4 Cheshvan 5781 / Thursday, October 22, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
 
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HomeIsrael and SocietyIsrael and AliyahNo Longer a Sacrifice
 
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No Longer a Sacrifice    

No Longer a Sacrifice



Sorry to dispel the horror stories, but bottom line: you can live just as comfortably and enjoyably here in Israel as you can in America or anywhere else for that matter.

 



“Dov, in my dreams I live in Israel, but in reality ,my place is here in Los Angeles.”

 

“Why?”

 

“What do expect me to do? Drop my job, my house, and my salary to go to the dessert and ride camels? Zionism is all nice, but hey, it’s a third world country over there.”

 

“Really?”

 

 

“I read the papers. You guys are still riding camels. Besides, I like to smear my cream cheese on a good bagel. You can’t get that over there.”

 

“No cream cheese, eh?”

 

“The next time I go, I will be sure to donate an extra $100 for saying this, but hey, my four square cubits in Israel will be in the hotel. At least there I can have my WiFi, business connections, and bagel with cream cheese. See you next vacation.”

 

Why does everyone think we live in a backwater? Aren’t we the hi-tech darling of the entire world? We are the country that designed the necessary components to make personal computers, smartphones, and WiFi even possible! Why does the average person think we are still riding camels and using phone booths?

 

The media.

 

Let’s put aside the mandatory tirade against the New York Times and BBC. This is important:

 

In Israel we have Philadelphia Cream Cheese. We have Skippy’s Peanut Butter. We even have Doritos – and the Doritos that are sold here are as kosher as your matza ball soup. We have M&Ms. We have Pizza Hut. We have McDonalds. For the kids we have Dora, Hello Kitty, and local heroes Rinat and Yuval!

 

We also have WiFi. Most Israeli cities have municipal WiFi which cover large areas. So if you want to take a few hours off from the office and continue to work at the beach, the boardwalk, or even at a local coffee shop – keep working! Just don’t forget to breathe in the fresh air.  We even have WiFi on our high speed trains!

 

We are also one of the few nations who have started to build a 5G mobile network. When my in-laws come to visit, they call their friends and relatives with the cellphones they bring with them. The cost is 20 cents a minute, in many cases far less.

 

I am not getting defensive. I simply want to reassure you that living in Israel is no longer a sacrifice. Every creature comfort you take for granted in America, we have right here. You miss out on nothing! We even have fancy coffee – but at a fraction of the cost. We also have our own version of Uber.

 

Then there is education.

 

Did you know it costs $2,000 per month for one child to attend a Jewish Day school? In Israel, the cost for one student is NIS 200 per month, or around $60. The quality of education here is as thorough as anything anywhere else. Kids learn Hebrew. They learn English. They learn Gemara, Tanach, ethics, and Emunah. They also learn math, science, and computer skills.

 

When they finish high school, they go to the army, or Yeshiva, or a combination of both. Then they go to a college or a technical school, populated with at least 85% Jewish students.  After your children complete their education, you can be assured that the return on your investment in their learning will be far better than, “Mom and dad, I know this isn’t what you wanted, but Maria and I are in love. . . “

 

There is also health care. The Israeli health care system is ranked higher than the American alternative in most international ranking agencies. In Israel you pay less than $50 a month for health insurance. If you are working, a portion of your income will be deducted to pay into the general health care system, but if you are not working, even if you decide to get private insurance along with your mandatory insurance, it’s less than $150 per month. Doctor’s visits cost nothing. No co-pays. No deductibles. Giving birth costs you nothing. In fact, on the day you leave the hospital with your newborn blessing, you get a check, and a gift basket of baby wipes, diapers, formula, and toys.

 

The government then gives you monthly payments to help you provide for your children.

 

We have all the TV channels you do. We have the technology to stream in the local channels and TV shows you are seeing right now. Bottom line: you can live just as comfortable and enjoyable a life here in Israel as you can in America, or anywhere else.





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