Why would an atheist write a play about Torah?

By NOSHA member Marion Freistadt (aka Penny Bright)

That’s the enigma you’ll see revealed on April 26 at the Marigny Opera House.

My co-writer, Helen Stone, and I have written a play, called The Enigma of the Torah based on our decades of participation in Torah Study. (Torah is also called “the Hebrew Bible” and is the same as the first 5 books of the “Old Testament.”) I am a lifelong atheist. I am also Jewish. Atheism, skepticism, and questioning is well-tolerated among Jews (at least the ones I’m familiar with in the American reform and reconstructionist movement).

Although some call that “cultural” or “secular” Judaism, I find participation in synagogue life somewhat deeper. I get a lot of life lessons and enjoyment from reading “Lord of the Rings.” I just don’t think that it’s literally true. Gandolf (like God) is fictional. Studying Torah every week gives us an opportunity to explore questions of morality, purpose, culture, politics, and narrative with a group of congenial people.

Helen and I observed that we have an extremely interesting, yet highly diverse, group of people. We started taking notes on the characters and the sometimes hilarious comments. Over time, it evolved into a play. This past year, we have had the good fortune to bring it to fruition. We are so excited that this is finally happening. The cast is volunteer and many are actual participants in Torah Study. William Gautreaux, another NOSHA member, is also in the cast.

Please join us. Tickets (by donation of any amount to the Marigny Opera House: $15 is the suggested donation) are available at https://marignyoperahouse.org/upcoming-events/enigma-of-the-torah/

PS: If you’re really inspired, we don’t mind if you donate to production costs at The Enigma of the Torah (a play in 3 scenes), organized by Marion Freistadt

PPS: We could actually still use some understudies or musicians if anyone is interested!!!