MOSES, a prophet
AARON, his brother, a priest
PHINEAS, grandson of Aaron
ABIASAPH, an Israelite
The action unfolds in the wilderness, some while back. MOSES and AARON are relaxing in deck chairs, in front of a tent from which intermittent rumbles of thunder can be heard.
AARON You asleep, Moish?
MOSES Not anymore.
AARON Can I ask you something?
AARON Doesn’t it seem to you sinful to piddle away this perfectly good Saturday?
MOSES Not so loud! You want another plague in the camp? Because that’s what we’ll get if he hears you grousing again.
AARON I’m not grousing—just using the brain he claims to have given me to wonder if he’s really all that different from Pharaoh.
MOSES If you weren’t my brother, I’d turn your ungrateful ass in. In Egypt—can you have forgotten already?—we had to make bricks seven days a week.
AARON Making bricks is a picnic compared to sacrificing bullocks.
MOSES Is that right.
AARON Do bricks gush blood all over you? Do they gore you? Do you have to stand up to your shins in their shit?
MOSES Not on Saturdays.
AARON I’ll see that as an improvement only when I’m free to do what I please with my Saturdays.
MOSES You’re free to rest on them.
AARON And if I don’t feel like resting? If I have projects of my own? During the week, I’m too worn out from work to stay up past dinner, so when am I supposed to pursue self-fulfillment, if not on Saturdays?
MOSES As I recall, the last time you were left to your own devices, you fulfilled yourself by making a golden calf.
AARON Say this for golden calves—they’re not always threatening to turn hornets loose on you if you don’t perform a raft of obsessive-compulsive rites.
MOSES That’s enough, Aaron. Zip it.
AARON At least with golden calves, if you don’t like their attitude, you can always hack them up into golden veal cutlets, whereas—