In Israel, there is a very common phrase used here; “Al Tidag, Hakol Bseder” (Don’t worry, everything is okay). More than a saying, it is a mindset felt by so many; quite surprising as Israel is supposed a hotbed of fear.
Although I have lived in the US nearly all my life, during my last visit I felt like Alice in Wonderland.
I melted on a memory foam mattress, was greeted by smiling cashiers who bagged my groceries and had the garbage picked up straight from a personal garbage bin. I was so blown away at Target that I felt compelled to show off its grandiosity to my wife via video chat.
However, after a few days, I felt the excitement wear off. I started to miss my boardlike mattress, schlepping my garage halfway up a hill to the communal garbage bin, and the dilapidated hole in the wall type of shops.
Initially, when we made Aliyah I longed for the American standards that I was always accustomed to. But gradually I started to feel the inner peace that naturally comes with a simpler way of life. Inner peace is something I wouldn’t trade for anything; even if I have to miss out on Amazon’s straight to your door dinner service.
Turn on the TV and you will see that Israel is a very scary place to live. The truth is that the overhyped danger is caused by outside threats, to which our military does an exceptional job defending against. Domestic crime rates are so low in Israel that it is one of the safest places to live in the world. When I lived in the United States, the fear was always tangible every time I took my kids to the park, shopped at Walmart, or walked down the street at night, It’s for good reason, as statistically the fear of crime in the US is 77% more than in Israel; not surprising , as the United States’s violent crimes such as murder, rape, and kidnapping are 4-5 times higher.
The Jewish people are a family bound together by our faith and history, so perhaps the reason why our crime rates so low is that deep down inside we do not wish to harm our own brother or sister.
Here in Israel, we don’t greet someone with “Hello,” rather we say “Shalom”. Only is in Israel do we receive the blessings of peace from Kohanim every single day. Whether it is because of the simpler way of life, the familial bonds we have with each other, or for another reason; there certainly is peace in the air.