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MANNA    6'1m1f Moses parries complaints, feeds Hebrews

ETHEL -- (a jewish mother) Now, Moses, I don't want to be the 
one to complain, because God knows how much I put up with around 
here, but...

MOSES -- (an old Jewish man) Aunt Ethel, please, it's too hot 
out here in the desert for all this complaining.

ETHEL -- Oh, far be it from me to complain. It's just that a few 
of those others are saying how it would have been better if were 
still slaves back in Egypt, than to die out here in the hot sun.

MOSES -- Aunt Ethel, stop exaggerating. We're not going to die. 
Didn't the Lord just show you 10 plagues, the opening of the Red 
Sea and the drowning of the entire Egyptian army?

ETHEL -- Well, yes, but that was yesterday. What if he doesn't 
show up today and we all die of thirst. You know, some of the 
others don't cherish the thought of having our dead bodies 
picked apart by vultures.

MOSES -- Aunt Ethel, please. Go tell THE OTHERS that the Lord 
will provide, as he always does.

ETHEL -- I'd like to, Moses, but I'm so thirsty and weak, I 
don't think I can make it. You know how fragile I am. Did I tell 
you about my gall bladder?

MOSES -- Alright, Alright! The Lord has heard your grumbling.

ETHEL -- Mind you, I'm not the one to grumble. It's just that 
the others...

MOSES -- Alright! 

(whip, thud, gurgle) 

Here. Drink this.

ETHEL -- Moses, dear, the sun must have baked your brain. I'm 
not going to drink a rock. Well! Look at that! Water from a 
rock! Well, now you know what those others are going to say.

MOSES -- I'm sure you'll tell me.

ETHEL -- They'll say, "Ethel, what good is all that water when 
there's no cup to drink it with?"

MOSES -- Here, use mine.

ETHEL -- Thank you. (glub) Oh! (blub) That's so... (glub) That's 
so...

MOSES -- Thirst quenching?

ETHEL -- That's not what they'll say.

MOSES -- I'm dying to here what THEY'll say.

ETHEL -- They'll say, "What good is for us to have a few days 
added onto our lives with all this water, only to die of 
starvation." That's what they'll say and they'll be right. Or 
haven't you noticed there's nothing to eat around here?

MOSES -- I've noticed, Aunt Ethel. I've noticed and so has God.

ETHEL -- Well, if you think I'm going to eat locusts with my 
constitution being what it is...

MOSES -- No, I'm sure that the Lord won't want a woman with your 
constitution being what it is to eat locusts.

ETHEL -- Mind you, with my faith in the Lord, it isn't me who's 
worried about where out next meal will come from.

MOSES -- It's the OTHERS, I know.

ETHEL -- That's right.

MOSES -- Just wait till tomorrow morning.

ETHEL -- What's happening tomorrow morning, may I ask?

MOSES -- You'll see, after the dew.

ETHEL -- Do what? What do we have to do?

MOSES -- No, it's not what you do. It's under the dew.

ETHEL -- You, know when you're out in the hot sun like this, 
it bakes your brain, so you stop making sense.

MOSES -- Aunt Ethel, tomorrow morning after the morning dew 
evaporates, the Lord will provide food.

ETHEL -- What is it?

MOSES -- That's correct.

ETHEL -- What's correct? What is it?

MOSES -- That's it exactly.

ETHEL -- Where is my nephew Aaron. We need someone else in 
charge here.

MOSES -- Aunt Ethel, the name of the food is "what is it?". You 
can call it MANNA, if you like.

ETHEL -- Oh, what is it!

MOSES -- That's right.

ETHEL -- So, what is it?

MOSES -- Do we have to go through that again?

ETHEL -- No, I mean, what's it made of.

MOSES -- Well, it'll come in flakes, but it'll taste like bread. 
You add a little water to make a dough, then you can bake it or 
boil it.

ETHEL -- Oh, like bagels. I would die for a bagel.

MOSES -- (softly) Only in my dreams.

ETHEL -- What?

MOSES -- Nothing. 

ETHEL -- Like I've always said, Moses, my boy, the Lord always 
provides.

MOSES -- I'm sure you did. But let me caution you Aunt Ethel. 
You may only collect a one-day supply of manna at a time. If you 
collect more than you need, it will rot and stink.

ETHEL -- Like your Uncle Morris after he's had corned beef and 
cabbage. Whew!

MOSES -- So, each person will only be allowed to one omer.

ETHEL -- I'd never marry even one Arab, even if I was starving.

MOSES -- Not, Omar, Aunt Ethel. An OMER. 
         
ETHEL -- I knew that. What's an omer?
         
MOSES -- One tenth of an Ephah. 

ETHEL -- Oh! One tenth of an Ephah! What's an Ephah?

MOSES -- Just don't collect more manna than you and Uncle Morris 
can eat in one day.

ETHEL -- Never. First, I'll collect the manna from heaven, then 
I'll feed my Morris, then I'll push him outside with the other 
rotten smells.

MOSES -- (fading) Good. See you later, Aunt Ethel.

ETHEL -- There was just one more thing.

MOSES -- (near) What now?

ETHEL -- Not from me. It's for...

BOTH --  ...those other people.

ETHEL -- Yes. The first thing out of their mouths when I tell 
them all about the manna from heaven, they'll ask, "what goes 
with it?"

MOSES -- What are you talking about?

ETHEL -- What? No meat for dinner?

MOSES -- Aunt Ethel, we're in the middle of the desert. What do 
you want from me?

ETHEL -- Mind you, I wasn't asking for myself...

MOSES -- Alright, alright! The Lord has heard your grumbling. 
He will give you quail for dinner. How's that?

ETHEL -- Quail? Just quail? No beef? No lamb? Just quail? Mind 
you, I'm not asking for myself. I rather enjoy poultry. But 
those other people, they'll complain and they'll grumble until 
they get to the promised land. It's a good thing we're only 
going to be out in the desert for a few days, right? Why are you 
looking at me like that? We are going to be out here in the 
desert for just a few more days, right?

MOSES -- Well, talk about it tomorrow morning, over bagels.

ETHEL -- (fading) You're hiding something from me.

MOSES -- (fading) That's correct.

ETHEL -- (afar) No, I mean, what IS it?

MOSES -- (afar) Yes, that too.


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