The Torments of Job

What is a sated man?
A sated man is a finished man, lost.
What’s left for him to hope for?
Everything’s full, blocked, sealed up,
lying there motionless, breathing laboured,
feeling like life itself is a heavy stone on his heart,
the greatest despair you can imagine!

After that kind of darkness the horizon can only get brighter

Translated by: Naaman Tammuz

Premiere: 1981
Directed by: Hanoch Levin
Theatre: The Cameri Theatre
Number of characters: 20
Subjects: Violence, Religion and Faith, The Bible, Death

Costume and stage design: Ruth Dar

Original music: Foldi Shatzman

Participants: Yossef Carmon - Job; Albert Cohen - Elipaz; Ilan Dar - Bildad; Yitshak Hikzia - Tsofar; Sassi Sa'ad - Officer, Beggar, Herald of poverty; Dov Reizer - Head Bailiff, Pathetic clown; Mati Sarry - Beggar, Herald of poverty, Herald of death, Cynical clown; Reuven Sheffer - Beggar, Midget; Rose Meshichi - Guest, Stripper; Yehuda Fuchs - Circus manager; Ami Weinberg - Beggarish beggar, Herald of death; Eli Glazer - Herald of poverty, Herald of death, Jesus; Irmy Amir - Beggar, Sergeant.

Musicians: Micha Blecherovitz - piano; Benny Kadishzon - percussion; Avi Shiloh - clarinet; Dan Shwartzman - french horn; Itay Krispin - contrabass. 


Job, a rich merchant and true believer in God, prepares a feast for his friends, who leave the left-overs for beggars to nibble on. Meanwhile the last of the beggars, who sups on the vomit of the sated, patiently awaits his meal. But Job unexpectedly suffers three blows of fate, one after the next: All his property is lost, his sons all die, and boils infect his flesh. Naked and broke, he scratches himself senseless atop the ruins of his house. His friends, Elipaz, Bildad and Tsofar, come to console him and find a wrecked man who has lost his belief in God along with a grip on reality. Their attempts to set him back on faith's trail through convincing and bitter arguments are all in vain. The afflicted Job needs the comfort that delusion brings, and so as one of the friends conjures a sweet and charitable God, Job falls for it. 

Into Job's abode storm soldiers of the new Caesar who has ordered the abolition of all faith in God, punishing those who refuse to comply by torturing them to death at the stake. The three sober friends obey, afraid for their own skin. But Job, trapped in his sweet delusion, refuses and is put on the stake. 

A passing travelling circus buys Job's final hour of misery from the soldiers as a new attraction for their show. Surrounded by music, clowning and dancing, Job hangs dying at the stake. As he gasps his final gasps, Job finally awakens from his delusion and, as he faces the great void, forsakes his belief and dies. The patient beggar appears again, licks up Job's vomit and faeces then proclaims his belief in God.

Productions abroad

Theater for the New City (New York City, New York, 2006) - translated by S. K. Azoulay / Directed by David Paul Willinger

The Jewish Theater (Stockholm, Sweden, 2011) / Directed by Philip Zandén

Le Menteur Volontaire, France (2011) / Directed by Laurent Brethome

This work was translated to: English, Polish, French

French   Éditions Théâtrales, France (2001)

English   Barbara Harshav, The Stanford University Press (2003)

Polish     ADIT Publishing, Poland (2009)