ACT IScene i
A Jewish funeral. The RABBI is speaking the words of the burial service as the body of JAKOB,the father of MIKL
S, is lowered into the grave. Also present are MIKL
S himself, LAJOS hisuncle, AGICA his sister, and ILKA his stepmother. MIKL
S, the surviving son, drops flowers inthe grave and then the first shovelful of soil. The other mourners are chanting a requiem, barelyaudible. The requiem begins with the Hebrew words of the Jewish burial ritual, and then burstsout in these words:
MOURNERS:The autumn mists drift chill above the grave,it's early, but already evening's come.In these dark skies the heavy torch-smoke weavesa silver-silver wreath of foggy leaves--and overhead the scared bird grieves and grieves!The soul's as terrified, as sadly drifting,as is the cold cloud with its weightless wingblown by the white-hot stars unwavering.The body in its pit rests silently,it lives the still fate of a clod of soil,it melts, the thirsty root sucks at its vein,and with a green flame it returns again,as law demands! horrible, horrible,that what was one world now spins into two!or is it wiser so? The corpse knows all.Protect, O Lord, the pathways of the soul.
As the ceremony comes to an end, LAJOS takes MIKL
S aside and speaks to him.
s. Are you ready for your journey?MIKL
S:Journey, uncle Lajos? But wasn't I