or that he gets along no better with


house than he did in their small

Israel, to

an era of prosperity

city flat,

his wife in a

he arrives

suburban

at the natural

utterly meaningless.

105

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

What an unhappy state of affairs.


(arthur returns the receiver to its cradle.)

ARTHUR
{Muttering)

Nobody home.
THE CABALIST

{To arthur)
Is

that true,

young man,

that

you believe in absolutely

nothing?

ARTHUR

Not a damn thing.


THE CABALIST

There

no

is

truth,

no beauty, no

infinity,

no known, no un-

known.

Precisely.

THE CABALIST

Young man, you are a fool.

Really.

have been reading your book

the Book of Zohar.

am sure it has lost much in the translation,


of this abracadabra
fool.
1 06

is

presuming when he

but,

sir,

calls

any disciple

anyone

else a

THE TENTH MAN


(arthur produces from
him, and extends

it

his jacket the

boo\ the girl gave

the cabalist, who accepts

to

it,

frowning?)

THE CABALIST

You have been

reading the Book of Zohar. Dear young man,

one does not read the Book of Zohar,

make marginal
volume

notes.

for sixty years,

through

raw with

every letter of every

to you.

word

For you are a

not touch

lies

it

man

that

believe in

with your fingers,

its

hidden

Behind

and behind every

Unknown

say

dybbuks than in nothing at

inconceivable

is

good

exist.

Indeed,

that you took everyIt is

it ? I

a very

suggest

little

it is

piece

wiser to

all.

even a poor onecould

psychiatrist

You may think of yourself as a


see you as a man obsessed with guilt who
he can be forgiven. You have invented it

your beliefs in ten minutes.

man with a God, but I


has invented a God so

the

guilt,

God, forgiveness, the whole world, dybbuks,

passion, fulfillment

the

whole

fantastic

mess of pottage

love,

be-

unbearable for you to bear the pain of insignificance.

cause

it is

None

of these things exist. You've

is, I

slim

passion.

simply does not

it

How shall

we know.

Mr. Hirschman,

all

and

this

possessed by the Tangible. If you can-

thing for granted and believed in nothing.

strip

its

a locked image,

that will be the epithet of your generation

life

pages,

a sparkle of light of the ineffable brilliance of Infinity.

But the concept of the Inexpressible

of

its

vulnerability to

and have sensed only a glimpse of

mysteries,

image

leaf

have entombed myself in

have half a mind

for, after all

to let

made them

all

you go through with

the trumpetings of rams' horns

up.

The

fact

this exorcism,

and the bellowing of


107

THE TENTH MAN


incantations and after the girl
assure you, she will rise

and

wonder what

expound
end,

in a

falls

up again

bizarre rationale

to explain all that.

Now,

swoon on the

demented

as

if

floor

as she ever was,

and mystique you


the disputation

is

will

at

an

am going to call the police.


(He pic\s up the receiver again and dials the operator.)
ALPER

Well, what can one say to such bitterness ?

THE CABALIST
(Shrugs)

One can only

say that the

young man has very

little

regard for

psychiatrists.

(The

front door to the synagogue bursts open,

man and
and

schlissel

come

in a state of absolute confusion, alper darts out into

the synagogue proper and stares at them.)

schlissel

Oh, thank God, the synagogue is still here!

Well?
SCHLISSEL

(He can

hardly tal\, he is so out of breath)

Well, what?

ALPER

What did the Korpotchniker say ?


108

and fore-

hurtling in, breathing heavily

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL

Who

Who

knows?!

saw the Korpotchniker ?

We've been

riding in subways for four hours! Back and forth, in this train,
in that train!

am convinced

burg and there


tell

is

there

no such person

is

no such place

as the

as

Williams-

Korpotchniker Rabbi!

we got off at two different stations, just to see


and, as God is my witness, both times we were in New

you, twice

daylight,
Jersey

FOREMAN
Oh, I

tell

you,

am sick from driving so much.


ALPER

Idiot!

You didn't take the Brighton train!


SCHLISSEL

We took the Brighton train! (He waves both arms in a gesture


of final frustration) We took all the trains! I haven't had a bite
morning. Don't tell me about Brighton trains! Don't
me about anything! Leave me alone, and the devil take your

to eat all
tell

whole

Even Arthur
this)

economy!

capitalist

cabalist have

We

all
is

asked

said that train.

come out

(zitorsky, the sexton


to see

what the

noise

and the

is all

about.

standing in the office doorway, listening to


this person,

That person

we asked

all

that person. This person

said this train.

We went to a police-

He puts us on a train. The conductor comes in, says: "Last


stop." We get out. As God is my witness, New Jersey. We get

man.

back on that

train.

The conductor says: "Get off next

take the other train."

other train.
(In

A man

the

We

get off the next station

says: "Last stop."

rabbi's office,

station

We get out. New

the girl suddenly

sits

and

and take the


Jersey!

bolt upright,

109

THE TENTH MAN


her eyes clenched tight in fain, screaming terribly, her
voice shrill with anguish?)

FOREMAN
{Racing to her side)

Oh, my God! Evelyn! Evelyn! What is it?


(the girl clutches at her throat and screams.)

THE GIRL
Save me! Save me! Save me!
(zitorsky and the sexton begin to mutter rapid prayers

under their breath.)

{Putting his arm around foreman)

David, she's very

ill.

We think she may be dying.

(arthur has raced to the girl. He sits on the couch beside


her and takes her in his arms.)

Call a doctor.

{In panic, to alper)

He says I should call a doctor.


(arthur puts
if to

clear

it

his

hand

of shoc\

to his

brow and sha\es

his

head

as

and confusion?)

{Crossing to the cabalist)


Israel. You have had your
You are among the righteous.

Save her, Rabbi

sign

from God.

THE TENTH MAN


(arthur turns slowly and regards the

silent betallithed

form of the little cabalist.)

ARTHUR

(To the

cabalist, his voice cracking

under emotions he was

unaware he still had)


For God's
done.

sakes,

perform your exorcism or whatever has

to be

think she's dying.

(the cabalist regards arthur for a

moment

with the

profoundest gentleness. Then he turns and, with an


authoritative voice, instructs

the sexton.)

THE CABALIST
Sexton,

we

shall

need black candles, the ram's horn, prayer

shawls of white wool, and there shall be ten Jews for a

quorum

God this awesome ceremony.

to witness before

THE SEXTON
Just plain black candles

THE CABALIST
Just plain black candles.

(the sexton
quietly

up

is

to

already hurrying into his coat, alper

foreman standing

in the office

moves

doorway,

and touches his old friend's shoulder in a gesture of awe


and compassion, foreman, at the touch, begins to cry and
buries his shading old head on his friend's shoulder, alper

embraces him.)

ZITORSKY
(In the synagogue, to schlissel)
I

am absolutely shakingshaking.

THE TENTH MAN


(arthur, having somewhat recovered his self-control,
sin^s
that

down behind

is

the des\, frowning, confused by

all

going on, and moved by a complex of feeling he

cannot understand at all.)

The Curtain

Falls

ACT THREE

ACT THREE

Half an hour later.

At

rise,

the girl

is sitting in

the

couch, nervous, frightened, staring

ing fingers, foreman

own

sits

troubled thoughts.

rabbi's office,

down

perched on the

at her restlessly twist-

behind the rabbi's des\, wrapped in

He

his

wears over his suit a long white

prayer shawl with thic\ blac\ stripes, li\e that worn by the
cabalist throughout the play.

Indeed,

all

the

men now wear these an^le-length white prayer

shawls, except Arthur, who, at

rise, is also in

the

rabbi's office,

deep in thought.

the cabalist stands downstage


over his head; he

is

left,

his prayer

shawl hooded

leafing through a volume, preparing the

prayers for the exorcism

the sexton
to his ear,
is

more or

is

standing by the wall phone, the receiver cradled

waiting for an answer to a


less

call

he has fust put

in.

He

surrounded by alper, schlissel, and zitorsky.

ZITORSKY

How about Milsky the butcher?

Milsky wouldn't come. Ever since they gave the

seat

by the

East Wall to Kornblum, Milsky said he wouldn't set foot in

"5

THE TENTH MAN


this

synagogue again. Every synagogue

there have always been

have belonged

two kosher butchers who get

to,

into a fight

who gets the favored seat by the East Wall during the High
Holy Days, and the one who doesn't abandons the congregation
in a fury, and the one who does always seems to die before the
over

next

High Holy Days.


SCHLISSEL

Kornblum

the butcher died?

didn't

know Kornblum

died.

ALPER
Sure.

Kornblum died four years ago.


SCHLISSEL

Well, he had lousy meat, believe me,

may his soul rest in peace.

(the sexton has hung up, recouped his dime, reinserted


it,

and is dialing again.)


ZITORSKY

(To THE SEXTON)

No answer?
(the sexton shades his head.)

THE SEXTON
I'm calling Harris.
SCHLISSEL

Harris?

You

tell

an eighty-two-year-old

and make a tenth for an exorcism, and


talking on the phone with you.

man

he'll

to

come down

have a heart attack

THE SEXTON
{Dialing)

Well, what else


116

am I to do ?

It is

hard enough to assemble ten

THE TENTH MAN


Jews under the best of circumstances, but in the middle of the
afternoon on a Thursday

an absolute nightmare. Aronowitz

it is

in Miami. Klein the furrier

is

workday today.

swer) There are

on the Ark,

many

you

as

is

at his job in

Manhattan.

It is a

Who shall I call? (He waits for someone to anthings that

see, are

have to do.

The

tapestries

faded and need needlework, and the

candelabras and silver goblet for the saying of the Sabbath


benediction are tarnished and dull. But every second of

my

day seems to be taken up with an incessant search for ten Jews


.

{On

Sexton.

the phone) Hello, Harris. Harris, this

We

need you badly

down

quorum ...

If I told

right,

you, but, in God's name, don't

I'll tell

Bleyer the

is

here in the synagogue for a

you why, you wouldn't come

not even your daughter-in-law

tell

All

another soul,

SCHLISSEL

My
head

daughter-in-law,

in the

may

she

grow

like

an onion with her

ground.

THE SEXTON

{On
Hirschman

going

is

granddaughter

...

right.

Why

said,

That's right, a dybbuk

the phone)

to exorcise a

dybbuk from Foreman's

Hirschman

is

... A dybbuk

Right here in Mineola

That's

should Mineola be exempt from dybbuks ?

(Thinking of names)

There used

to

be a boy came

eight, nine years

curls

ago

down

here every morning, about

devout boy with forelocks and

side-

a pale boy, who was studying to be a rabbi at the seminary.


117

THE TENTH MAN


THE SEXTON
(0/2 the phone)

Harris, this

not a joke.

is

SCHLISSEL

Chwatkin.
ALPER
That's right, Chwatkin. That was the boy's name. Chwatkin.

Maybe we could

call

him. Does he

still

live in the

community?

SCHLISSEL

He's a big television actor. He's on television

Pinky Sims. He's an

all

the time.

actor.

ZITORSKY

Pinky Sims ? That's

name

for a rabbinical student ?

THE SEXTON
Put on your sweater and come down.
ALPER
(

To the sexton, who has just hung up)

So Harris is coming ?
THE SEXTON

makes eight, and I am


my resources. I don't know who else to call.

Yes, he's coming. So with Harris, that

frankly at the end of

ALPER

This

is

terrible. Really.

synagogue, and

God

manifests Himself in our

little

we can't even find ten Jews to say hello.


THE SEXTON

shall

118

have

to

go out in the

street

and get two

strangers. (Put-

THE TENTH MAN


ting on his coat) Well,

don't look forward to this at

have to stop people on the

which

is

bad enough

street,

them

if

will

all. I

they are Jewish

and then explain to them wish them to


dybbuk mean, surely you can see the
I

attend the exorcism of a


futility

ask

of it.

ALPER

{To the cabalist, who is crossing now en route to the office)

We can only get eight. A disgrace. Really. We shall

not have

the exorcism for lack of two Jews.

THE SEXTON

(On

his

way out)

All right, I'm going.

(He exits.)

(To schlissel)
In those days
I

when I was

deceiving

my wife, I

was entertaining out-of-town buyers.

used to

once told her

tell

her

was en-

tertaining out-of-town buyers every night for almost three weeks.


It

was

loft

was not

I'm sure

Street

I've told

you

my

wife could

So one night she came

that good.

on Thirty-Sixth

well,

do because even

a foolhardy thing to

business

tell

down to my

and walked in and caught

me with

this story before.

SCHLISSEL

Many times.
(the cabalist enters the

Upon

office.

girl stands abruptly, obviously

his entrance,

the

deeply disturbed and

barely in control of herself. She turns from the cabalist


and shades her eyes with her hand to hide her terror, fore-

man

lookj up briefly.

He seems

to be in a state of shoc\.

119

THE TENTH MAN


the cabalist

sits

down on

prayer shawl

fall

bac\ on his shoulders, and studies his

the couch, letting his heavy

hands folded patiently between

his knees. After a

moment,

he speaks.)

THE CABALIST
(Quietly)

Dybbuk,

Asher, and

you.
if

(Upon

am

Israel

wear

son of Isaac.

his fringed

My

shawl on

father

my

was

Isaac son of

shoulders as

talk to

these words, the girl suddenly contorts her form, as

seized by a violent cramp. She clutches her stomach

low, and soft sobs begin to

come out

and bends

of her) Reveal yourself to

me.

THE GIRL
(In the voice of the dybbuJ()
I

am Hannah Luchinsky.
(In the synagogue, alper, schlissel,
to

quite frightenedto

edge

thur watches from

his seat

and zitorsky begin

the open office door. Ar-

behind the rabbi's des\^)

THE CABALIST

Why do you possess this girl's body ?


THE GIRL
(

Twisting and contorting; in the voice of the dybbul()

My soul was lost at sea, and


for the

there

is

no one

to say the prayers

dead over me.

THE CABALIST
I

will strike a bargain with you.

Leave

this girl's

body through

her smallest finger, doing her no damage, not even a scratch, and
I

shall sit

on wood

for

you

for the First

Seven Days of Mourning

THE TENTH MAN


and

shall plead for

your soul for the First Thirty Days and

Eleven Months and light the Memorial


occasion of your death.

shall

you three times a day for the

say the prayers for the dead over

Lamp each year upon the

ask you to leave this

girl's

body.

(the girl laughs quietly.)

{In the voice of the dybbuj()

You give me short weight, for you will yourself be dead before
the prayers for the new moon.
{In the office doorway, the three old men shudder, foreman loo\s up slowly, the cabalist closes his eyes.)
THE CABALIST
{Quietly)

How do you know this

{In the voice of the dybbuJ()

Your

soul will

fly

straight to the

Heavenly Gates and you will

be embraced by the Archangel Mihoel.

THE CABALIST

Then

enjoin the Angel of

Death to speed

order you to leave the body of this

his

way. Dybbuk,

girl.

(the girl's face suddenly flashes with malevolence.)

{In the voice of the dybbu\, shouting)

No!

seek vengeance for these forty years of limbo!

trayed in
will!

my

youth and driven

have suffered beyond

to the Evil

and

belief,

dunghills and in piles of ashes, and

was

be-

Impulse against

my

my

demand

spirit

has lived in

the soul of

David

THE TENTH MAN


son of

Abram

be cast through Gilgul for the space of forty years

times ten to gasp for air in the sea in which

drowned

FOREMAN
{Standing in terror)

No! No!

(In the voice of the dybbu1()

...
is

so that

my

may have

soul

A soul for a soul!

peace!

That

my bargain.

(Shouting)

Let
give

it

be then! Leave

my

granddaughter in peace and

will

my soul in exchange.
THE CABALIST
(

The

disposition of

cided here.

It's fall

universe of angels.

With ringing authority)

David son of Abram's soul

The bargain cannot

me. I order you to leave the body of this


finger, causing her

will not be de-

and ascent has been ordained by the second


be struck! Dybbuk, hear
girl

through her smallest

no pain nor damage, and I give you my word,

prayers will be said over you in full measure. But


these words, then

must

if

you abjure

proceed against you with malediction

and anathema.

(Laughs)
Raise not thy mighty

arm against me,

A soul for a soul. That my bargain.


is

(the girl suddenly begins to sob.)

for

it

has no fear for me.

George Voskovec, Jacob Ren-Ami, Lou

Jacobi,

Arnold Marie and

Risa Schwartz, as alper, foreman, schlissel, the cabalist

and THE GIRL

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

(To alper)

We shall have to prepare for the exorcism.


ALPER
I

thought that would be the

case.

THE GIRL
(Sitting
I

down on the couch, frightened, in

her own voice)

am so afraid.
FOREMAN

There
having

is

nothing to

fear. It will all

be over in a minute, like

tooth pulled, and you will walk out of here a cheerful

child.

SCHLISSEL

(Ambling bac\ into the synagogue proper with zitorsky and


alper)
I tell

this. If

you, I'd feel a lot better

you are going

to

if

the Korpotchniker

have a tooth pulled,

was doing

at least let

it

be by a

qualified dentist.

ZITORSKY
I

thought Hirschman handled himself very well with that

dybbuk.
SCHLISSEL

If I tell

in

you all

(To alper and zitorsky)


something, promise you will never throw it back

my face.
ZITORSKY

What?
i-3

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL
I

am beginning to believe she is really possessed by a dybbuk.


ZITORSKY

I'm beginning to get used to the whole thing.

(the cabalist has stood and moved upstage

to the rear

wall of the synagogue, where he stands in meditation.

foreman

is sitting

again,

somewhat numb,

beside his

granddaughter. After a moment, the girl speaks.)

THE GIRL
I

am very frightened, Arthur.


ARTHUR
(Rises)

Well,

spoke to my analyst,

as

you know, and he said he didn't

think this exorcism was a bad idea at

all.

The

do believe you are possessed by a dybbuk

really

point
.

is, if

you

THE GIRL

Oh, I do.
ARTHUR
Well, then, he feels this exorcism might be a good form of

shock treatment that will


atric

man

make you more

responsive to psychi-

therapy and open the door to an eventual cure. Mr. Hirschassures

me

it is

a painless ceremony.

nothing to be frightened of.

THE GIRL
Will you be here ?

ARTHUR

Of course. Did you think I wouldn't ?


124

So you

really

have

THE TENTH MAN


(foreman moves slowly out into the synagogue,

as

if

to

as\ something of the cabalist.)

THE GIRL
I

always sense flight in you.

ARTHUR
Really.

You are always taking to your heels, Arthur. Especially in molike now when you want to be tender. I know that you

ments

me

couldn't be so

happy with you, but the whole idea

of love seems to terrify you,

and you keep racing off to distant de-

love

or

tachments.

I feel

that

if I

reached out for your cheek now, you

would turn your head or, in some

silent

way, clang the iron gates

You have some strange dybbuk all of your own,


some sad little turnkey, who drifts about inside of you, locking
up all the little doors, and saying, "You are dead. You are dead."
You do love me, Arthur. I know that.
shut on me.

(Gently)
I

wish you well, Evelyn.

love you.

We can at least say that.


THE GIRL

want

so very

much to

be your wife. (She stares at

him, her face glowing with love. She says quietly)

you

good home, Arthur. You

will be very

regards her for a moment, caught by her wonder.

forward and

from him)

lightly touches her chee\.

will

make

happy with me. (He

He

reaches

She cannot take her eyes

adore you, Arthur.


125

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
(

With deep gentleness)

You are quite mad.


{They loo\ at each

other,

arthur stands?)

THE GIRL

You think our getting married is impractical.


ARTHUR
Yes,

would say it was at the least impractical.


THE GIRL

Because I

am insane and you are suicidal.


ARTHUR

do think those are two reasons to give one pause.

THE GIRL
Well, at

least

we begin with futility. Most marriages take years

to arrive there.

ARTHUR
Don't be saucy, Evelyn.

THE GIRL
(Earnestly)

Oh, Arthur,

wouldn't suggest marriage

utterly unfeasible.

think

we

can

make

know you have no faith in my exorcism

if I

a go of
.

thought
it.

was

it

I really

do.

ARTHUR

As I say, it may be an effective shock therapy.


THE GIRL
But we could get married
126

this

minute, and

I still

think

we

THE TENTH MAN


make

could

go of

it.

I'm not a dangerous schizophrenic;

hallucinate. I could keep your house for you.

did for

I just

my father

very competently before he remarried. I'm a good cook, and you

do find

me

really very

you.

attractive, don't

good

know

tion quite well

me.

for

you?

could be a good wife.


if

love you, Arthur.

You

are

retain reality remarkably well with

Many

schizophrenics func-

one has faith in them.

ARTHUR

{Touched by her earnestness)

My dear Evelyn

THE GIRL
I

don't ask you to have faith in dybbuks or gods or exorcisms

just in

me.

{He gently touches her chee\.)


ARTHUR

How in heaven's name did we reach this point of talking mar.?


riage?

It is

common point of discussion between people in love.

{He kneels before her, takes her hand between

his.)

ARTHUR
{Tenderly)
I

do not love you. Nor do you love me.

We met five hours ago

and exchanged the elementary courtesy of conversation


rest

feel

is

the

your own ingenuousness.

do not remember ever being

as

happy

as

enchanted. {They are terribly close now.

am this moment. I

He leans to her, his


127

THE TENTH MAN


arm moving to embrace her. And then he stops, and the moment
is

broken.

He turns away, scowls, stands) You

are in full flight

again, aren't you ?

ARTHUR
reserve a certain

low

level of morality

which includes not

taking advantage of incompetent minors.

THE GIRL

Why can't you believe that I love you ?


ARTHUR
(Angrily)

simply do not believe anybody loves anyone. Let's have an

end

to this.

(He is abruptly aware that their entire love scene has


who are clustered together in the

been observed by the old men,

open doorway of the

rabbi's office,

beaming

furious sigh, Arthur strides to the door

men's

faces.

at

them. With a

and shuts

He turns bac\ to the girl, scowling)

it

in the old

Really, this

is

much too fanciful. Really, it is. In an hour, you will be back to


your institution, where I may or may not visit you.
(the girl sits down slowly.)
all

THE GIRL
If I

were not already insane, the thought that

you again would make

might not

me so.
ARTHUR

don't know

what you want of me.


THE GIRL

(One step from tears)


I want you to find the meaning of your life in me.
128

see

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
But that's insane.

How can you ask such an impossible thing ?


THE GIRL

Because you love me.

ARTHUR
{Cries out)
I

don't

shall

know what you mean by

buy you a dinner, take you

to our tryst,

where

tradition while
sion.

We

shall reach

love! All

it

to the theatre,

means

me

to

and then

is I

straight

under your blouse for the sake of

my

you breathe hody in

ear in a pretense of pas-

will mutter automatic endearments, nibbling at the

sweat on each other's earlobes,

the while gracelessly fumbling

all

with buttons and zippers, cursing under our breath the knots in
our shoelaces, and telling ourselves that
ness of stripping

oflf

lination of weeds.

our trousers

Even

is

in that

an

this

whole comical

busi-

act of nature like the pol-

one brief moment when our

senses finally obliterate our individual alonenesses,

we

will hear

ringing in our ears the reluctant creaking of mattress springs.

(the girl stares at him, awed by

this bitter expostulation^)

THE GIRL

You are possessed.


ARTHUR

At your

age,

suppose, one

ultimate of fantasies, but


as

still

finds theatrical

when you have been

charm

in this

backstage as often

have, you will discover love to be an altogether shabby busi-

ness of cold creams

and costumes.

(Staring at him)

You are possessed by

dybbuk

that does not allow

you

to love.

129

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
(Crying out again in sudden anguish)

Oh,

leave

me alone!

(He

strides to the door,

turbed,

what.

Let's get

on with

wretched exorcism!

this

suddenly turns, confused,

dis-

and would say something, but he doesn't know

He

opens the door to find the old

men

patiently

waiting for him with beaming smiles. This disconcerts

him and he turns to the girl again and


She stares at the floor.)

is

again at a loss

for words.

THE GIRL

We could be very happy if you would have faith in me.


(He turns and shuffles out of the rabbi's office.)
ARTHUR

(To the old men)


It

was tasteless of you to gawk

(He continues into

at us.

the synagogue, trailed by the old men.

He sits, and is immediately surrounded by

Are you

interested in this girl,

the old men.)

young man, because

my

son

is

not a rich man, by any means, but he will give you a fine wedding, catered by

good people, with a cantor

ZITORSKY

And a choir.

Possibly,

and a dowry perhaps in the amount of five hunis more than he can afford. Howyou are a professional man, a lawyer, and the

dred dollars which, believe me,


ever, I

am

told

father of the bride

130

must lay out good money for such a catch.

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER and ZITORSKY

Sure

Absolutely.

FOREMAN

Of course, the girl is an incompetent and you will have to apply


to the courts to be appointed the

committee of her person

ALPER
.

A formality,

you have married her.

assure you, once

FOREMAN

As
girl

for the girl,

can

tell

you

hand, she

first

is

a fine Jewish

ZITORSKY

Modest

Devout

ALPER

FOREMAN
.

And she bakes first-rate pastries.


ARTHUR
(Staring at the gay old

You

are

here soon,

all
I

men

mad, madder than the

shall be as

with disbelief)

girl,

and

if I

don't get out of

mad as the rest.


ZITORSKY

A beauty, young man. Listen,

it is

said

better a full-bosomed

wife than to marry a Rothschild.


SCHLISSEL

Leave the

man

alone.

We have all been miserably married for


131

THE TENTH MAN


half a century ourselves.

the institution

How can you in good faith recommend

ALPER

The

girl is so

obviously taken with him.

would be

It

good

match.

FOREMAN
(Anxiously)
Perhaps, he is married already.

ALPER

(To arthur)

My dear fellow, how wonderful to be in love.

love nothing!

THE CABALIST
Yes.

The girl is quite right. He

Love is an

act of faith,

is

possessed.

He loves nothing.

and yours is a faithless generation. That

is

your dybbuk.

(The
slips

front door of the synagogue opens,

and the sexton

quic\ly in, quietly closing the door.)

ARTHUR

(To THE CABALIST)


Don't you think it's time to get on with this exorcism?
THE CABALIST
Yes.

(He moves to

the door of the rabbi's

office,

where he

gards the supine form of the girl on the couch.)


132

re-

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER

(To THE SEXTON)

Did you get anybody ?


(the sexton moves
synagogue.

in his nervous

He has obviously

way down

into the

been on the go since he

left;

sweat beads his brow, and he is breathing heavily.)

THE SEXTON
{Unbuttoning his coat and wiping his brow)
Gentlemen, we are in the soup.
SCHLISSEL

You couldn't find anybody ?


THE SEXTON

we have nine now, but the issue of a quorum has become an academic one. Oh, let me catch my breath. The Rabbi
Actually,

will be here in a

few minutes.
ALPER

The Rabbi?
THE SEXTON
I

saw him on Woodhaven Boulevard, and he

join us. Harris


hill

is

on

his

said he

would

way already. I saw him coming down the

from his house. But the whole matter is academic.


ALPER

You told the Rabbi we need him to exorcise the girl's dybbuk ?
THE SEXTON
Well, what else was

quorum for

at

to say

He

asked

me what

one o'clock in the afternoon, and

he thought for a moment, and he

said: "All right,

needed a

told him,
I'll

and

be there in
133

THE TENTH MAN


a

He

few minutes."

is

quite a nice fellow, something of a press

agent perhaps, but with good intentions. Oh,

an animal.

running
tailor.

all

see

am perspiring like

have the ague tomorrow.

over looking for Jews.

have been

even went to Friedman the

He wasn't even in town. So let me tell you. I

back here.
I

shall surely

was running

turned the corner on Thirty-Third Road there, and

parked right in front of the synagogue a police patrol car.

(The oth ers start.)


ALPER

(Looking up)

Oh?
THE SEXTON
That's what

mean when I say we are in the soup.


SCHLISSEL

Did they say something to you ?


THE SEXTON
Sure they said something.

when

saw that

I tell

police car there.

you,

my heart gave such a turn

They were

sitting there, those

two policemen, big strapping cossacks with dark


avenging angels, smoking

cigarettes,

and with

bulging through their blue overcoats. As


street to the

synagogue,

faces like

their revolvers

walked

across the

my knees were knocking.


ALPER

When was this ?

It

was just now ?


THE SEXTON

Just this second. Just before

Harris,

(This
134

came

in the door

Hello,

how are you ?


last to the

octogenarian, who, bundled in his heavy

THE TENTH MAN


overcoat, muffler,

and with

his hat pulled

down on

his

head, has just entered the synagogue.)

ZITORSKY

(To THE SEXTON)


So what happened ?
HARRIS
(In his high shrill voice, as he unbuttons his overcoat)

Gentlemen! Have you heard about this dybbuk ?


SCHLISSEL

Harris,

we were all here at the time he called you.


THE SEXTON

Harris, did you see the police car outside ?

SCHLISSEL

So what did the policeman say ?

THE SEXTON
(Unbuttoning

his collar

and wiping his nec\ with a handkerchief)

This big strapping fellow with his uniform

full of

buttons

"You know a man named David Foreman?


We're looking for him and his granddaughter, a girl, eighteen

looks up, he says:

years old/'

Well ? Eh! Well, are we in the soup or not?


!

(schlissel goes to the front door, opens it a conspiratorial


crac\,

and loo\s out.)


ARTHUR

don't think the police will bother you

if

you get your exor-

cism started right away. They won't interrupt a religious cere-

mony, especially if they don't know what it is.


i35

THE TENTH MAN


THECABALIST
(

Who has made up his own mind)

Sexton, fetch the black candles, one for each man.

(the sexton scurries to the rabbi's

office,

where the blac\

candles are lying on the des\, wrapped in

brown grocery

paper.)

ARTHUR

{Moving to the front door)


1*11

stand by the door and talk to the police if they

come in.

SCHLISSEL

{Closing the front door)

They're out there all right.

THE CABALIST

{He loo\s about the little synagogue, immensely dignified now,


almost beatified in his authority The others wait on his words)
.

I shall

a Levite

want

to

perform the ablutions of the Cohanim.

Is

there

among you ?

am a Levite.
THE CABALIST

You shall pour the water on my hands.


(the sexton scoots across the synagogue, carrying blac\
candles to everyone?)

{Looking distractedly about)

What are we doing now ? Where is the dybbuk ?


i

36

THE TENTH MAN


ALPER
Harris, put

on a prayer shawl.
HARRIS

{Moving nervously
Is this actually

Tell

to the office

a serious business then ?

door)

Where

(His words
sees

drift off into a

the girl

sitting rigidly

He enters the office,


He starts at the

mumble.
on the

dybbuk ?

the

is

me because Bleyer the Sexton told me nothing


chair.

sight of her, snatches a prayer shawl

from the carton, and,

quite in terror, darts bac\ into the synagogue.)

THE CABALIST
There

is

nothing in the Book of Codes which gives the pro-

cedure for exorcism, so


I

thought most

apt.

shall recite the Al-chait,

ment which

have selected those passages

to read that

For the purpose of cleansing our

and we

begins: "Sons of

you pray these prayers,

let

souls,

we

shall recite that prayer of atone-

man

such as

the image of

sit

in darkness."

God

in

As

any of His

seventy-two faces rise before you.

ALPER
(Crossing into the rabbi's office)
1*11

get the books.

THE SEXTON
(Giving schlissel a metal bowl and a pitcher)
Fill

it

with water.
schlissel

I'm an

atheist.

Why am I mixed up in all this ?


ALPER

We do not have a quorum. Will this be valid

137

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

We will let God decide.


THE SEXTON

When shall I blow the ram's horn ?


THE CABALIST
I shall

instruct

you when.
HARRIS

{Putting on his shawl)

What shall I do ? Where shall I stand ?


ZITORSKY

(To Harris)
Stand here, and do not be afraid.

(foreman comes out of the

rabbi's office carrying a long

white woolen prayer shawl, which he gives to Arthur.)

FOREMAN

(To Arthur)
I will

show you how to put it on.

{He

helps Arthur enshroud himself in the prayer shawl.

schlissel
his brass

the

comes out of the washroom

carefully carrying

bowl and the pitcher filled with water. He goes to

cabalist,

who

holds his white hands over the basin.

schlissel carefully pours the water over them, the cabalist spea\s with great distinctness.)

THE CABALIST
"Blessed art Thou,

who

Lord our God, King

of the Universe,

hath sanctified us by his commandments, and has com-

manded
138

us to cleanse our hands."

THE TENTH MAN


ALL

Amen.
(The

others watch until the last of the water has been

poured over

his hands.

synagogue. They are

sudden silence

settles

over the

standing about now, eight men,

all

cloa\ed in white, holding their prayer boo\s. the cabalist


dries his

hands on a towel handed to him by schlissel.

He

puts the towel down, rolls his sleeves down, ta\es his long

shawl and, with a sweep of


lifts his face, and cries out

his arms, raises

it

over his head,

THE CABALIST

"Thou knowest
mysteries of

and

all living.

tryest the reins

thee, or

our

the secrets of eternity

Thou

and the

hidden from thine

all

our

Nought

heart.

eyes.

May

God and God of our fathers,

pardon us for

and the most hidden

searchest the innermost recesses,

iniquities,

it

is

concealed from

then be thy

and

O Lord

will,

to forgive us for all

our

sins, to

to grant us remission for all

our transgressions."

(As one, the other old men sweep


heads and begin the ancient

their shawls over their

recital of their sins.

face the Ar\, standing in their places, bending

They

and

all

twist-

ing at the \nees and beating upon their breasts with the
clenched

fists

of their right hands.

They

all

pray indi-

vidually, lifting their voices in a wailing of the spirit.

Arthur remains silent.)


ALL

"For the

sin

which we have committed before thee under com-

pulsion, or of our own will;


And for the sin which we have committed

before thee in hard-

ening of the heart!


139

THE TENTH MAN


For the

which we have committed before thee unknow-

sin

ingly:"

ZITORSKY

"And

for the sin

which we have committed before thee with

ut-

terance of the lips."

FOREMAN
"For the

sin

which we have committed before thee by un-

chastity;"

SCHLISSEL

"For the

sin

which we have committed before thee by

scoffing

;"

HARRIS

"For the sin which we have committed before thee by slander;

And

for the sin

which we have committed before thee by the

stretched-forth neck of pride:"


(// is a

The

deadly serious business, this gaunt confessional.

spectacle of the eight

men, cloaked

in white, crying

out into the air the long series of their sins and their pleas
for remission, has a suggestion of the fearsome barbarism
of the early

Hebrews. They stand, eyes

closed,

and

in the

fervor of communication with God, their faces pained

with penitence.

The

last of

the old men, Harris, finally

cries out the last lines of supplication, his thin voice all

alone in the hush of the synagogue)

"And

also for the sins for

which we are

liable to

any of the four

stoning, burning, be-

death penalties inflicted by the court

heading, and strangling; for thou art the forgiver of Israel

and the pardoner of the


140

tribes of

Jeshurun in every genera-

THE TENTH MAN


tion

and beside thee we have no king, who pardoneth and

forgiveth."

(Again, the silence jails over the staged

THE CABALIST
"Children of men, such as

sit

in darkness

bound in affliction and iron,


out of darkness, and the shadow of death."
of death, being

and in the shadow

He

brought them

THE OTHERS
"Children of men, such as

sit

in darkness

bound in affliction and iron,


out of darkness, and the shadow of death."

of death, being

and in the shadow

He

brought them

THE CABALIST
"Fools because of their transgressions, and because of their
iniquities are afflicted."

THE OTHERS
"Fools because of their transgressions and because of their
iniquities are afflicted."

THE CABALIST

"They

cry unto

them out of their


(The

The Lord

in their trouble,

and

He

saveth

distress."

repetition of the lines has its cumulative effect

arthur. His

lips

begin to

move

involuntarily,

on

and soon

he has joined the others, quietly muttering the words.)

ARTHUR and THE OTHERS

"They

cry unto

The Lord

in their trouble,

and

He

saveth

them out of their distress."


141

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

"Then He is gracious unto him and saith :"


ARTHUR and THE OTHERS

"Then He is gracious unto him and saith

:"

THE CABALIST

him from going down

"Deliver

to the pit; I

have found a

msom."
ARTHUR and THE OTHERS

him from going down

"Deliver

to the pit;

have found a

THE CABALIST

Amen.
ARTHUR and THE OTHERS

Amen.
THE CABALIST
Bring the girl in, Mr. Foreman.

(foreman nods and goes into the rabbi's

office.)

ALPER

(Toschlissel)
I

don't like

nine of us.

it.

am

Even

if

the Rabbi comes, there will only be

a traditionalist. Without a

quorum

of ten,

it

won't work.
schlissel

{Muttering)

So what do you want me to do ?


(In

142

the

rabbi's office,

foreman touches the

girl's shoul-

THE TENTH MAN


der,

and she

from her comali\e

starts

state

and loo\s

at him.)

FOREMAN

Come. It is time.
{She nods nervously and

sits

up. There

is

a vacuous loo\

about her, the vague, distracted loo\ of the insane.)

(Quite numbly)

Where

are

you taking

me ? My mother

is

in

Rome. They put

the torch to her seven sons, and they hold her hostage. (She
rises in

obedience to her grandfather's arm as he gently escorts

her out of the office into the synagogue proper. All the while she

maintains a steady drone of rattling gibberish)

you yesterday ?
been here.

asked everybody about you.

You

Where were
should have

We had a lot of fun. We had a party, and there were

thousands of people, Calebites and Bedouins, dancing like


gypsies.

(She suddenly lapses into a sullen

silence, staring at the

ground, her shoulders jerking involuntarily. The others


regard her uneasily.

THE SEXTON
Shall

take the ram's horn out ?

THECABALIST
Yes.

(the sexton produces the horn-shaped trumpet from the


base of the pulpit.
opens,

and

tall,

The

front door of the synagogue

now

strapping young policeman, heavy with

the authority of his thic\ blue overcoat, steps one step


into the synagogue.

He

stands in the open doorway, one

M3

THE TENTH MAN


hand on
as

if

the, latch

of the door, his attitude quite brusque

he could not possibly get his wor\ done

if

he had

to

be polite?)

THE POLICEMAN
Is

Rabbi Marks here ?


(alper throws up his arms in despair.
nately stare
floor.

woodenly

Arthur,

at

The

others alter-

the policeman or down

at the

deeply disturbed, rubs his brow, the

still

cabalist begins to pray silently, only his lips

moving

in

rapid supplication .)

the sexton

No, he's not.


THE POLICEMAN
I'm looking for a girl named Evelyn Foreman.

Is that

the girl ?

{He indicates the girl.)


ALPER

(Moving away, muttering)


Is

there any need, Officer, to be so brusque or to stand in an

open doorway so that we all chill to our bones ?

THE POLICEMAN
(Closing the door behind him)
Sorry.

schlissel

(Tozitorsky)

A real cossack, eh
station

144

What

a brute.

house and beat us with night

He

will take us all to the

sticks.

THE TENTH MAN


THE POLICEMAN

A girl

(A little more courteously)


named Evelyn Foreman. Her father has put out a

for her. She's missing

He

from her home.

here with her grandfather.

Is there a

call

might be

said she

Mr. David Foreman here?

{Nobody says anything.)


ALPER

You are interrupting a service, Officer.


THE POLICEMAN
I'm sorry. Just

tell

me,

is

that the girl?

I'll

call in

and

tell

them we found her.


(schlissel suddenly advances on

the policeman.)

SCHLISSEL
First of

all,

where do you come

raiding a poolroom
little

This

is

to

walk in here

a synagogue,

like

you were

you animal. Have a

respect.

THE POLICEMAN
All right,

all right,

I'm

sorry.

happen

to

be Jewish myself.

(alper loo\s up quickly.)

ALPER

You're Jewish? (alper turns slowly to the sexton) Sexton,

our tenth man.

THE SEXTON
Alper, are you crazy ?

ALPER

A fine, strapping Jewish boy.


need a tenth. You'll help us

(To the policeman)

out, won't

Listen,

we

you ?

H5

THE TENTH MAN


SCHLISSEL
{Strolling nervously past alper)

Alper, what are you doing, for God's sakes ?

ALPER

We have to have ten men.


SCHLISSEL

What kind of prank


you know that ?

is

this

You

are an impossible rogue,

do

ALPER

(Taking schlissel aside)

What are you getting so excited about? He doesn't have to


know what it is. We'll tell him it's a wedding. I think it's funny.
SCHLISSEL

Well,

we

will see

how funny

it is

when

they take us to the

basement of the police station and beat us with

their night sticks.

ALPER

Night

sticks. Really, Schlissel,

ing on the policeman)


us out

if

you would

want

really

to

I tell

you are a romantic. {Advanc-

you, Officer,

it

would

stay ten or fifteen minutes.

knowis

This

really help
girl

about to be married, and what

if

is

going

you

on here is the Ritual of Shriving.


ZITORSKY
Shriving?
ALPER

A sort of ceremony of purification. It is


monly

practiced any more,

interesting.

146

and

a ritual not too com-

suggest you will find

it

quite

THE TENTH MAN


HARRIS

(To schlissel)

What is he talking about ?


SCHLISSEL

Who knows ?
(the policeman opens the door and

calls to his colleague

outside.)

THE POLICEMAN
I'll

Tommy, all right ? (He opens


who now comes hurrying into the
his briefcase) Hello, Rabbi, how

be out in about ten minutes,

the door wider for the rabbi,

synagogue,
are

still

carrying

you ?
(the rabbi frowns, a

little

confused at the policeman's

presence.)

THE RABBI
Hello, Officer,

what

(He moves

are

you doing here ?

quickly to his

office,

thing as he goes: the seven old

taking stoc\ of every-

men and Arthur

in their

white shawls, and the girl standing woodenly in the


center of the synagogue, alper

and zitorsky greet him

with hellos, at which he nods bac\.)

THE POLICEMAN
They've asked

me to make a tenth for the shriving.


THE RABBI

(Frowning as he darts into


Shriving?

(He opens

his office)

his desfy to get out his

shawl, unbuttoning his coat as he does.

own

large white

He notes alper, who

has

147

THE TENTH MAN


followed him to the doorway)

What

is

the policeman doing

here ?

ALPER

We needed a tenth.
the policeman spea\s amiably

(In the synagogue,

to

ZITORSKY.)

THE POLICEMAN
This

is

the

(zitorsky nods his head bleakly)

girl, isn't it?

What's really going on here ?


(In the rabbi's office, the rabbi sweeps his large shawl

over his shoulders?)

ALPER

We have said Al-chait and a prayer of atonement, and we are


waiting now just for you.

(the rabbi frowns in troubled thought,

on as he

slips his

fedora

off.

slips his s\ullcap

In the synagogue, zitorsky

shuffles to SCHLISSEL.)

ZITORSKY
(Indicating the policeman with his head, he mutters)

He knows, he knows.
SCHLISSEL

Of course. Did Alper expect to get away with such a

collegiate

prank ?
(In

the

rabbi's office,

the rabbi

finishes a rapid, silent

prayer, standing with his eyes closed.

He

loo\s up at

alper now.)

THE RABBI
I

would

148

rather not take any active role in this exorcism.

am

THE TENTH MAN


not quite sure of

my rabbinical position.

But

would

it

God

a great deal to believe once again in a

please

of dybbuks.

me

(He

wal\s quic\ly past alper out into the synagogue, alper follows)
Well,

we are ten.
(A silence falls upon

the gathered men.)

FOREMAN

May God look upon us with the eye of mercy and understandmay He forgive us if we sin in our earnestness.

ing and

THE OTHERS

Amen.
THE CABALIST
Sexton, light the candles, (the sexton lights each man's
candle,

the cabalist advances slowly

apparently in a schizophrenic
line before

the girl with the

Dybbuk,

draw

may

to

the

girl,

who

stands

body making small occasional jerking movements,

slac^ly, her

not do

this line

harm

to

state,

the cabalist slowly draws a

flat of his toe.

He speaks quietly)

beyond which you may not come. You

anyone in

this

room. (The old

men

shift

nervously in their various positions around the synagogue, the


cabalist turns to the sexton)

Open the Ark. (the sexton moves

quickly up to the altar and opens the brown sliding doors of the
Arl^, exposing the several scrolls within, standing in their

hand-

some

to his

velvet coverings,

the cabalist moves slowly bac\

original position; he says quietly

presence of

God and His Holy

with you one

last

no answer) Then

upon your
shrill

Dybbuk, you

will

horn

are in the

(the girl gasps)

time to leave the body of this

girl.

plead

{There

is

invoke the curse of excommunication

pitiable soul. Sexton,

raises the ram's

Scrolls,

to his lips,

blow Tekiah. (the sexton

and the

eerie,

frightening tones

out into the hushed air) Sexton, blow Shevurim. (Again,


149

THE TENTH MAN


the sexton
first

rams horn and blows

raises the

a variation of the

hollow tones)Sexton, blow Teruah. (A third time, the

sexton blows a variation of the original tones) Sexton, blow the


Great Tekiah, and, upon the sound of these tones, dybbuk, you
will be

wrenched from the

upon you

the final

girl's

body and there

will be cast

anathema of excommunication from

world of the living and from

all

all

the

the world of the dead. Sexton,

blow the Great Tekiah.


{For the fourth time, the sexton
his lips

and blows a quic\

silence falls heavily

into the air.

raises the ram's

slacf{ly,

her hands

girl remains as she

making involuntary

movements, foreman's head sin\s slowly on

and an expression

on the gathered men, the notes fading

Nothing happens, the

was, standing

horn to

succession of loud blasts.

little

his chest,

of deep pain covers his face,

the

cabalist stares steadily at the girl. Suddenly, Arthur

begins to

moan

softly,

and then with

horrible scream tears out of his throat.


brief step forward.

At

swift violence a

He

staggers one

the pea\ of his scream, he

falls

down on the floor of the synagogue in a complete


faint. The echoes of his scream tingle momentarily in the
high corners of the air in the synagogue. The others stand
heavily

petrified for a

moment,

staring at his slac\ body on the

floor.)

ALPER

My God. I think what has happened is that we have exorcised


the

wrong dybbuk.
(the policeman

starts

toward Arthur's limp body.)

THE POLICEMAN
All right, don't crowd around. Let
150

him breathe.

THE TENTH MAN


THE CABALIST

He will be all right in a moment.


ZITORSKY
If I didn't see this

with

my own

eyes,

wouldn't believe

it.

THE RABBI
Mr. Hirschman, will he be all right ?
THE CABALIST
Yes.

SCHLISSEL
(

With simple devoutness)

Praise be to the Lord, for His compassion

(harris sin\s

down

is

everywhere.

onto a chair, exhausted and terrified

by the whole experience, the rabbi moves slowly

and

stares at

help

him

Arthur

as schlissel, zitorsky

down

and alper

to a chair.)

ALPER

How are you, my dear fellow

ARTHUR
{Still in a state of shocJ()
I

don't

know.

THE SEXTON

{Coming forward with some wine)

Would you like a sip of wine ?


*5*

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
(Taking the goblet)
Yes, thank you very much. (Turning to loo\ at the girl)

How is she?
(Her schizophrenic

state is quite obvious.

bac\, his face furrowed

and

his eyes closed

Arthur turns

now in

mas\

of pain.)

SCHLISSEL

Was it a painful experience, my friend ?


ARTHUR
I

don't

know. I feel beyond

trembling as

if

become more

from cold;

pain. (Indeed, his hands are visibly

his face is rigid

difficult to say)

feel as if I

and maskji\e. Words


have been reduced to

moment of birth, as if the universe has become one hunger.


(He seems to be almost on the verge of collapse.)

the

A hunger for what

ARTHUR
(

don't

Whispering)

know.
THE CABALIST

For life.
(At these words, Arthur sin\s bac\ into

his chair, ex-

hausted?)

ARTHUR
Yes, for

life. I

pray quietly)
as

knew

152

it

want

God

of

to live.

my

out of me.

(He opens

fathers,

You have

his eyes

and begins

you have exorcised


taken away

my

all

to

truth

reason and

THE TENTH MAN


me

Give

definition.

then a desire to wake in the morning, a

passion for the things of

sorrow

{He

me

all

life,

a pleasure in work, a purpose to

slowly stands, for a reason

and turns

himself,

Give

of these things in one

and hold her in

Her

soul

is

and give her

home.

have a
It is

I will.

lot of

will

will tend to her needs

her soul, her charm, her beautyeven

{To the

God

girl) Evelyn,

will not exorcise you,


I

We

will get your coat.

{He turns to the others)

things to do this afternoon.

not a simple matter to get somebody released from an

institution in
office

the girl and stands

my arms when she screams out with your voice.

mine now

you, her insanity, are mine. If

dybbuk,

to

Dybbuk, hear me.

before her crouched slac\ figure)


girl,

to

the girl)

give me the ability to love.

moves slowly

{In a hush of the scene, he

cherish this

unknown even

to regard the slouched figure of

New York. {He starts briskly across to the rabbi's

and pauses

girl

and she

{To mr. foreman) You'd

father.

Would somebody
proval.

We

secretary

shall

why

at the door) Officer,

and say you have located the


get

my

coat?

have to stop

is

better

We

come along with

will

off at

don't you just call in

being brought to her

my

need her
office

us.

father's ap-

and have

my

draw some papers.

(mr. foreman has hurriedly gotten

the

girl's

coat,

Arthur's coat, and his own. In this rather enchanted


state,

these three drift to the exit door.)

THE POLICEMAN
Rabbi,

is

this all right

Yes, quite

all right.

i53

THE TENTH MAN


ARTHUR
{Pausing at the door, bemused, enchanted)

Ohthank you all. Good-bye.


ALL

Good-bye.
ZITORSKY

Go in good health.
ALPER

Come back and make a tenth for us sometime.


(arthur smiles and herds the girl and foreman out of
The door closes behind them.)

the synagogue.

SCHLISSEL
{Sitting with a deep sigh)

Well, what is one to say ? An hour


God; now he's exorcising dybbuks.

ago, he didn't believe in

ALPER
{Pulling up a chair)

He

still

doesn't believe in

about

it,

position

gentlemen,
.

is

He simply
And when you

God.

(zitorsky joins the other two)

love.

and think

make

a sup-

was slowly returns

to the

there any difference ? Let us

{As the curtain


synagogue.

The

falls, life

moves

it

men engage

in disputation,

to his isolated studies,

off into his office,

himself,

as

three old

the cabalist returns

the rabbi

the sexton finds a chore for

and the policeman begins

The Curtain
154

wants to
stop

Falls

to button his coat.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


New York City in 1923. He gradDe Witt Clinton High School and C.C.N.Y. before
enlisting in the Army during World War II. In Germany he ran
paddy chayefsky was born in

uated from.

him

afoul of a booby trap that put

convalescing, he wrote the

No

T.O. for Love.

Kanin,

who

invited

He

came

lyrics for the

army

musical,

to the attention of

Garson

to help in the writing of the

award-

thus

him

in the hospital where, while

book and

winning documentary, True Glory. After the war he worked


briefly in his uncle's print shop,

He

movies, radio and television.

with such television


the Night,

scripts as

then turned to writing for


rose rapidly to

prominence

Marty, Bachelor Party, Middle of

The Mother, The Big Deal and The Catered Affair.


won the Academy Award, was the first television
successfully made into a motion picture. The film

Marty, which
play to be

version of Bachelor Party

Film
dess,
first

Festival.

was

Chayefsky 's

United States entry

first

won the Critics Prize at the

play for Broadway,

years,

Middle

was then produced

as a

company and was chosen


Cannes Film Festival.

at the

original screenplay,

Cannes

The God-

1958 Brussels Film Festival. His


of the Night, ran for almost

motion picture by Chayef sky's

as the official

American film

two

own

for the

CI

,-Mt*

XEqg

et.

*"*'

mUf.S"

The tenth man, main

812.5C512teC2

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