Pulchritude

I learned a new English word today. It is from the 15th century English language, a word meaning beauty or physical attractiveness.

Our Israeli countryside has much pulchritude to be seen and enjoyed, whereas there seems to be a great lack of pulchritude in our Knesset and form of government.

In brief words, our country is beautiful with much physical attractiveness. Our government is bereft of any beauty or attractiveness. It is a circus gone astray with the wild animals lurking about, growling, gritting sharp teeth and manicuring claws, ready to pounce upon more calm, patient, gentle animals who threaten nobody.

The wild animals are awaiting the arrival of the Mandelblit verdict. Should they be allowed to wander freely or should they be caged behind solid bars?

In the meantime while waiting, the patient and gentle animals are feeding in green pastures, gaining strength from physical exercise, contemplating their final attack upon the wild animals and hoping to destroy them or, at least, to cause them to flee.

If they are destroyed, a new nest of wild animals will emerge only to continue the life-in-the-jungles of the previous ones. And if they are driven away, to wither will they flee?

There are two groups of people who are involved with this dilemma. One are the caretakers and the other are the people who toss treats for the animals to enjoy.

Here, in our land of pulchritude, the care-takers have neglected their duties and responsibilities while the nice people find that their supply of tasty treats is diminishing. Who will feed the animals?

Twice this year, our “national zoo” has been cleansed of its dirt and grime only to be confined again to filth.

Is it then worthwhile to sanitize the cages once more, only to achieve the same results as the first two?

It becomes more uncomfortable to approach the wild animals. Their stench nauseates our olfactory senses. Breathing becomes more difficult. Appetites are lost. Suddenly, the calm animals are overcome by lust.

They want to conquer. They want to dispel the wild beasts from our midst. But they don’t know how to do it. The leader of their pack is inexperienced. Albeit, he is a kind and gentle animal unfamiliar with the ways to quash the wild ones from over-taking all life in our jungle.

The people living round about the zoo are craving for tranquility and harmony. They are tired of hearing the roaring growls and they long for a new king of the beasts.

The great lion, licked and gently pawed by the lioness, cannot cease from prowling and growling. He knows no rest and looks forward to the big chunks of meat offered by the caretakers. He is a selfish animal and does not know , and is unwilling to know, how to share his meat with the hungry others.

In order to maintain quiet and calm so that visitors to the “national zoo” will not be frightened away, the caretakers are busy studying the best tranquilizing medication to be injected into the wild animals or to be added to their food, unbeknown to them.

I visited the zoo recently, on 17 September, and had to decide which cage I would visit first. At the entrance there were boxes filled with small slips of paper bearing a pictured symbol of the various animals, some in cages and others roaming freely.

One slip of paper met my eye. It was a symbol that I had heard many people mentioning how pleasant it is to visit that site. So I made my choice.

But as I walked in the direction noted, a caretaker saw me and said, “Sorry. If you were planning to visit in this area, it is closed to the public for a general cleaning”.

I asked when it would be re-opened for the public to visit. He only shrugged his shoulders with the look of “no-one knows”, and he walked away.

There was no pulchritude on that day. There was no beauty and the physical attractiveness was in great need of pruning.

The animals, however, could not care. The wild ones just continued their fierce growling and the gentle animals surrendered to the roar.

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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