The Hatter’s Tea Party – “Curiouser and curiouser”

The White Queen declared to Alice there in Wonderland, “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”  This declaration of nonsense, along with the dire warning in the nonsensical Jabberwocky, seems to befit our times to a tea, along with the reports of news on our chaotic media. Hardly a day passes without an admonition to beware of the frumious Bandersnatch, but who exactly that horrific beast might be depends upon which side of the fence one resides. If it be on the Left side of the fence in the USA, it would be the President himself who is the creator of all earthly evils, or it is the Left if you are on the Right. Or perhaps it is the very Queen of Hearts and her mindless hordes of well-armed Playing Cards, shouting “off with their heads!” to any and all in opposition to her mad doctrine, while the March Hare scrambles off to preserve his own. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum point the lively finger at each other in blame for all their current woes. 

That same mad dance is being performed on the Israeli political stage- both democracies now resembling more daily the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The Chosen People in the Holy Land- like Wonderland- while facing sinister existential threats from without, also face each other from within, each with their own unswerving certainties of the uncertain. It takes the Caterpillar on his toad stool to blow smoke rings of sanity over the simmering lot saying, “Who are you?” to wrest the outcome of a dead-heat second election in a silly matter of months. But it is only the Cheshire Cat himself, smiling like the new moon appearing and disappearing at equal intervals, who will determine the final outcome of all events, and bring the solution to all unsolved riddles. And dear Alice, who has tumbled us down this rabbit hole of unspeakable wonders in pursuit of a time-driven White Rabbit, may say with rigorous objectivity, “Curiouser and curiouser” while hoping all this reality is but a strange dream from which she may soon awaken. And the Bread and Butterflies flutter by dispassionately as the Hatter sips his tea.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.