David Zellnik
A Jewish Masterpiece, p.4

Max almost pushes her out. Herzl stops him.

HERZL: How many sons have you lost to Russia?

DELEGATE: All of them.

HERZL: You have many sons of Israel. Come I will walk out with you and I will speak to my people.

He takes the Delegate’s arm and walks out onto the stage.

TO: Herzl ascends the platform. We hear the cry of thousands. He crumples up his prepared speech.

HERZL: Hear O Israel, we are one, we are a people, we are one! (Cheers) After nearly 1900 years of exile – I promise you there will be a Jewish state again! Our ancient land will be remade! We are base and corrupt but we will be men! (Cheers) If you will it, it is no dream!

Cheers, screams, madness. STRAIGHT TO:

ISRAEL 1953. More screaming. Now sing, to the old folk tune of "David King of Israel" "Arik melech yisroel!" (Arik, King of Israel) Ben-Gurion at his desk. Scheinerman (now even chubbier) stands at attention.

BEN-GURION: "Arik, King of Israel!" they’re now singing. The people love you and so the courts refuse to charge you. The borders are quiet. People feel safe... I think you’re a butcher.

SCHEINERMAN: I thought the houses were empty.

BEN-GURION: There were dead women shot point blank in their doorways. Their houses then blown up with the children inside. But you are their hero. I did not want Jewish boys to learn to love being killers.

(Scheinerman is silent) You know what I saw when I first laid eyes on you? I saw the New Jew everyone promised would grow up if we had a nation of our own. A man comfortable in his skin, a Macabbee. The Zionist Dream.

SCHEINERMAN: And what do you think now?

Long silence. Ben-Gurion considers. Then:

BEN-GURION: You should have a name of this country. What kind of name is Scheinerman?

SCHEINERMAN: Polish. My father’s.

BEN-GURION: You need an Israeli name. Where did you grow up?

SCHEINERMAN: The north. The valley of Sharon.

BEN-GURION: Well then. That’s your new name.

SCHEINERMAN (ARIEL SHARON): Sharon. As you wish.

End of Act 1.

[1]       [2]       [3]       4

David Zellnik's works have been performed in New York, around the USA, and internationally. They include the musicals City of Dreams and First in Flight, and the plays Killing Hand and Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom.

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