A record number of pilgrims, Jewish and non Jewish, have gathered in Jerusalem during the week of Passover and Easter. They can witness for themselves the exciting positive developments taking place here… writes Michael Kuttner.
THE SECRET TO ISRAELIS’ LONG, SATISFYING LIVES
National Geographic Travel recently revealed the likely reasons why Israel ranks fifth for healthy longevity in the UN World Happiness Report.
Not least of all, herbs, spices, seeds, nuts, olive oil and other plant-based foods are the backbone of the Mediterranean diet with which Israelis sustain themselves.
The combination of a Mediterranean-style diet, low alcohol consumption, strong family and cultural values, and an excellent healthcare system could be the main factors that put Israel in fifth place worldwide on the longevity scale.
According to data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, over 93 percent of Israelis say they are happy or very happy with their lives. A recent study also showed that Israeli Arabs enjoy the highest life expectancy in all Arab and Muslim countries.
RETIREMENT HOME FOR DOGS
Amidst the pastoral setting of Haifa’s Carmel mountains, a kennel has been opened catering to the special needs of Israel’s retired military and police dogs.
Israel’s hard-working army and police pups spend years of service with every moment on full alert. After retirement, it can be difficult for these veterans to blend into daily family life.
In recognition of their service, Israel has now opened a special retirement home to give them all the love and care that these defenders of Israel deserve in their golden years!
ANOTHER RECORD BROKEN
With abundant sunshine most of the year Israel takes advantage of the sun’s ability to generate power. Watch this short video:
BEAN THERE DONE THAT
An Israeli startup has helped assemble two genomes of the soybean, which will help farmers improve the quality of their crops.
Soybeans are increasingly relied upon as a source of oil and protein across the globe, both for animal and human use. Getting to know the genetic makeup of these beans can help scientists increase the content of both in a single plant using traditional breeding methods.
PRIESTLY BLESSING AT THE KOTEL
For locals and tourists the highlight of any visit to the Kotel during the intermediate days of Passover is the Birkat Hacohanim. Hundreds of Cohanim bless thousands of pilgrims gathered at the Western Wall in a moving ceremony which evokes visions of scenes from the time of the Temple.
For those unable to be present this year here is this unforgettable moment:
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel.
[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]