Anywhere can be somewhere famous.
You can see an Israeli movie and there is sure to be a place you have been to yourself. A restaurant, a bar, a street, a corner, a hill, a town, a city. Even sand dunes in a film, you can recognize as your own.
Lazy days of summer serve a huge purpose.
The month of Av is a very ominous time for the Jewish People. It is the month when the two Temples were destroyed. It is a very bad time to stand trial or do business.
In Israel, half of the month is dedicated to the “summer.” It is the official vacation time for the nation. Nobody does business in Av.
Kindness abounds everywhere.
We were in a period where I was looking for work. We told a local friend who asks for help outside a local strip mall that it is harder today to give as much as we normally do. He gave us advice on how to rectify the situation. He said to recite the Grace After Meals with greater concentration.
Then he did the unthinkable.
Despite being in greater need of help himself, this man put his hand on top of his cup. "Don't make your situation harder. When things turn around, I will be happy to accept your kindness. For now, feed your children." He wouldn't let us help him until things got better.
Spring Break Whenever You Want.
My wife and I decided to take a day off with the kids. We took a sixty-minute drive to the Salty Sea (dead sea). At 9AM, we left our home, located in the Judean Hills. By 10, we were at small beach next to the sea, in our bathing suits, with our feet in the water.
It was January 31.
Nobody has to ever feel alone.
Most of us live in apartments. They are spacious, comfortable, and more than enough. None of us lives in an island. Growing up, we are forced to spend our time with brothers, sisters, and parents. We all become close knit.
After we “move out,” we will go to the army, where we share living quarters with 6 other friends. We go to Yeshiva, where we also share our living quarters with 6 other students. It leads to a very informal, connected, and friendly nation.
Passenger to driver, “how long will it take from here to arrive at the Ikea store?” Driver: “Six shekels.” Passenger: “No, I asked how long will it take?” Driver: “Until we arrive there.”
Nobody is conscious about how "Jewish" they dress.
Whether in a Haredi setting, or a secular setting, we never, ever feel conscious about how we dress, the way we talk, or in what we do and don’t do.
The more we are here, the more comfortable and at home we feel. This sense of belonging penetrates to the deepest levels of our being as we feel more and more a part of our country.
Israelis love their lone soldiers to no end.
Appreciation for men and women who volunteer for IDF service from abroad is universal. A soldier was wounded in Gaza and rushed to Tel Shomer hospital.
Upon discovering that he was a volunteer from abroad, once the parents were notified they received another call from El Al, the private air carrier of the country. Two free tickets to Israel were waiting for them so they could see their hero son recuperating to full health.
The CEO of the half a billion dollar company handled the matter personally.