"The battle within us between our good impulse and our bad impulse is an ongoing one. These impulses have names in Jewish tradition, Yetser Tov—the impulse to do good—and Yetser Hara—the energetic impulse within every person that provides drive and also reflects creative forces within us but that can also turn to bad, and even evil, if not well controlled by one’s Yetser Tov through study, prayer, reflection, and the actual doing of good, especially through helping others. The concept of Yetser Tov and Yetser Hara dates back in Jewish tradition to the time of the great Rabbi Hillel who died in 10 C.E. in Jerusalem, right before Jesus began his ministry in Galilee and Judea. The tradition views Yetser Hara as a particularly strong impulse within us and holds that only by the constant study of Scripture and reflection on it and by prayer and the regular doing of good can one fully reach for his/her Yetser Tov to properly control his/her Yetser Hara.
This play strives with both humor and great seriousness to make this point in the context of circumstances unfortunately too real in many of our young people’s lives. The play ends with a wild party scene in a home while the parents are away and in which underage drinking is present. “Name Me” addresses the issue headon with discussion of the consequences of underage drinking and focuses upon a young person who must choose between following his Yester Tov or his Yetser Hara in the context of a party.
This is the second of three sermon plays (of which each can be performed without having seen the previous play) in the “Temptation Trilogy” that feature the characters “Hari” and “Tovi” who act like invisible shadows to the character, Max. They are like the “angel” and “devil” often depicted in cartoons with each whispering over the right or left shoulder of a person (like their subconscious).
Cast Needed: 25 +/
Voice Of God
Eli The Priest
Samuel’s Mother, Hannah (nonspeaking)
King David (nonspeaking)
Partiers (10 or more)
Stagehands (if needed)
(Many parts, and especially narrators, can be doubled)
Time Length: 3045 minutes
Age Level: Youth or adults
Audience: All ages