Susan Barth
Advocate for Marriage Education in Israel

Have a “NICE” Day Israeli Style

Have you noticed that Israelis with few exceptions end their “customer service” conversations with English speakers with the words “have a “NICE” day? What exactly does the word “NICE” mean? According to the authority Merriam-Webster “Nice” can mean any of the following:

1a: showing fastidious or finicky tastes: particular <too nice a palate to enjoy junk food> b: exacting in requirements or standards: punctilious <a nice code of honor>

2: possessing, marked by, or demanding great or excessive precision and delicacy <nice measurements>

3a: pleasing, agreeable <a nice time> <a nice person> b: well-executed <nice shot> c: appropriate, fitting <not a nice word for a formal occasion>

4a: socially acceptable: well-bred <from a nice family> b: virtuous, respectable <was taught that nice girls don’t do that>

5: polite, kind <that’s nice of you to say>

 I would like to offer my own definition of “Nice” Israeli style with 2 episodes that happened this week.

 I was a passenger on an Egged Bus traveling from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh and one of the passengers informed the driver that he was sick. Not only did that fact mobilize an instant “committee” to help take care of the sick passenger (offering water, advice etc.) but more importantly the driver of the bus pulled off the road and choose to wait until he was satisfied that the sick passenger’s needs were taken care of – when a passenger inquired after a bit of time as to why the entire bus was stopped, the driver matter of factly said “one of the passengers does not feel well” and it was understood that the bus should wait. To me that is NICE!

 The second was a bicycle accident where the young child fell down and clearly injured himself. Several people who witnessed the accident immediately pulled off the road and offered to take the child home or administer to his needs for medical assistance. To me that also is NICE!

In the midst of all the tensions surrounding the haredim and the army, the social protests, the international concerns with Iran- it is important to know that having a “NICE Day –Israeli style” can really mean taking those precious moments to help fellow Jews in their moment of need.

 May we always have “NICE DAYS”

Shabbat shalom

About the Author
Susan Barth is founder and director of Israeli non profit Together in Happiness/B'Yachad B'Osher, promoting stronger, healthier marriages impacting Israeli society. A Project Management Professional (PMP) and businesswoman from the US, Susan sponsored and chaired the First International Conference on Marriage Education in Israel (attended by over 360 professionals) in Jerusalem in memory of her parents and launched I-PREP, an innovative marriage education curriculum. On November 8, 2017, Together in Happiness co-hosted with MK Yehudah Glick a historic Knesset seminar promoting government support for pre-marriage education