A Tale of an Envelope and a Suite

An envelope doesn't fall, just like that, out of the blue, without any historical background or cultural context.

Why are the police dragging their feet, and the media going around in circles, and declining to touch this money, an actual green wad? Why aren't they calling in this envelope and asking it questions? Even a well-sealed envelope will not always keep its flap shut.

It would be interesting to know how it was handed over. We would like to know more about that moment of delivery: Was it passed from hand to hand with a handshake, or was it slipped straight into the pocket as though nothing were happening, because that is the way of the world? Did a silence fall for a moment, or did the conversation continue, with the dramatis personae innocently discussing elevated topics? Did the envelope burn like a coal through the fine fabric, or did it anoint and soothe the skin with an unctuous balm? These are not trivial questions: Even if the windows are high, it is the public's right to peep.

An envelope doesn't fall, just like that, out of the blue, without any historical background or cultural context. Does this envelope that we found in a suit resemble its older sister from the days of the caliphs, who demanded and indeed received baksheesh, or is it more like those good old envelopes from the days of the money changers at the black market on Lilienblum Street in Tel Aviv?

I once read a book containing the memoirs of a used envelope that was removed from circulation. It related how one bearer became panic-stricken when the envelope suddenly disappeared, as if the earth had swallowed the carpet. When the madman patted his pockets and turned them inside out, then felt around in his jacket pockets and couldn't find it, he beat his brow as though to say: "What an irresponsible man am I, who loses envelopes that should be as frontlets between mine eyes." He had entirely forgotten, poor dear, that he had already put it in the safe, the envelope related. What a screw-up.

Not only a tale about an envelope, but also a tale about a suite has yet to be told in full. Isn't a "presidential suite" at $4,717 a night deserving of more attention? If walls that have ears could talk, they would undoubtedly be able to tell about the important personage who strode from room to room with his Jewish soul aflutter: Revenge, he was muttering, revenge on the gentiles; not only does the Jewish people live, it is living high on the hog. We shall prove this to the whole world with our suites and our entourages and our cigars: As the Good Book almost says (I Samuel 15:29), the effrontery of Israel does not lie, for we are an insolent people.

Thus spake the guest. And the hosts, too, have something to say: Is it conceivable for the lot of a Jewish leader to be less than the lot of a rotten African chief? Moreover: Would we not want to give our guest a feeling of home, or even three homes? And how is it possible to discriminate against one agreeable guest as compared to another, greedy one? And there are many who visit the Diaspora.

And let us not forget for a moment the syndrome of the princess and the pea. This is treated as a gender phenomenon, but it is not. It is not only princesses who are sensitive; princes are sensitive, too. And is there a leader in Israel who is not a prince of the blood? And princes must be given their due. Will the guardian of Israel neither slumber nor sleep only because of a stupid pea?