Why we stay in Israel: a hint.

For those wondering why I stay here… including myself… maybe this offers a hint. Because it ain’t the politics. Or the prices.

The 10 Happiest Countries in the World

For the second year in a row, 24/7 Wall St. examined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s report on life satisfaction in the developed world. Economic prosperity, health and a strong social support network continue to correspond highly with happiness.

And once again, the United States fails to make the top 10 happiest nations in the world, while countries like Australia, Israel and all of the Scandinavian nations do.

Israel is #6, tied with Finland. Not bad for a country under constant threat, eh?

Some of the stats include:

  • Life satisfaction score: 7.4
  • Self-reported good health: 81% (7th highest)
  • Employees working long hours: 18.92% (3rd highest)
  • Educational attainment: 82% (12th highest)
  • Life expectancy: 81.7 years (6th highest)

Check out the other stats and countries at DailyFinance.

Why I made aliyah: My new answer.

It’s been a long couple of weeks. I haven’t had much to say and haven’t been wanting to think about the news. I’m currently a bachelorette living in this big apartment since my roommate went to Australia for two weeks. I’ve got a lot of school work to do and a lot of work work to do.

Not complaining; I’m enjoying my situation right now. When I hear about friends trying to cut it in America, paying that god-awful rent and keeping up with terribly high standards of living… I really do appreciate what I have built here. Could I have been this successful if I had lived in New York? I really don’t know. There’s so much about me that is calmer and more focused here.

I think I’ve come to the point where I realize I’m now here more for the conditions of my life than the ideological reasons from 2005. My lifestyle, my job, my school, my friends, my inter(national)marriage all keep me here more than a philosophical desire or religious dream. I do still believe in it, but I think I have a lot of new things I believe in now, too.

Which is why I always find it funny how people who have been living here for around 3 years seem to have a ‘new answer’ to why they made aliyah. Ask an oleh (not chadash) point-blank, and they will pause, possibly squirm, sigh, and tell you, “Well, the new answer is…”

I’m very grateful at how things have turned out for me; I know it’s usually the opposite for a lot of people. My key is to take it all one day at a time, or at the very least, not think more than six months ahead. That way, when you ask me why I made aliyah, I can continuously look back, reflect and be prepared to tell you what my ‘new answer’ is.