The Diversity of Israel is a Doorway to Greater Experiences | 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel

1,001 Reasons to Love Israel

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The Diversity of Israel is a Doorway to Greater Experiences

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You will meet tons of Arabs, Palestinians, Haredim, traditional Israelis, etc. You can’t say “I am a Muslim” and expect people to look at you funny, or in fear. You meet too many good Muslims to come to rash conclusions. The same goes for everyone else.

Due to the diversity of people, and diversity of types of people – you are truly judged by your words, your actions, your kindness – your deeds as a person. You cannot hide behind labels. You have to stand up and be counted for who you truly are, and who you strive to become.

"Those blacks!" "Those whites" "Those immigrants" In larger countries it's very easy to create "other people" and stomp on them. It causes so much non-productive and needless anger. It's different here. I can say "those secular's," but half of my family is secular.

A secular family in Israel can say "those Haredis," but most of them have Haredim in their family. Even our current Prime Minister, a Tel Aviv native, has children whom are Haredim.

Anyone here can scream all we want at the religious, the settlers, the liberals, whatever. In the end, we likely have immediate family that are a part of these groups and, the animosity can only go so far. You have to love everyone simply because they are our blood. This environment accepts a wide variety of ideas and cultures. It encourages great diversity among people, yet maintains the cohesion of a strong and loving nation.

Despite the tension that so many different points of view inevitably create, we hold together very firmly. In the last 50 years there has been one, and only one tragic act of violence taken in the name of domestic politics. It was an isolated incident that resulted in a unified condemnation.

When you see how every segment of society joins the army, earns a degree, and actively participates in the constant improvement of our country, it's completely apparent that we are better because of our differences. The disagreements in our society only make us stronger.

Everyone has a story here and what you see is usually never what you get. You can strike up a conversation with a Haredi Jew, and he can tell you about all the bars in Tel Aviv. Why? He grew up in Tel Aviv, knows all the spots, and returned to the faith just couple of years ago.

You can talk to a secular guy who lives in Tel Aviv, tell him you lived in East Israel (West Bank), and he smiles at you, telling you that he grew up there. Secular Jews express a sincere love for the Land with a passion that many Religious Zionists would envy.

Religious Zionists see building a business, jobs, and wealth for all the citizens of the country as a principle as valuable to our future as settling all the Land of Israel. Forrest Gump would love it here: In Israel, life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what’s inside!

Recently, a lot of French and Italians have moved to Israel. They share a love of living by the sea, along with a la bella vita attitude towards life. They are bringing it with them, bringing their European culture, and spicing up the landscape. Our city has a fountain in it's main square. Coffee bars with outdoor seating line the streets. It's a new spice to the flavor of the country.

Much like the way you feel after running 10 miles is amazing. Living just one day in Israel is replete with challenges that push you to the limit of your abilities and often beyond.

Everyone has a story of personal adversity, struggles, obstacles, and having to exert themselves well beyond their threshold, let alone comfort zone, just to make it here for another 24 hours. Yet everyone loves it here. We are all addicted to the life. Religious, Secular, Left Wing, Right Wing, Settlements, Tel Aviv -- everybody has to wage a personal battle to earn the merit to breathe the air of our beloved piece of earth.

David Ben Horin is the author of 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel. He developed How to Enjoy A Better Life in Israel for anyone considering a future in Israel. He lives in Netanya with his wife and children.




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