Setting: The stage is in complete darkness. A pinspot shines center stage.
Voice #1 (an ethereal voice from emanates all corners of the theater): Are you proud to be a Jew?
Voice #2 (from darkened stage): Yes
Voice #1: Did you become Bar Mitzvah?
Voice #2: No
Voice #1: Do you celebrate the holy days?
Voice #2: No.
Voice #1: The what are you so proud of?
Voice #2: That I am a role model for young Jewish kids.
Voice #1: But you are a cheater and an unapologetic wrongdoer.
Voice #1: You need to ask for forgiveness.
Voice #2: I've already done that.
Voice #1: Yes, but you have to really mean it.
Voice #2: I am genuinely sorry for what I have done. (pause) How's that?
Voice #1: Works for me. But what you have done needs asking for forgiveness from those you have hurt. This is not a sin Beyn Adam v'Makom, but rather Beyn Adam V'chavero.
Voice #1: Sorry, I should have known that you wouldn't get that reference... you need to do teshuva.
Voice #2: What do I need to do to a shoe?
Voice #1: T'-shu-va...you need to apologize to the people you have hurt, not me. And it's the perfect time of year to do teshuva.
Voice #2: Perfect time of year? You're right about that! Pennant races, the playoffs...
Voice #1: Oy, I need this like a loch en cup. Listen my friend, this is taking much more of my precious time then I had planned, which is pretty impressive, since to me a second is like a hundred million years. (He laughs)
Voice #2: What the...?
Voice #1: (as an aside) Gevalt, he doesn't even know our jokes!
Here's what I suggest - you'll talk to a rabbi. I'll set up a meeting with you and one of the greatest rabbis who ever lived, The Rambam. Why didn't I think of that before? Mr. Braun, go and learn. As for me, I'm going to vacate this space and do some tzimtzum.
Voice #2: Tzim...tzim...Tzimmes! I know what THAT is!
Voice #1: (as an aside) Maybe there's hope for this child yet.
Setting: Rambam's study - Two chairs are set facing each other, angled towards the audience
Rambam: What is your Hebrew name young man?
RanBran: Uh, I don't know sir.
Rambam: You don't know or you don't have one.
RanBran: I don't think that I have one. I don't know.
Rambam: OK, then we'll give you one when the time is right. Now, tell me why you have you come to see me? You have a reputation for being powerful, but travelling 900 years into the past is pretty impressive by any standards. OK, let's get started, I only get 3 hours of sleep a night, and my time is precious.
RanBran: I was told that I need to shoe something?
RanBran: Yeah, that's it, teshuva.....what's teshuva?
Rambam: Hmmm... Hillel might have been able to distill it down to 140 characters, but I'm going to have to give you a longer version.
RanBran: I have nothing but time, 65 games worth.
Rambam: What was your sin?
RanBran: I got nailed for taking PEDs. (Rambam looks at him quizically) Performance Enhancing Drugs - PED's are a banned substance in my profession.
Rambam: You're a gigolo?
RanBran: (shocked) No! A baseball player, and a pretty good one too. Have you ever heard of baseball? Haven't you ever heard of me?
Rambam: Baseball? Of course, for the Torah says "in the big inning.." (He winks)
Rambam: Gevalt, he doesn't even know our jokes.
Voice #1: I know, I know. (Rambam nods in agreement)
Rambam: And truth be told, I've never heard of you, because only the Holy One of Blessing can look into the future. Let's get to why you're here. You want to, or, anyway, you need to do teshuva, correct.
RanBran: I suppose so...
Rambam: Here are some ways to do it. First, you could change your name.
RanBran: What? Change my name, to what?
Rambam: To anything other than the one you use now.
RanBran: And how does that work exactly?
Rambam: It's as if to say "I am another, and I am not the same person who did those deeds."
RanBran: (excited) That could work. (to self) Imagine, two busts of me in the Hall of Fame.
Rambam: Well, maybe not then. This is really about the supression of ego and I might need to send you to Freud to deal with that. There is something else you could try. You could exile yourself from your place.
RanBran: You mean get traded? I'm not the GM, and I like Milwaukee.
Rambam: Changing places would humble you. Like we find in the Talmud, "if a person finds that an evil urge is overpowering him, he should go to a place where they don't recognize him, wear dark clothing, and wrap himself in black.
RanBran: (looking dejected) I already feel like an outcast.
Rambam: OK, let me suggest one more possibility. How about giving tzedakah? (RanBran looks puzzled) Charity. Giving charity would avert the severity of the decree.
RanBran: You mean they might reduce the number of games I have to sit out if I give some money to charity? How much would I have to give? I lost 40% of my salary.
Rambam: How much do you make
RanBran: 10 million dollars a year.
Rambam: (long silence)...........Mr. Braun, do you acknowledge your sin?
Rambam: Do you regret doing it?
Rambam: Do you resolve never to do it again, even if the opportunity presents itself?
Rambam: Finally, have you asked from forgiveness from those you have hurt?
RanBran: Well, not exactly....
Rambam: Go do it!
Setting: The RanBran's home office - The RanBran is dialing a cell phone.
RanBran: Hello , I 'm trying to reach Wes Aldridge.
Aldridge: This is Wes Aldridge. Who is this?
RanBran: Mr Aldridge, this is Ryan Braun. I am calling all the Brewer season ticket holders to apologize and ask for your forgiveness.
Aldridge: (pauses) C'mon, who is this really?
RanBran: It's Ryan Braun Mr. Aldridge, and I'd like you to ask that you consider forgiving me for my actions. I am really very sorry.
Aldridge: Well, if it's really you, then I must tell you Mr. Braun, that I can't do that. You cheated the game. In fact, I've packed up your memorabilia and intend to keep all of it out of the sight of my grandsons.
RanBran: I'm sorry you feel that way. Mr. Aldridge, would you mind if I called you back sometime to see if you changed your mind?
Aldridge: Do what you want.
RanBran: Thank you for your time, I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to atone for my mistake.
(He snaps his cell phone closed) Yes! Now I only have to call him back two more times and I'm home free!*
Rambam and Voice #1: That he knows about??? (RanBran winks to audience)
(Lights to black)
* According to Jewish law, once you sincerely ask for forgiveness three times you no longer carry the burden.
Mark Novak is a "free-range" rabbi who lives in Washington DC and works, well, just about everywhere. In 2012 he founded Minyan Oneg Shabbat, home to MOSH (Minyan Oneg Shabbat), MindfulMOSH (Jewish mindfulness gathering), and