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Chodesh Adar Sameach

Itiya SchnallWe are in the middle of “Chodesh Adar” (the Hebrew month of Adar) - the month where we celebrate Purim, the happiest month of the year! So let’s talk about happiness:

According to the latest world happiness report published in April 2015 by the sustainable development solutions network, Israel ranks 11th of 158 countries evaluated. This is a pretty surprising fact considering Israelis are living in the middle of an ongoing violent conflict, surrounded by hostile nations and is the object of international campaigns to be isolated or boycotted.

The United States rank #15, U.K. #21, France #29 ……… so why is Israel No. 11 on the happiness index? Maybe we as Israelis are just living in a dream world. Given the stress Israelis face and the uncertainty of life, Israelis develop a sense of importance of living for the moment.

Zehava Solomon, a professor at Tel Aviv University studying trauma has called Israel a stress laboratory. She suggests that the “culture of conflict” has made Israelis actually aware of their mortality, but also fearless. There is a fatalism but also a sense of fearlessness that makes you suck as much out of life as possible and enjoy the moment.

Even while the Israeli middle class is suffering from unaffordable housing prices, they still take vacation and travel abroad often. After finishing their army service, almost every Israeli I know takes their savings and travels abroad for a considerable amount of time.

A few weeks after finishing my army service, I spent all of my savings from being an officer (Israeli army) and traveled to South America for 7 months. I came back to Israel completely broke, but I had the time of my life.

Now, I’m not saying people should spend all their saving on traveling abroad, but maybe we should learn more about how to live in the moment and try to appreciate life. Chodesh Adar is just a reminder to try and be a happier person.

Chodesh Adar Sameach!! (happy month of Adar)

Itiya Schnall