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This is the place!
In Those Days, At This Time
Children unpacking their schoolbags. Some are talking, others are preparing for class.
Teacher: Please take out your binders. We will continue where we left off yesterday. Excuse me in the back! I want silence!
So today we will discuss the Hellenistic Period which began in
Girls whispering among themselves. Dina is playing with her ipod.
Teacher: Excuse me, ladies, but how many times do I have to ask for quiet?!
Dina, put that away!
Antiyochus the Third ruled over the
Boys throwing paper airplanes behind the teacher’s back.
Teacher: I saw that!
Student one: How does she always notice everything?!
Student two: Yeah! She always catches us!
Teacher: I have eyes in the back of my head.
So where was I? …… Oh, yes. The Greeks are actually the ones who developed the whole idea of physical entertainment, which in essence was idolizing the physical body.
The girls interrupt.
Student one: It’s because of them that we have showers today!
Student two: Yeah, and it’s a good thing too, ‘cause there are some people I know who could really use a shower….. (She looks meaningfully at some boys in the classroom. The boys are upset and tease back.)
Student one: Well it’s because of those showers that you’re stuck in the bathroom for hours on end!
Student two: Not that it helps them…
Teacher: Why are you interrupting me?! Enough nonsense!
All students are now talking and quarreling among themselves.
Teacher (screaming): Quiet now! I SAID QUIET!!!!
One girl writes something in her notebook and shows it to her friend. Immediately one of the boys grabs the notebook.
Girl: Get off of my notebook!
Boy: No way! I want to see what you wrote about me.
Girl: I didn’t write anything! Give it back to me!
The boy begins to run around the classroom and causes a big ruckus. The boy and girl are each tugging on opposite ends of the notebook.
Teacher: ENOUGH! (The class becomes silent.) I will send you both to the office. Come here right now. (Girl walks towards teacher. Teacher turns to boy.) You! Don’t think you can get away with it. Come over here right now! (Boy approaches teacher.) I want the two of you to march yourselves right downstairs to Dr. Kasloff’s office!
Girl: But I didn’t even….
Teacher: No buts!
Boy: It’s all her fault!
Dr. Kasloff enters. Students look at her frightened and bewildered.
Dr. Kasloff: I heard some noise coming from this classroom. I was just walking down the hall…..What’s all the commotion for?
Teacher: Actually, we’ve just had a little bit of excitement. What do you think, class? Should we share it with Dr. Kasloff?
Girl (mumbles under her breath to the boy): I was totally quiet; he just grabbed the notebook out of my hand!
Boy (mumbles back): Are you blaming me? You’re the one who started it!
Dr. Kasloff: I understand there is something here that we need to talk about. I’d like to see you in my office when the bell rings.
The entire class: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!
Teacher: Quiet! Shhhhhhhhh!
Dr. Kasloff: I will leave now, and I am sure there will be no reason for me to return.
Teacher: Thank you.
Dr. Kasloff exits. Students resume dispute; teacher tries to calm the class.
Boy: It’s all your fault! I have enough on my plate without this, too!
Girl: You didn’t have to grab my notebook, baby!
Boy: What d’ya call me?!?
Girl: Baby! Totally immature!
Boy: You are really getting me angry!
Girl: What a chutzpah!
Boy: You’re crazy!
Girl: Immature baby!
Boy: You’re the one who’s immature!
The lights blink, the music gets louder and the classroom suddenly disappears. The students look at each other, bewildered and confused, as the stage lights turn off.
Children at an outdoor market during the era of Chanukah.
Girl: What is this? Where are we?
Boy: What d’ya do to me? Where are we?
Girl: If I would know myself, I wouldn’t be asking you!
Boy: You are so annoying!
Girl: Well, sir! You are simply “perfect” yourself, aren’t you?! This is all your fault!
Matityahu and his son enter the market, and walk among the stalls.
Boy: MY fault?!
Girl: Yes, YOUR fault!
Boy: Get down!
Boy: Quick! Get down!
The children hide behind a stall. A Greek army general enters the market. All the people in the market bow down to the general.
Girl: What just happened?
Boy: Did you see that?
Boy: He was wearing a Greek army uniform, just like the soldier in the picture that our teacher showed us today!
Girl: Since when do you pay attention in class?
Boy: Sometimes it’s not so boring…
Girl: (looking at Matityahu, scornfully) Who’s that guy?!?
Boy: Don’t know. Be quiet; I can’t hear him. (points to Yochanan)
Greek General: You there! (pointing to Yochanan) Come bring a sacrifice to the Greek god by the name of Emperor Antiyochus!
Yochanan glances over at his father, then looks back at the general. All the people in the marketplace look frightened of the Greek general.
Yochanan: I will never sacrifice to YOUR god!
Greek officer: (in a rage) I told you to bring a sacrifice! Who are you to defy the command of the Emperor Antiyochus?!?
Matityahu: We are Jews, and our G-d is the true G-d! We will never give in to your impure ways!
Hellenistic Jew: Matityahu, I don’t understand what you’re getting so worked up about. He’s only asking for a simple sacrifice. (turns to the officer) I’ll bring the sacrifice. (The Hellenist approaches the altar to bring the sacrifice.)
Greek officer: (pointing to Matityahu) You will yet that see that we will destroy your Judaism! Half of the village has already accepted the Emperor’s decree! (haughtily marches out of the marketplace.)
Girl: (jumps out from behind the stall and walks towards Matityahu.) Matityahu!
Matityahu turns around to see who’s talking to him.
Boy: (standing up) Are you crazy?! Get back here right now!
Girl (ignoring boy): Matityahu, you HAVE to do something! You just have to save the Jews from those Greeks!
Matityahu: And who might you be?
Boy (interrupting): We are from
Girl: We’re here because of him!
Boy: We are here because of you!
Matityahu (looking at the two of them): I see you two are having a trouble getting along...
Girl: We were having a disagreement during History class and suddenly we found ourselves here.
Boy: So you see, it’s all your fault!
Girl: You know, you are really annoying!
Matityahu: Well, I don’t think I understand exactly what you are doing here, but in any case, your friend is right: something must be done to save the Jewish People.
Boy: (Looking annoyed at Matityahu) She is NOT my friend!
Girl: You wish! Matityahu, perhaps you should gather all the Jews together.
Matityahu: Yes, we’ll gather everyone and we’ll proclaim a rebellion against the Greeks...
Matityahu (walks over to the center of the marketplace and declares): “Mi LaHaShem Ay-lie – Whoever is for HaShem, Come to ME!”
Matityahu: We must now go out and fight!
Girl: Do you have a plan, Matityahu?
Boy: What do you need a plan for?
Matityahu: Yochanan, gather everyone for the march to Yerushalayim.
Yochanan: I’ll leave immediately. (runs off to call everyone)
Girl: I remember the teacher saying something about you conquering the Beit HaMikdash…
Boy: He doesn’t know yet that it’ll happen. Don’t confuse him!
Matityahu: This is quite dangerous. I hope we will succeed in saving the Beit HaMikdash from the hands of those wicked Greeks!
All three walk off the stage towards the path to Yerushalayim.
The two students enter the stage.
Girl: Where is everyone?
Boy: Matityahu went to prepare everyone for the rebellion….Isn’t Matityahu totally cool?!?
Girl: Yeah, he really is quite a hero!
Boy (making a scornful face and looking at the audience): Girls…..! I see the Greeks approaching!
Girl: Where are the Macabees? I’m starting to worry!
Boy: (pointing to Matityahu) There they are!
Matityahu and Macabbees enter the stage as the music gets louder. REBEL DANCE.
At the end of the dance, Matityahu, in center stage, hands his son his sword and falls on his knees. They leave the stage in an embrace.
Boy: I wonder why Matityahu gave his sword to his son?
Girl: You never get anything, do you?!
Boy: Well since you obviously get it, would you mind sharing it with me?
Girl: Matityahu passed on the command of the Chashmona-ee army to his son Yehuda. Yehuda’s going to capture and purify the Beit HaMikdash.
Boy: Then what are we waiting for? Let’s get over there right away! (hurries her off the stage) Come on!
Girl: Wait for me….!
The two students in the ruined Beit HaMikdash.
Boy: Did you see how Yehuda and his men fought off those Greeks? It was so awesome! That Yehuda is really a serious guy!
Girl: You talk about him as if he’s one of your friends! Do you know that Matityahu put Yehuda in charge of the Chashmona-ee army even though he isn’t the oldest son? Matityahu noticed that his son was a strong and sensitive leader from a young age.
Boy: Wowwww!! Just like me!
Girl: Can’t you get serious for once?! Here, let me tell you a little about Yehuda’s conquest of Yerushalayim and his purification of the BEit HaMikdash.
Boy: Okay, let’s hear what you have to say…..(turning to audience) she’s really smart….
Boy listens to girl and seems interested.
Girl: So King Antiyochus the Fourth died and of course there was a dispute about who would take over the throne. The Greek governor of Eretz Yisroel at that time was in
Finally he set his sights on Yerushalayim, with the goal of purifying the city from the last stronghold of the Greek rule.
So now Yehuda’s on his way to the Beit HaMikdash to purify and reconstruct it after the Greeks have defiled it. The truth is, that’s a whole ‘nother story….but look! (Yehuda and army enter the Beit HaMikdash) I see Yehuda and the Macabees approaching! Let’s hide and see what will happen.
Boy: Okay, wait! I’m coming!
Yehuda: Come! Look and see what our enemies have done to our holy Beit HaMikdash!
The Macabees walk around the stage trying to make order.
Soldier One: Everything is ruined! Nothing is intact!
Soldier Two: (pointing to a corner) Look! There’s the menorah! Let us kindle its lights!
Soldier Three (looking for a jug of oil): Yes, that is a good idea, but I cannot find even one jug of pure olive oil…!
Yehuda: We will need to find several jugs of pure olive oil to light the menorah until we can make new oil.
Soldier Four: (looking through a pile of stuff, shouts out) Oh! I think I found something!
Soldier Five: What is it? What is it? What’d you find?
Soldier Four: I found a jug of oil! Our wicked enemies did not touch it! It is closed and sealed with the seal of the Kohen Gadol!
Soldier One: Wonderful! Baruch HaShem!
Soldier Two: I don’t think it’ll be enough for all the branches of the menorah. And anyhow, I don’t think it’ll stay lit long enough…
Yehuda: Hey! My dear soldiers! (The soldiers listen to Yehuda and nod their heads.) Where is your trust in HaShem? The only reason we succeeded in all we have done until now is because HaSHem helped us. All those battles which we knew we could not logically win, it was only because of the AlMighty’s intervention and assistance. Now, too, we need to trust in Him, and He will help us. So let us try! Let us light the menorah! Bring me the jug of oil!
Yehuda takes the jug of oil and goes to light the menorah as all the soldiers surround him and the menorah, gazing in wonder and amazement as Yehuda succeeds in lighting all 7 flames with the small amount of oil in the jug. The soldiers explode in happiness and joy, hugging and dancing!
Girl: Wow! What a miracle!
Boy: I knew they would do it! I knew they would succeed! Wow, is Danny missing out on the party! I’ll have to tell him all about it! (gets up to join the celebration)
Girl: Listen to me. Even if you tell it all to him, he’ll never believe you. Anyhow, we’ve been stuck here for so long, how will we ever get back?
Boy: I dunno. You’re the one who brought us here!
Girl: Are you starting with that again?
Boy: No, I was only teasing. Truth is, it wasn’t all that bad. I actually learned a few important things…
Girl: Truth is, I learned a few things, too.
Boy: What?! Do you mean to tell me there was something you didn’t know?!
Girl: Very funny….Wait a minute. Do you feel what I feel?
Boy: Yeah, my stomach…I’m really getting hungry!
Girl: Not that, silly! The ground is moving!
Boy: Hey! You’re right!
The lights flicker as the music gets louder and the students suddenly disappear.
In the classroom. Class looks bewildered at the two students who have suddenly reappeared.
Boy: Hey! What just happened?!?
Girl: We’re back in class. Can you believe that we just relived history?!?
Boy: I’m not sure what I believe any more! All I know is that I never thought I would miss this classroom!
Girl: Oh, yeah? That really IS strange! Come on! Let’s go tell everyone what just happened to us!
Boy: Good idea! (Turns to friend excitedly) Hey, Shmuel, you have no idea where Esti and I just were!
Shmuel: Oh, yeah? Where?
Boy (with girl listening in): We traveled back in time to the period of the Assyrian-Greek Empire, and we saw EVERYTHING….the Macabees, the Greeks and the little jug of pure olive oil! The reality is a whole lot more interesting than the way the History teacher told it.
Shmuel: (mockingly) Really?! And do you know where I was?
Shmuel: In the time of the dinosaurs! I played hide and go seek with a tyrex there. I’m sure that I had more fun than you!..... Are you crazy??! What’s happened to you?! What time travel are you talking about?! Stop making up stories! (Turns to girl) Can you believe what he’s saying? Maybe he WISHES he was with you in the Syrian Empire, or whatever you call it… (Turns to audience, rolling eyes)
Girl: It’s called the Assyrian Empire, Shmuel, and YES, we really WERE there! (Looks at boy, and sighs) Well, WE know what happened to us, and what’s more, I’m glad I was with you. You know, you’re not so bad after all.
Boy: Yeah, actually for a girl, you’re not so bad yourself. I guess we’re kind of like the Macabees – small in number, but strong in our belief!
Shmuel: Hey, you two sound like you know what you’re talking about. Tell me the whole story again…..
Another student: What’s up? I want to hear, too! (Turns to class, motioning them to join) Hey, guys! Want to hear a good story? Come on and join us!