Explain this to me: how is it Israelis living on meager salaries have a car, sometimes a home, and often make it a point to vacation despite the financial consequences? Even before the current world economic crisis Israelis dipped heavily into their minus [pronounced 'meenus'] accounts (credit from the banks) to make ends meet. Today more Anglo immigrants are taking ‘the dip’ yet most still view living in the holy land the good life. How can this be so?
Part of the answer is that living in Israel requires different priorities and managing the Almighty’s gifts, i.e. regular paychecks and compensation from small under the table jobs, is no laughing matter.
For example, I have friends, some with families, who work a few hours a day and just get by. Several even have trades with great monetary potential but instead choose part time hours in order to give extra attention to the family.
Others say if they wanted a real 9 -5 job they’d be in America, which is one of the big reasons they are in Israel (and in some cases work a 4 pm -3 am shift at local call centers that cater to American clientele…do you taste the irony?).
So how do people do it? There are no facts or figures that nail it down 100% and since I dislike speculation I’ll tell you a short story.
A few years ago I went out for a jog around noon when suddenly I thought to myself, what am I doing? It’s twelve o’clock in the afternoon and I’m out exercising! Despite having a part time job and freelancing I asked myself, shouldn’t I be in the least bit concerned with my work environment -that it only takes up a short part of the day?
Stopping by a friend who is a musician with three children and conveying my concern he looked at me surprised. According to his assessment, I was living the million dollar life without the million dollars. Yes, I know what your thinking. Security is the ultimate tension tamer and if I had the ‘big mil’ sitting in the bank I could justify the lingo but it’s something to consider.
Sure, the time will come when we need to step up to the plate and put bread on the table but how many loaves do we need before we forget who we are and why we are here? Living in Israel requires a lot of faith and many times more money than we are willing to admit but if you want to make it happen, it will.
I’ll bet you a million dollars.