Husband: Get out of there, insolent woman! Now you
can’t escape anymore!
Neighbor: Knock that door down and get them out?
neighbor: Adulteress, adulteress!
A mob of men and women shouted as they gathered around Cirilo’s house,
in a district in Jerusalem where water carriers lived. Stones were hurled
against the door while curses were heard all over the place.
Neighbor: You’ll pay for this, you bitch!
Lady Neighbor: We know that you two rascals are inside!
Through a hole in the yard, a half-naked man leaped and rushed down
the street, like a rat coming out of its hiding place.
Husband: Let him go, I’ll come back for him some other
time. But now, it’s Joan I must confront!
Neighbor: Get her out of the house, and hurry!
After shovings from the neighbors, the wooden lock gave way and the
door opened. Several men milled inside the house… In one corner, beside
the stinking creek, a horrified woman was seen crouching…
Husband: Oh! How I want to strangle you, you filthy woman! You
bitch. I swear that this will be your last day on earth!
Neighbor: Death to the adulteress! Kill her!
Neighbor: She must die, she must die!
Neighbor: Get her!
Two men rushed toward the woman, grabbed her by the hair and dragged
her out of the house… Then an old man snatched away the sheet with which
she intended to cover her body…
Husband: Leave her that way, for everyone to see her sins! If
she didn’t have any qualms undressing before Cirilo, neither would she
mind baring herself before everyone!… Neighbors, this woman has betrayed
me… and went with another man! Help me regain my honor that has been
tarnished by this woman’s infidelity!
Neighbor: Let her die! Let her die!
Neighbor: Go and live with your good-for-nothing lover, you slut!
The two men who lifted her by the arms dragged her through the small,
narrow street, while she resisted by kicking. With raised fists, they
shouted at the top of their voices, as they headed south toward the
cliff of the Gehenna, a cursed barrio where the residents of Jerusalem
burned their garbage and stoned their adulterous women.
Neighbor: Death to the adulteress! Throw her into the pit!
Neighbor: Now, now, look who’s here! The prophet from Galilee!
In the midst of our conversation with Jesus near the Temple, we saw
the angry crowd approaching…
Neighbor: Come with us Prophet, and fulfill the Law of Moses! The
stain of adultery can only be washed out by stoning the guilty one!
Husband: The more hands there are, the more stones shall be hurled!
Come with us. Let all your friends come along too!
Neighbor: We caught this whore in the same bed with Cirilo, the
Neighbor: She can’t
give any excuse. We’re all witnesses to her offense!
The men dragging the woman cleared the way, and dropped her in the midst
of everyone. Her face almost kissed the ground and her knees were already
bleeding. Her whole body was wet with saliva and was full of bruises…
One of them, in a gesture of contempt, stuck out his right foot and
rested it on the woman’s face, pressed against the stones on the ground…
Neighbor: Who is
the prophet here?… So, it’s you?… Well, why don’t you condemn her now,
so that the devil can swallow her up and lead her directly to hell!…
Come on, what are you waiting for?… If you are indeed a prophet, speak
up and condemn her!…
Neighbor: Let her
die! Let her die!
Jesus approached the group of men who were shouting and threatening
with their fists…
Jesus: Where is the husband of this woman?
Husband: Here I am! I used to be the husband of this whore, but
not anymore. What do you want?
Jesus: Tell me what happened. Has she ever deceived you before?
Husband: Of course! She would always deny it, but sooner or later,
it is easier to spot a liar than a cripple…
Jesus: Tell me… How many times, do you think, has she been unfaithful
Husband: How many times? I don’t know anymore. Thrice, four times
or five times… She is worse than a bitch in heat.
Then Jesus bent over and with his finger, drew three, four, five lines
on the ground…
Jesus: What else is your complaint against her?
Husband: What else? Ha! Isn’t this imprudence committed in broad
daylight sufficient enough? Do you want more evidence against her? She
would say, “I am going to visit a sick friend and cheer her up” …and
who was this sick friend but Cirilo, the water carrier and butcher from
the next block. Wait till I see him… I will cut him into pieces with
his own butchers knife!
Neighbor: Have you seen how she flirted with my husband,
right before my eyes – making me look so stupid! If you had only seen
how she wiggled her way in front of our house, while tongues kept on
wagging… What a whore she is!
Lady Neighbor: This woman has been laid upon by every male
in the neighborhood!
Neighbor: Tell the prophet how they caught her fondling Jack’s
son! Come on, tell him!
Lady Neighbor: The
Rabbi wouldn’t turn his head for nothing, when she passes by, if he
didn’t know a lot about her!
Neighbor: She’s got a foul mouth. Everything she utters is loathsome.
Neighbor: If you only knew what she says and does!
Neighbor: You should see how she dresses herself – baring practically
all her breasts! What a brazen woman!
All the while, Jesus, in a squatting position, was drawing a line for
every accusation hurled against the woman…
Man: This harlot’s misdeeds are endless!
Neighbor: We knew all along this was coming, folks! She is her
mother’s daughter, a whore like herself. Nobody even knows who her father
Husband: Enough of this silly talk! What have you got to say,
prophet from Galilee?
Jesus: Will someone get me a stone, please?
All: Very well, and be tough with her!
An old man, with a look of malice in his eyes, leaned over to pick up
a stone, and gave it to Jesus…
Neighbor: Pounce her on the head – like we all do to adulterous
Neighbor: Crush her to death: Crush her to death!
Jesus weighed the stone in his hand, as he looked at the woman who was
lying flat, her face on the ground, in the middle of the street…
Jesus: My fellowmen, I am sorry, but I can not cast
this stone at this woman. If anyone here thinks that he is without sin,
let him come forward and do it…
A pot-bellied old man went up to Jesus…
Man: Give me the stone. I’ll do it. We have to fulfill the
Law of Moses, which condemns adultery…
Jesus: Make sure it will not rebound on you, as it did on Goliath…
Man: What on earth do you mean?
Jesus: Now you listen… just between the two of us… How much
interest do you charge when you lend money… ten percent, twenty, or
perhaps… forty percent? …This is also against the Law of Moses, don’t
you think so?
Jesus stared at the old man, who was about to throw the stone at the
naked body of the woman. His look was like a razor’s blade penetrating
through the old man’s eyes.
Jesus: The Law prohibits that you choke the poor to death because
they are unable to pay their debts on time. Do you agree, my friend?
The stone slid from the old man’s hand, as he turned around and slipped
through the crowd…
Neighbor: What’s with him? Why did he back out?
Jesus again faced the people who were getting impatient.
Jesus: Who among you wishes to cast the first stone at the woman?
Neighbor: I do. Give it to me. If there is anything that disgusts
me – it’s infidelity… What an abominable woman!
A tall man, full of arrogance, approached the woman…
Jesus: Say, my friend, what is your job?
Neighbor: My job? I am a businessman. I run a food store along
Puerta del Angulo.
Jesus: And probably, you keep two weighing scales for your business:
one, to weigh all your purchases, and another, to weigh what you sell…
Tell me, how many have you got… one or two?
The vendor opened his mouth to reply to Jesus, but he couldn’t utter
a single word. Then he withdrew and disappeared among the crowd…
Jesus: And you… by your looks, you must be a lawyer or a judge…
a judge of those who sit in the Great Council… Tell me, my friend, how
much bribe do you receive for convicting the widow and exonerating the
landowner? Do you wish to cast the first stone?… How about you?… You
must be a doctor. Go ahead… Throw the first stone. After all, this woman
lives in the slums. You haven’t set foot in the place, have you? All
your patients come from the wealthy barrio, naturally, because they
can afford to pay you.
Neighbor: Stop all this nonsense! This woman is a sinner. You have
noted down her sins through the lines you drew on the ground… See how
numerous they are!
Jesus: Why do you see the mote in her eye, while you refuse
to see the plank in you own?
Neighbor: The mote in my eye! This woman is guilty of the most
grievous sin, adultery!
Jesus: It is more adulterous to see priests in cahoots with
the oppressive rulers of the people. Yet no one hurls stones at them.
It is more adulterous to see God’s servants worshipping Mammon, the
god of money, but no one lifts a finger to accuse them. All of you are
hypocrites. Go and hide yourselves in the mountain caves, because the
God of Israel’s coming for the final reckoning, and just as you have
done to this woman, you’ll be judged the way you judge others.
Jesus leaned back and spoke no more. Then he reached out to erase the
lines that he had drawn on the ground, while the accusations were hurled
against the adulteress.
Peter: By golly, Jesus, how you left them breathless!
Jesus: It seems that the only sin they’re aware of is that of
sleeping with a woman. They waste their time picking on this type of
woman and criticizing her sins. Yet, the more obvious things and the
grave abuses against the poor are committed right before their own eyes,
without their knowledge…
Peter bent over the woman who was lying flat on the ground…
Peter: Hey, you’re saved. You’re very lucky. What’s
Joan: Joan… but I… I…
Jesus: Weep no more, woman. It’s all over now. Here, cover yourself
with this sheet. Take it easy. No one’s going to hurt you anymore. Open
your eyes now. Look, they’ve all left. No one has condemned you. Not
even God. Neither has he cast a stone at you.
Peter and Jesus lifted Joan from the ground, and brought her home to
the aqueduct street, facing the barrio of water carriers, near the holy
Temple of Jerusalem.