10 Reasons Why Hippies Should Make Aliyah

In the 150 years or so of Zionism, there have been many significant and historical waves of aliyah. First Aliyah in the 1880s. Second Aliyah starting in 1904. Third through Fifth Aliyah in the years between the World Wars. Aliyah Bet. Operation Ezra and Nechamia. Operation Solomon.

Each wave had its distinctive quality and affected pre-1948 and post-1948 Israeli society in unique ways.

But there’s one wave we haven’t seen yet. True, there have been drips and drops here and there over the years, but no organized massive movement to bring this kind of Jew home to the Jewish homeland.

Yes, indeed, it is time for the Jewish hippies around the world to make aliyah.

To fly in mass and descend on the Holy Land. To bring with them their colors, their smiles, their flowers in their hair. Their peace signs, their hope, their positive vibes and their belief in humanity. Their yoga mats, their instruments, their crunchy granola recipes and, if taxes are not too high, even their VW busses.

But wait. We have to ask a very serious and important practical question:

Why in the world would hippies want to move to Israel??

They have northern California. Vermont. Islands in the middle of nowhere. Beaches in Australia. There are a myriad of gorgeous and serene spots for hippies to call home all around the globe. Places they could surf or ski or hike or trek. Eat coconuts all day or meditate on mountain tops.

Israel, on the other hand, is located in the rough and tough (and hot) Middle East.

You can’t just get in your car and drive for days on end on some carefree and destination-free road trip.

After a couple of hours you’ll bump into a big fat border fence that’s illegal to cross or a border crossing that you might not want to cross.

In Israel, if you don’t starting driving a second BEFORE the traffic light turns green, you’ll get honked at by everyone behind you.

If you decide to be nice (like most hippies are) and wait for a bus in an orderly fashion in Israel, you’ll likely find yourself without a seat by time you board.

(Any of these things might make a very sensitive hippy break down and cry.)

But, even with these and MANY other challenges of acclimating to life in Israel, there are so many sides and parts to Israel that are totally in line with the hippy mentality, outlook and way of life.

Here’s my top ten. Share them with a hippy you know and maybe, just maybe, they’ll be inspired to come on home.

Here we go:

  1. Because of the Jewish law of keeping meat and dairy separate, about half of Israel’s restaurants, by default, are vegetarian, and many have become super vegan-friendly. Yum!
  2. Israel has lots of trees! In fact, Israel is the only country in the world to enter the 21st century with more trees then it had at the beginning of the 20th century.
  3. Israelis love to hike. Families, schools, youth movements, even women in high heels, value exploring the land of Israel with their feet!
  4. Despite the stereotype of being loud and in-your-face (which maybe isn’t a stereotype always), many Israelis really are laid back, chilled-out people who know how to take the time to sit down for a tea or coffee and enjoy life.
  5. Even if they are the loud, in-your-face type, Israelis are super mellow when it comes to how they dress. It’s completely acceptable to come to work and even to weddings in jeans and an untucked shirt. Sandals? Never a problem!
  6. If you don’t want to rent or buy a house…no problem. Many Israelis just plop down a yurt or a big tent in the backyard of friends. Many Israelis are super handy and know how to build their own homes and hook up water and electricity on their own.
  7. You can make aliyah straight to a place called Pardes Hanna (that’s where I live)—the epicenter of hippie life in Israel! There’s enough barefooted, dreaded people walking around there to make you feel like you’re in a small town in northern California. And it’s just 8 minutes from the ocean!
  8. Like eating only local produce? Go into a supermarket in Israel and 99% of the fruits and veggies you’re looking at is from within Israel’s borders. The maximum distance from farm to table is just a few hours. Value eating with the seasons? It’s automatic in Israel! The produce you see in the stores is what’s growing on the farms at that time.
  9. Like grey water systems and solar energy? Every house in Israel uses the sun to heat their water in the summer months (7-8 months a year). And over 80% of water used in Israel is captured, cleaned and reused in agriculture. That makes Israel the world’s leader in water reclamation!
  10. Many Israelis are working hard to make the world a better place. Whether it’s life-improving inventions, environmental technology, cannabis research, humanitarian work or biomedical innovations, Israel is a leader in solving many of the world’s problems.

Jewish hippies around the world, do you understand now what Israel has in store for you?

Do you see how you can easily and happily continue to be a hippy in Israel? (In fact, you might even become a bigger hippy.)

Come on home and see for yourself!! We’ll come to the airport and greet you…with organic, vegan treats in hand of course!!

About the Author
Akiva Gersh is the editor of the book "Becoming Israeli" (www.becomingisraeli.com), a compilation of blogs and essays that speak of the inspiring and the sometimes wacky and crazy experience of making aliyah. Akiva himself made aliyah in 2004 with his wife Tamar and they live in Pardes Hanna with their four kids. He teaches Jewish history at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel in Hod HaSharon. He is also a musician and in 2010 formed Holy Land Spirit, an uplifting and spiritual musical experience for Christian groups visiting Israel.
Comments