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BARAK    5'1m*f RT: Prophetess Deborah pushes Barak into battle

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

BARAK -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals -- helmet and sword
optional -- crosses to podium) Good Morning. My name is Barak
son of Abinoam. I am the supreme commander of the Israeli Army.
The reason I called this press conference is to announce the
result of our war against the Canaanites. In spite of being
outnumbered and underequipped, my army, through superior
strategy and training, defeated the Canaanite army roundly and
soundly. As many of you know, the Canaanite General Sisera had
equipped his army with nine hundred state-of-the-art chariots.
And Sisera himself was considered to be the most knowledgeable
and competent military strategist in this era. Yet, in spite of
these facts, Israel prevailed. And Sisera himself is dead. I
think that should make it clear who is really the most
knowledgeable and competent military strategist in this era.

Now, if you would like me to explain how I outsmarted Sisera, I
would be happy to do that. Are there any questions?

REPORTER -- Is it true that Deborah had to talk you into facing
Sisera?

BARAK -- Deborah.

REPORTER -- Deborah is the prophet of God and the judge over all
of Israel appointed by God.

BARAK -- I know who deborah is! Did she put you up to this?!

REPORTER -- Is it true that when Deborah first commanded you to
go into battle, you refused to go?

BARAK -- (turns to another part of the audience) Is there a
question from over here?

REPORTER -- Is it true that you refused to go into battle?

BARAK -- Is there an echo in here?

(turns to another part of the audience)

Is there a question from over here?

REPORTER -- Is it true that you refused to go into battle?

BARAK -- Would anybody like to hear how I outsmarted Sisera?
(points) You?

REPORTER -- Is it true that you refused to go into battle?

BARAK -- (surveys audience for a friendly face, seeing none...)
Listen, I wouldn't exactly say that I REFUSED to go into battle.

REPORTER -- How WOULD you characterize your reaction to
Deborah's command?

BARAK -- I told Deborah that I would go.... But I had my
conditions.

REPORTER -- What conditions?

BARAK -- (softly) I told Deborah that she had to go with me.

REPORTER -- You took a WOMAN into battle with you?!

BARAK -- It sounds worse than it really was.

REPORTER -- What redeeming value could there be in taking a
woman into battle with you?

BARAK -- Well, first of all, Deborah is no ordinary woman. She's
a prophet of God. And second, she assured me that God was on our
side.

REPORTER -- If God was on your side, why did you need to bring
Deborah with you?

BARAK -- Have you ever seen what Sisera does to the Generals he
conquers? He hangs them from a tree and lets the birds feed on
the dead carcass.

REPORTER -- But if Deborah prophesied that God was on your side,
you were never in danger.

BARAK -- A man can't be too careful these days.

REPORTER -- So, you took Deborah along as your lucky charm.

BARAK -- Don't be silly! We Jews are not allowed to have lucky
charms!

REPORTER -- Then why take a woman into battle with you?

BARAK -- I thought Sisera would be less likely to kill me if a
woman was present. Can we change the subject? (turns to another
section of the audience) How about a question from over here?

REPORTER -- Is it true that you didn't kill Sisera yourself?

BARAK -- Well, it wasn't for lack of wanting to. I had him on
the run. I was this (shows space between forefinger and thumb)
close to catching up with him. I had my sword ready. I would
have run him through alright!

REPORTER -- Who killed Sisera?

BARAK -- (quietly) The name was Jael.

REPORTER -- Jael is a woman's name. Are you saying that a woman
killed the most feared military leader of this era?

BARAK -- Some people are just lucky I guess.

REPORTER -- Is it true that, because you insisted on taking a
woman into battle with you, God gave the death of Sicera to a
woman?

BARAK -- I don't know why you press people have to be so
negative all the time. I beat the army of Sisera! Don't I get
any credit?!

REPORTER -- How can you claim any credit? Deborah said that God
had handed the Canaanite army over to you. When God is on your
side, you can't claim any credit.

BARAK -- Can too!

REPORTER -- Is it true that this woman Jael killed Sisera by
driving a tent state through his head?

BARAK -- I think I'm going to be sick. (exits)

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