Alms for the Blind

  • Cast Number: 1
  • Run-time: 10 minutes
  • Bible Reference: John 9
An easily staged monologue based on Jesus’ healing of the blind man. Actor would be made to appear late teens to mid twenties. No special sets, lighting, sound or special effects necessary.

Costumes: likely (but not necessarily) traditional

Sample of script

Actor comes on stage.

Eleemosune ( pronounced el-eh-ay-mos-oo'-nay). Tuphlos (pronounced toof-los')

Alms! Blind man!

Eleemosune! Tuphlos!

Alms! Blind man!

These words formed the makeup of my existence. “Help for the blind man!”

Unable to work, I was unable to make my own way in the world. No one hires a blind man. It was, of course, more or less understood that the reason for me being blind from birth was some long-forgotten sin.
A sin committed either by myself, or by my parents. And since my father was Abraham, an elder in the temple, it was conceded that it had to be I who had sinned. My energy was taken up with the matter of staying alive, staying fed and clothed. Although there was indeed more than sufficient time for solitary reflection on such things, it mattered not that much, one way or the other. The immediate was the real concern.

Eleemosune! Tuphlos!

Alms! Blind man! Will someone take pity on the blind man?

Pity! Chuwc! (pronounced khoos) Have pity, show compassion! How degrading!

For all of my 21 years, mine had been a solitary life. Even those few who did not necessarily subscribe to sin being the cause of my infirmity, saw no reason to spend time with blind men, dregs of society.

As for my family, they had their social position to consider. Admission of having an infirm son tended to restrict the social and political future of an aspiring Jewish leader. Not exactly a longed for highlight on one’s resume for advancement in the Sanhedrin.

Eleemosune! Tuphlos!

Besides, what would my family have done for me? Or, with me? Although certainly not penniless, my father could ill afford the expense of a full-time servant to see to my needs. Besides, I am not sure what would be the more degrading, the begging for my existence or the constant awareness of my on-going dependence on my family.

Eleemosune! Tuphlos!

There was neither help, nor hope, for such as I, blind from birth. And so it was that daily I sat there, just outside the gates, waiting resignedly for someone to come and take pity on the blind man.

Eleemosune! Tuphlos!

From time to time caravans of the rich or the royal went by with great splendor, pomp and ceremony. The younger beggars among us would then become all excited, expecting great favors to come from these rich hands. The more experienced among us realized all too well that riches and fine breeding, in themselves, do not constitute a giving nature. In fact, it was often those who could least afford it who were most generous.

One Sabbath morning I arrived at the gates early and overheard what sounded like a heated dispute between three elders from the temple and a voice I had not before heard. They seemed to be debating matters of the law of Moses. I had little time for such inane jabber.

Yet, mysteriously I was drawn to the sound of the stranger’s voice, not so much by what he was saying, as by his voice itself. He spoke tenderly of “His Father’s love”. Love, from a father? Was that possible? I thought of my relationship with my father, and I questioned the possibility of feelings even remotely loving.

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