Tu B’Av took place a few days ago, on the 19th of August. Tu B’Av, for those of you who don’t know, is the time when we celebrate, here in Israel, “The Day of Love”, a sort of “Valentine’s Day”. So about a week has passed, but I think it’s never too late to express my love to Israel. Here are 10 things I love about Israel:

1 – It’s Beautiful! A lot of people imagine Israel as a wide, endless desert, but the truth is that Israel isn’t just a desert. It’s also covered green, forests, mountains, beaches and sometimes there’s snow (on top of the highest peaks)! And the desert is also a beauty, because the rocks have different colors. Come to Israel and see for yourself.

2 – Israelis Care About One Another. If we see someone who seems lost, we will ask them if they need directions; if we see someone get hurt, we will stop and help as much as we can; if someone seems upset, we will try to cheer them up; if someone looses a job, we’ll try to find them another one; if we hear on the news that one of our soldiers died, our hearts will go out to the family and maybe we’ll even attend the funeral. There will always be exceptions, but overall, we care for each other.

3 – The IDF. I absolutely love the IDF! We’re a small army with a great heart, and I like the fact that we all go through it. Two or three years of together. It makes us strong and united.

4 – The Holidays. We’re a traditional family, so we celebrate the main holidays traditionally. In Israel we have a lot of holidays and some of us even celebrate not only Jewish holidays, but also Christian and Muslim holidays. My family celebrates the Jewish holidays only, but there’s a lot of them: about 9 if not more! On holidays, we all get together, eat something that’s connected to the holiday, sing and have a great time. I love Passover the most, but Hanukka, Rosh Hashana and Sukot are also fun times!

5 – The Shabbath. As I said, we’re traditional, not religious, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love the Shabbath here in Israel. Here in Israel, most stores and attractions close on Shabbath and public transportation is also shut down. Then it gets much calmer. You can do things at your own pace in Shabbath. So I don’t “keep the Shabbath”, but I do love it.

6 – ELAL. Yeah, that’s the main  Israeli flight company. I love flying with them abroad and coming with them back home. I know that when I fly with ELAL, I’m in good hands. Our pilots are the best! And you can’t imagine how happy I was to hear the flight attendant speak Hebrew after two months abroad, where I rarely heard Hebrew.

7 – The Co-existence. Yeah, I know that most people don’t think like I do, but I feel we have great coexistence here in Israel. Take Jerusalem for example. The place is full of Jews, Muslims and Christians all walking around and living together. Yeah, there are sometimes bad encounters, but overall we’re living together just fine. Arguments are always welcome, as long as they don’t lead to violence. Considering the situation, we have coexistence here and it’s magical.

coexist
From Daaton.co.il

8 – Hummus! Yeah, I love Hummus, one of the most popular food items here in Israel. You get it as a side dish in almost every Mediterranean restaurant, and you can add it to your pita every time you buy a falafel or shawarma or just a regular shnitzel. We have it on our table very lunch. There are more food items that I love in Israel, but Hummus is one of the best.

חומוס
Attribution to I, Reutc

9 – The History. We’re not an old country – just 68 years old – but we have a whole lot of history! And it’s super interesting. Some of the buildings in Jerusalem are more than 2,000 years old, but if we’ll look into the more recent years – we’ve got stories about the beginning of the Kibutzim, about our wars, about the developement of our language, about the first settlements and the many organizations that made Israel what it is today. So much history on this enchanting land!

ירושלים

10 – Hebrew. I love speaking and hearing Hebrew, and you have plenty of it here in Israel. When I was travelling abroad this year, I really missed hearing it. I love Hebrew!!!

What do you love about Israel? Tell me in the responses!

For more info about Israel, visit my website – www.backpackisrael.com.

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