A Husband for Rachel

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A Husband for Rachel is a one-act play by Bertha Goudvis.

The original text

A lightly satirical play that deals with the Jewish custom of the shadchan or matchmaker. Rachel is introduced to Joseph who eventually wins her hand, but when his shop burns down (in which he loses everything) the assumption is that he did it on purpose, so as to collect the payout for insurance.

First published in the collection The Way the Money Goes and Other Plays (Sterling Printing Company, 1925). Also published in Players: A Collection of One-Act Plays (eds Temple Hauptfleisch and Ted Townsend, pub. Academica Publishers, 1987).

Translations and adaptations

Broadcast as TV play by the SABC in the 1970s.

Performance history in South Africa

1917: First performed by the Jewish Guild, and a standard of amateur companies over the years.


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