A Hat With Three Corners

There is an old German child’s rhyme which talks of a three-cornered hat.

“Mein hut es hat drei ecke, drei ecke hat mein hut
Und wenn es hat nicht drei ecke den das ist nicht mein hut”
My hat it has three corners, three corners has my hat
And when it has not three corners, then it is not my hat

A simple and silly child’s song. I don’t know what it tries to convey. But if it could be translated in another framework it could be more understandable. So I have composed a translation.

“My leader needs three qualities: loyalty, truth and trust
And if he lacks the three qualities than he must resign—he MUST”.

I have not copyrighted my translation so all democratic Israelis are free to use (or mis-use) it.

Like the three corners and the three qualities, our leader, prime minister Netanyahu, has been indicted on three criminal charges. I hope a fourth charge will not be added because then I would be forced to change the wording in my translation. It is not an easy task and as a poet, I know it.

The daily news grows more upsetting from day to day. Thirty admorim (leading rabbinical authorities) are confined to hospitals with the coronavirus.

In one Tel-Aviv family with four children, both parents tested positive for the disease but none of the four children were infected. Doctors cannot understand why. It seems to be a medical mystery.

In the United States, President Donald Trump and his wife are both confined to the major Walter Reed hospital. The recent report is that the president has difficulty breathing. The Democrats, not particularly sympathetic, are concerned that their candidate, former Vice-President Joe Biden, may have contacted the virus from proximity to the president.

There is a doubt regarding future debates which is far away from a travesty based upon the miserable event of the first of the three debates. There is a question of Trump’s ability to continue his re-election campaign. He has much difficulty in breathing. And if he were to die, would Vice President Pence succeed him? How would the American elections on 3 November be affected?

Also there should be concern in Israel. In the recent signing of peace accords in Washington with representatives of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain, Bibi Netanyahu stood very close to president Trump and had private conversations with him in the White House.

Is it possible that Netanyahu may have been infected and at present is without symptoms? Both Americans and Israelis are on edge, fearing for the present and hoping for the best.

Our government is in shambles. Benny Gantz vigorously opposes Bibi’s appointment of a new State Attorney. Their disagreement can possibly lead to Blue and Right’s departure from the coalition which would then be a cause for another national election.

Never mind the cost of an election. The greater concern is how to prevent voters standing in long lines from coming into contact with one another.

In Trump’s campaign his followers all wear red hats inscribed with “Make America Great Again”.

In a future Israeli campaign, all kippot should be substituted with three-cornered hats.

They are symbols of the French revolution when the citizens of France declared war on the government and overturned it by force.

The example of the French might be an example for Israelis. We need a national revolt to overthrow a corrupt leader and to re-establish a faltering democracy. But a national revolt without physical force.

The motto of our revolt should be taken from the Hebrew bible.

“Not by might and not by power but by My Word” said the Lord our God.

Get ready fellow citizens. Get ready to put on the three cornered hats upon your Jewish heads.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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