Archive for June 10th, 2012


I learned many things from my visit to Israel.  Here are the most significant of my observations, in a nutshell:

1.  We belong in Israel – all of us.  I know, life intervenes (i.e. caring for an elderly parent, a chronic illness in the family, special educational needs, employment and language issues, the desire to remain in close proximity to relatives, shalom bayis etc).  But ultimately, truly, our place is there.

2.  There is a “right” place/community for everyone in Israel, but it takes a boatload of time and patience to find that place.

3.  Israel is the most progressive country in the world, in terms of positive energy, growth, focus, drive, ambition, success, standard of living, research and dedication, and quality of life.  (Don’t miss this book, which says it better than I ever can:  Start-Up Nation:  The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.)

4.  Israel is – –  and continues to be – –  a living, breathing miracle.  Its successes are so completely illogical and against nature, that all of the accomplishments listed in #3 could not have come about without Divine Intervention.  HaShem has truly blessed us, and uniquely so! (Really, this should be #1 on my list)

5.  The biggest catalyst that has changed Israel the most in the last ten years is the country-wide expansion of train service, and the construction of Kvish Shesh (Route 6), which is a major highway that stretches from northern Israel down to its south.  The combination of the excellent train and highway has had a huge impact, because suddenly more “out-of-the-way” areas of Israel are truly  accessible and no longer impractical.  Due to the railway and Kvish 6, Israel has at once  figuratively “shrunk” in size geographically speaking, while expanding its options and opportunities in endless ways, socially and economically.  This means that people are not “stuck” in densely populated urban areas where the jobs are.  They can now seek employment just about anywhere in the country and be within easy commuting distance.  (For example, Be’er Sheva to the Galil took only 2 hours!)  In the past, the only people living in rural areas were the kibbutznikim and moshavnikim.  For the first time, there now exists the concept of the “bedroom suburb” – beautiful areas of settlement throughout the country with an extremely high quality of life, close to shopping and city amenities, but without the noise, dirt, expense and stresses of city life.  This is a huge positive sociological change whose impact has only begun to be felt.