Twelve things I love about Israel

In honor of the parsha, Shelach, where only two of the twelve spies sent by Moses refrain from saying bad things about the Land of Israel. I should be working on the parsha shiur (class on the Torah portion) I have to give instead, but here goes.

  1. The holidays, where everyone is on the same page. No Xmas, or Easter. No more having to explain what Shavuot is (although a lot of Israelis haven’t thought about it since they were in gan).
  2. The produce. Fresh and in season. And one thing that is much cheaper than in the US.
  3. Kosher restaurants, bakeries and hotels (just about) everywhere.
  4. Feeling freer to donate my time and money to what would be “secular” causes elsewhere, instead of having to invest most of my resources in the local Jewish community like I would there. If I volunteer for the Israeli Cancer Society, my efforts support the Jewish community too.
  5. No frost, so my plants survive the winter. Okay, they also have that in California.
  6. The Yemenite women ululating for a bride at the local mikvah.
  7. Knowing that whatever I wear to a particular wedding, I still fall within the middle range of fanciness.
  8. Hanging my laundry out the window, all year long.
  9. Vacation on Chol Hamoed.
  10. All the Jewish mothers.
  11. One Seder.
  12. My “Anglo-Saxon” friends from all over the world. And my Israeli friends too (but that took longer!).

Hat tip: Life in Israel via Nefesh beNefesh


  1. Jerusalem Joe says

    If you are Jewish then indeed nothing beats living in Israel, with the whole six million strong “Mishpucha”.
    I wonder what a seder table that big would look like!

  2. those are great reasons! Especially number 11

  3. Enticing post. Thans for visiting my (new) blog. I’ve added yours to my blogroll.

  4. I’m curious to know why you think that hanging your laundry out the window is something good? To me, it’s a sign of being in a non-first-world country.I don’t want the world to see my wet underwear! I hang my laundry in the laundry room, where it belongs!! I would think the best reason to live in Israel would be that it’s the Jewish homeland! G-d promised the land to our ancestors and what a thrill it is to walk the land that Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya’acov, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah walked.
    Be well.
    Helene in California

  5. ari kinsberg says

    i like your #4 the best. a variation (and i think this is a major reason to live in israel) is that when you invest your time and effort into communal causes in israel you know people will benefit for generations to come. in america, jews don’t live in the same neighborhood for more than a few generations. in brooklyn (where i live) there are entire neighborhoods full of synagogues that are now churches. what a waste of effort and resources.
    re. #1, from what i’ve read, there has been a push to celebrate these as secular holidays (at least in tel aviv)

  6. ari kinsberg says

    your comment was funny. israel still is a third-world country in some respects.
    but seriously:
    1) not using the dryer saves on the utility bills and prolongs the quality of clothing.
    2) my wife also prefers to hang laundry, though we live in an urban apartment so in our case this means across the living room. (then again, my wife is not exactly from a first world country herself).
    3) i don’t really care how my laundry is done (and who sees it) as long as someone else is doing it. (mother in israel: just for the record, in the end i do my share of the laundry)

  7. ari kinsberg says

    “Kosher restaurants, bakeries and hotels (just about) everywhere”
    this has not been my experience (with the exception of hotels, which generally have a teudah). in some instances they exist, but you have to know in advance where to find them.
    but in general, israeli restaurants are superior to kosher american ones and also much cheaper

  8. mominisrael says

    Helene, I have a dryer. My apt. bldg. has a railing that protects the laundry from prying eyes, not that I think anyone is interested in my underwear anyway. I find it convenient, economical and enjoyable to hang my laundry from the sixth floor while watching the pedestrians walking and the cars making illegal turns in the intersection near my building. I don’t consider hanging laundry primitive–for a good part of the year it dries almost as fast as it would in the dryer so I think drying it in the dryer is kind of redundant.

  9. mominisrael says

    JJ, Rafi, I-D–thanks!
    Ari–you are right about TA and the holidsys but I don’t think this is a real trend. Many Israelis went abroad b/c of the 3-day school vacation in the middle of the week. They forced my husband to take off erev Shavuot, I think because no one was coming anyway. Good point about the shuls in NY. You’re right about the restaurants.

  10. Great set of reasons – looking forward to posting my own in the not-too-distant future.

  11. That was a nice list.