I felt so guilty last night. My mother, aged 63, practically begged me to leave Elad and relocate my family of seven to
Her and my father left Israel over 30 years ago and desperately want to enjoy some “nachess”, as they call their grandsons. But how could I ever leave Israel…?
“All Israelis are rich!” exclaimed my lawyer sister who lives in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
“What makes you say that?” I wondered aloud.
“They’re always on vacation. I see so many vacationing Israelis in every country I visit!”
That got me thinking… I feel comfortable, not rich… But the fact that Jewish education here is free for the most part, compared
to around $8000+ per year per child in Canada and the US allows for much more spending money. And how do Israelis like spending
their money? Either by buying more houses or vacationing or both.
The competitive high-tech salaries are another fantastic aspect about Israel. Start-ups sprout here at an alarming rate…
Leaving the monetary advantages aside, the joy of living with other Jews cannot be underestimated. As a friend who is a recent
“olah” from France pointed out, “I’ve never felt as safe as I do in Israel.” Even during the waves of terror, one senses a
certain Divine protection wherever one goes.
Israelis feel a sense of brotherhood with each other which can be sensed at the post office for example. A line-up (or a
chaotic mass) of about thirty impatient people has formed around the teller. In walks a young father, babysitting his young twins,
looking completely disheveled. Heading straight toward the first person in line, he sheepishly grins and implores, <strong
“Ta’aseh li tova, achi.” (“Do me a favor, bro.”) And with that he’s in and out of the post office.
My mom experienced this caring family vibe the last time she came to visit me. She took little Noam, one year old at the time,
on a little stroll. Drivers started slowing down their cars when riding past her and motioning to their heads. “What could that
mean?” she wondered. A fifth driver screamed out the window, “HaRosh!” (“The head!”) That was just too strange. Looking down
suddenly at baby Noam, everything made sense. He had fallen asleep and his head was tilted to the side… The drivers had all been
concerned about his neck!
Something fun for me personally as a religious woman in Israel is the great abundance of stylish, yet modest, clothing at
reasonable prices. Women in Chutz La’Aretz are not as spoiled as I am, with brand upon brand of modest clothing and head scarves
sold in a variety of boutiques near my home. I don’t need to travel long distances, pay exorbitant prices or constantly take my
new skirts to be altered, as my US and Canadian friends do. Lucky me!
Here I’ve just given you a little taste of my perspective on the privilege of being a Jew in the Jewish land. Why don’t you
come for a visit? I’m sure you’ll love it too!