70 reasons why I love Israel

Here are 70 reasons for why I love Israel:

  1. I love sitting on the bus in the morning and seeing men put on their tefillin.
  2. I love that once I was in the Tachana Merkazit in Jerusalem during the pre- Shabbat rush and a lady looked at me with a desperate look in her eyes and gave me her child to hold whilst she calmed down her other baby.
  3. My cousin got drafted into Givati (they wear purple berets) in the IDF, and his Savta showed up in a purple tracksuit with purple balloons. She wasn’t the only one.
  4. Sitting in a Likud faction meeting and Bibi Netanyahu singing Happy Purim and toasting to the month of Adar.
  5. My manicurist once gave me a free plant because she didn’t want it in her apartment. This then led me to looking crazy in front of my roommates.
  6. Seeing a sign on a wine shop with the word “Israli” on it. Only an Israeli would spell “Israeli” wrong.
  7. The fact that graffiti in Israel consists of “Am Yisrael Chai” and huge blue stars of David.
  8. Everything about Yom Hazikaron. How a country can go from such immense sadness to such positivity is something I will never be able to forget.
  9. I love that when my cousin was a week away from joining the army, his friends threw a party for him to shave his hair. He had grown his hair for the six months before then, so there was a lot to cut!
  10. When I finished my MASA program and was flying back to England I spoke to the air stewardess expressing how I want to continue living in Israel and she brought her colleague over and they clapped for me.
  11. There is a street right by my office called “Eretz Yisrael Hayafa” — “The beautiful country Israel.”
  12. Only in Israel would my colleague change his clothes in the middle of the office and try on his IDF uniform to prepare for miluim.
  13. I love that Israel can frustrate you so much (never go to Misrad Hapnim in the middle of the day!!!!).. and then cause you to be so unbelievably happy.
  14. I love that my friend told me she was once crying on the plane to Israel and the guy next to her bought her a KitKat and said, “This is the best medicine.”
  15. When a news website includes the statement “We do not receive emails on Shabbat”.
  16. How I once ended up in Ramat Gan instead of Tel Aviv for a meeting — and the bus driver decided to speak to my boss on the phone to check that I knew where to go. He ended up stopping the bus in the middle of the street so that he could check Waze. Only in Israel!
  17. How the convoys on “Kvish 1” are lit up during the week of Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut and draped with Israeli flags.
  18. I don’t use my phone on Shabbat and I got lost on the beach and couldn’t find where my friends were sitting, so I was invited to sit with a random group of Israelis. They then started grilling me about my past relationships and who my “perfect guy would be.”
  19. When buying a new pair of trousers, the lady that sold me a new pair ended up being Persian and was so excited that I was also Persian that she kissed me and introduced me to her friend next door.
  20. The classic Chag Sameach written on every bus in Israel. Even the buses wish you Chag Sameach!
  21. When I asked the security guard where the bathroom was in Misrad Haklita and he said, “Ani Lo Mesaper Lach”… “I’m not telling you.”
  22. When I went to open my first bank account and the bank clerk decided to start telling me that his daughter’s favorite movie is Madagascar. It took 2 hours to open a bank account.
  23. I love that I bumped into my long-lost friend from New York in Kuli Alma (a nightclub in Tel Aviv) on a random Thursday night.
  24. When living in Herzliya, I was a frequent user of the 90 bus route. One day, the bus driver made us change to the bus behind. He was panicking that we would miss the bus so he left the bus with me and held my arm while making me run.
  25. I bought photo frames one day and the shopkeeper was quizzing me about if I knew how to hang them up properly. He then ran out of the store and went to his friends shop to bring me the right screws so I wouldn’t destroy the frames!
  26. When I boarded a bus one day and the bus driver had his son sitting on his lap handing out change to passengers.
  27. I was moving apartments and three taxis refused to help me move my things from one apartment to the other. A van drove past and stopped and offered to move my things for me, and give my friend and I a ride home.
  28. A man decided to change his top on a bus and no one flinched or even made any different facial expression.
  29. I love that on the beach one time, the lifeguard yelled, “Thank you, Racheli, for the cake!”
  30. A bus once stopped by Shuk Hacarmel in Tel Aviv and decided to stop and shop for jackets. How is this allowed when I’m sitting on the bus?
  31. A flowerpot FILLED with mud and flowers crashed from my window sill one night. My neighbor heard the noise and left his apartment in the middle of the night to help me clean it all up.
  32. Once when I was getting a blood test the nurse told me “to think of Jerusalem and I would be okay”.
  33. There was once a protest in Tel Aviv supporting Ross being on a break with Rachel.
  34. I loved every single day of my MASA program — I went on Career Israel! I fully recommend it to anyone that wants to try living in Israel. It was perhaps the best six months of my life.
  35. I LOVE that I work at an Intelligence company and I am inspired everyday by my colleagues who have been in the army and participated in missions to make Israel stronger.
  36. Shimon Peres. I mean, I could just leave his name right there. “No room for small dreams” is a fantastic book that has the capacity to inspire anyone in my opinion. Beautifully written and fascinating, Peres is one of the reasons that I am in Israel.
  37. Whenever I stay at my Savta in Jerusalem for Shabbat, I always hear Shalom Aleichem playing right before we light candles.
  38. I once went shopping with my auntie for dresses and she decided to ask the shopkeeper, “Do you have a husband for my niece?” He then answered, “Right, I’ll be back… just going to get a divorce”.
  39. Everything about spending Yom Kippur in the Old City of Jerusalem. I stayed at a beautiful place called the “Heritage House.” A place with such beautiful hospitality, I am sure I will be visiting again.
  40. Standing in the crowd during slichot at the Kotel. I have never cried so much before in my life and I don’t think I will ever again. Oh and also getting stuck for 90 minutes trying to leave the Kotel after slichot ended!
  41. Did you know that there is free Egged transportation after Yom Kippur from the Kotel?? So you won’t have to wait before going home to eat!
  42. My friend and I once shared a taxi with a lovely old lady, who decided to invite us to her Sukkah for a Bracha.
  43. When the shopkeeper by the beach was once blow drying her hair whilst giving me the right change.
  44. My bus driver once missed the turning on Dizengoff and attempted to do a U turn in the middle of the street. It didn’t work, so he just went a different way.
  45. When my friend’s boyfriend was once locked out of his apartment and his neighbor invited him in to play FIFA with his friends.
  46. On Chanukah, my spinning instructor played MahOhTzur. A trance version! I have never laughed so much whilst trying to maintain my balance on a bike.
  47. How the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Centre sends me a “Happy Birthday” message every year.
  48. Once on a bus (so many wonderful things happen on buses in Israel) the bus driver stopped and his friend came on and gave him a bag of nuts.
  49. I love that my family is so large and crazy that not one day goes by without a different family member calling me yelling “why haven’t I seen you in so long! Come to us for Shabbat!”
  50. I had a few issues signing up to health insurance when I first moved to Israel. One of the managing partners of my office got frustrated when I told him the story, so he then came with me to sort everything out- taking out a couple of hours of his day just to help me.
  51. The air-conditioning broke in my apartment. When we had the technician in fixing a new one, he looked at me with sweat pouring down his face and yelled “nu! Don’t be stingy with the air- conditioning!”
  52. During Operation Protective Edge, I was in Jerusalem when I heard my first ever siren. I started panicking and I didn’t know where to go. A group of Israelis ran towards me, held my hand and took me with them to a nearby shelter.
  53. When the driver of a Sherut told a few passengers that they would get the ride for free if they knew the correct Bracha for a packet of biscuits.
  54. How my sister asked the bus driver for directions and he replied “I don’t speak to girls because a girl just broke my heart.”
  55. I went to hospital once because I had a bad allergy to insect bites. The doctor gasped when he saw my leg and then yelled over to his colleagues across the corridor to come over so they could have a look.
  56. I once took a carpool from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A really young, shy soldier came in the car and whispered as he introduced himself. The girl next to me yelled, “Yalla, stop whispering, be brave!”
  57. When driving with my auntie on a main road in Jerusalem, a bus driver stopped her car and yelled through the window “Tidchadshi! When did you get your car? We are placing bets on the year”.
  58. My colleague once told me that her apartment was burgled and the police officer wouldn’t enter her apartment to file a report because she didn’t have a front door Mezuzah.
  59. When I bought a new hot plate the shopkeeper next door to my apartment was nervous about me plugging it in for the first time and offered to come and help me.
  60. The sign at the metal detectors at the Kotel that say “to everyone from abroad keeping the second day chag the metal detector is working on a special Shabbat programme, so don’t worry!”
  61. When being a Madricha on Birthright, I was inspired to show my chanichim everything that I loved about Israel. The fact that I could lead them through Israel for their first time was unbelievably special.
  62. During the airing of the second season of Fauda, I could not go anywhere without SOMEONE yelling about what was going on. Countless times, I was told to shut up if I was on the phone speaking about the plot in public.
  63. My friend dancing around Rothschild with his speaker on Purim with “Alabina” playing. It then led to a random group of French people coming to dance with him in the middle of the street.
  64. Walking around the streets of Israel and reading who the streets were named after. The names and events provide their own history lesson just as you walk.
  65. I boarded a bus in Jerusalem before Shabbat and sat next to an old Moroccan man who was on the phone. When he ended his conversation, three people walked up to him and asked him what language he was speaking in and complimented his beautiful accent.
  66. Tel Aviv is the vegan capital city of the world! Although I love eating meat, it always makes me proud that I can say this to my vegan friends around the world.
  67. I was playing matkot with my sister on the beach with a Maccabi Tel Aviv set. A guy walked past and yelled at us “LO MACCABI! BEITAR YERUSHALAYIM”.
  68. How my friends from America, Brazil and Colombia make Aliyah. I live in England and, thank G-d, it is pretty easy for me to go home if I feel homesick, but for them it can take more than a day to get home! It inspires me when people make Aliyah even though they live so far.
  69. I especially love that how, whilst writing this list, I couldn’t stop writing. Every time I was typing the list kept getting longer and longer because I was constantly reminded of more reasons that I love Israel.
  70. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, reading Keren Hajioff’s “reasons for why I love Israel” encouraged me and inspired me to write my own list. I hope it will inspire more people to write what they love about Israel, and perhaps start their journey here so that their lists can begin!
About the Author
Daniella Reyhanian is a graduate of International Relations and is currently working in the Intelligence sector in Israel. She hopes to one day fulfill her dream of working in Israeli politics.
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