Feathers in the Wind
Book and Lyrics by David Rush
Music by Errol Pearlman
ABOUT THE WORK
A whimsical musical weaving together a collection of Jewish folk tales about the the wise fools of Chelm into a single fable. As Rabbi Itzik searches the world for his scattered congregation, he recounts the rise and fall of his little village that proved time and again that "God loves the people of Chelm."
FROM THE WORK
RABBI ITZIK: God loves the people of Chelm? Well, sometimes when you stop and think, maybe you're not so sure. Which is one reason I'm looking for everybody, so I could find out.
Maybe it would help you to understand .... ... how it all got started. In the beginning -- GOD:I made the world and everything in it. Then I thought, "I'll send out some angels to fill it with people." So I gave each of My angels two sacks. One sack filled with smart souls, and one sack filled with fools. 'Go spread them equally around the world.'" CHELMITE: Now it so happened that one of the angels --- MOISHE: Moishe was my name --- CHELMITE: -- was very new on the job. MOISHE: "I'm so nervous." (Checking his bags) "Smart souls. Silly souls. Smart souls. Silly souls... "
(OTHER ACTORS lift MOISHE and help him “fly,” sprinkling out souls.)
CHELMITE: As he flew over the earth, Moishe couldn't help day-dreaming...
MOISHE: "I'll do such a fine job, God will be so proud of me, maybe He'll let me meet some famous people. Like Moses. So, nu, Moses; what do you miss most about Egypt?" CHELMITE(s):
Moishe was so busy talking to Moses that he didn't notice the mountain coming up... And before he knew it,...
(MOISHE stumbles on a mountain top, spills open one of his bags. HE, and the other actors, react in shock)
And all the souls that were in the sack fell in one great pile onto the little town just below! MOISHE: Oy! What have I done! I tried to sweep them back up, but it was too late.
CHELMITES : (Mime ‘waking up’ and ad-libbing)
Hello; what’s this? Where are we?
Who am I?
What’s that thing in the sky?
What’s that thing in the ground?
MOISHE: Even worse, the sack I spilled was all silly souls.
CHELMITES: (ad lib, a babble of voices)
Two times three is apples. I’m a silly soul. What’s a soul? What’s my name? What’s a name? I’ll call myself Tree. I want to be President. I’ll be Schossel; what kind of name is Schossel? Why is there air? What’s the meaning of it all? (etc) MOISHE: I ran away, hoping God wouldn’t notice.
GOD: But of course I did. “Such a calamity. But what can I do? I can't destroy these poor fools. And I can't hurt their feelings by letting them know how foolish they are. I'll just have to watch out for them extra carefully. From now on, Chelm will have my personal attention. Now, Moishe, about that snake business...."
CHELMITE(s): And so that's how it happened that we who live in Chelm believe we're the wisest people in the world. After all, don't we have proof?