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Is Israel Really "The World's Happiest Country?"

By Batya Medad
5/16/2008, 12:00 AM

Can you really "chart," calculate happiness? Or is it like the poetry graph mocked by the Robin Williams character in the movie, "Dead Poets Society?"

 

 

That's exactly what I thought of when I saw the article claiming that according to the relationship/differential between fertility and suicide you can calculate the happiness factor. Now, if that's really true, you must compare the different Israeli sectors.

 

Actually, I just recently discussed something similar with a friend. We both believe that the human body holds various illnesses and "conditions" which only "come to life" when various other factors exist. For instance, that's why the Disengagement victims, the expellees are suffering from many more illnesses than before. The stress of losing their homes, communities and jobs and the knowledge that Israeli society not only doesn't value their lives, but they mock their idealism. They were much healthier even during the constant Arab terror and kassam attacks. That's because they felt positive purpose in their lives. Disengagement made a mockery of it all. So their physical defenses went down and illnesses rage.

Bottom line: I don't put my faith in those charts. When you have something to live for that means enough to you that you'd die for it, you're happy. That's not what John Lennon wrote in his famous song. "Imagine" yearns for an existence in which there's nothing to die for. I guess that's why he and his friends were so dependent on drugs and similar things.

"I get no kick from champagne." I prefer building Jewish Life in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.