64 Things to Love About Israel
It’s no secret that there are a lot of funny Jews out there: Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Sara Silverman, the Marx Brothers, Chelsea Handler, Woody Allen… the list goes on and on. I’d like to add another name to that list, one you may be slightly less familiar with but who will make you laugh just as hard – Benji Lovitt.
I’ve long followed Lovitt on Twitter, and his 140-character musings on life in Israel often make me giggle. Lovitt, an American, made aliyah five years ago after what he calls “a life-changing year in Israel” and post-collegiate experience working at the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta and with Hadassah’s Young Judaea and Israel programs. He now does stand-up for groups including Hillels, Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federations of North America, and more, and he blogs at “Because the Middle East is Funny…”
Each year since making aliyah, in celebration of Israeli Independence Day (that’s today!), Lovitt has published a list of 64 things he loves about Israel (though last year’s list had 62, the previous year’s had 63, and so on). Of compiling this years list, he writes, “After 246 different things I love about Israel, I didn’t believe 64 more even existed. A few months, many hours, two long plane rides, and a consultation or two with a couple of my funny friends later, I discovered that I was wrong.”
I’ve pulled a few of my favorites for you, below, but to see the full list, you’ll have to pop over to The Times of Israel.
#1. I love how Israelis can be completely indifferent to politics but will still argue about their favorite hummus place until they blow an artery.
#4. I love that after striking up a conversation with a complete stranger at the Ben-Gurion baggage claim, not only did he offer me a ride home but we also discovered that we shared over 60 mutual Facebook friends. Seriously, how are there any Jews who still don’t know each other?
#6. I love how the worker at Bank Leumi decided she could call me “motek” after knowing me for all of 2.4 seconds.
#18. I love that certain stores advertise their dependability by claiming to be open “24/6.”
#33. I love that the salad bar in the airport’s pre-security atrium actually chops up fresh vegetables before your very eyes. The last time I saw that in an American airport, Elvis and Moshiach had just hugged me goodbye at curbside check-in.
#49. I love that people get more excited about the prospect of snow than teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Which is surprising since I’ve never seen a 15-year-old faint from inclement weather.
#59. I love that no matter how much daily occurrences can drive me crazy here, the minute my plane lands in the States, I turn into the minister of tourism.
You don’t have to be a comedian to have a great answer to this question: What do you love about Israel?