Thank G-d for Israel: The secret of my success
Thank G-d for Israel: The secret of my success

We just closed on our four amot (amot are a biblical measurement of length, ed.) of Israel, a lovely family apartment in Afula. Our new friend, a hassid from Afula Illit, is building our kitchen. A constant joy emanated from the depths of his soul. He looked at me, an ex-New Yorker, and my wife, an ex-Russian, and laughed, "It looks like we have Donald and Melania right here in Afula!"

He gave us an estimate but refused to shake on it. The deal would be sealed over words of Torah. He chose to explain to us how the commandment to live in the Land of Israel carries the light of all the other 613 commandments. 

That's why he is so happy.

In America, to be a successful Jew you have to be a lawyer, an investment banker, a startup whiz, Mark Zuckerberg, or if you are religious -- Jared Kushner. You have to hobnob with the bigwigs, own a home larger than Rhode Island, and a bottomless wallet.

Here in Israel we see success a little differently. Even in our hi-tech powerhouse, if a tractor slowly rides along Northern Highway 65, an increasing line of cars will wait without honking. Religious and Zionist alike, we respect the guardians of our land.

Any livelihood tied to the commandment to settle and live in the Land of Israel is a holy one. In Israel it is a respected one. You get double pay -- the financial salary, and what Hashem puts in your spiritual account. 

This includes the construction worker, farmer, carpenter, handyman, contractor, real estate agent, and locksmith. They are all millionaires on so many levels. 

These opportunities are only available in Israel. It is the only place where you are fulfilling the entire Torah by simply showing up to work.

This is why there are so many genuinely happy people here. I have lived half of my life in Israel, and half my life in New York and I can tell you first hand that Israelis are far more laid back and less stressed out.

The extreme anger in everyday life you see in the west simply doesn't exist here. When Chaim Herzog lost, he shed a tear and went home. Most of his followers did likewise and got on with their lives. Compare those in Israel who dislike our Prime Minister to those in America who dislike President Trump.

To have the ultimate job, you don’t need to break into the executive washroom. There is so much less exclusivity and everyone has a chance to grab on to something.

There is good reason why we are called The Land of Life.


It was a late night at work and only the CEO and I were left. He knocks on my door to tell me to lock up, only to see me praying the evening service. He is secular, but so used to the sight of seeing a Jew pray that he

He is secular, but so used to the sight of seeing a Jew pray that he doesn't even react.
doesn't even react. He taps me on the shoulder, motions that he is leaving, smiles, and goes home. 

There is no need for me to explain or even feel uncomfortable. In our Jewish State it is so natural to perform every mitzvah, nobody makes you feel like you have to conceal it or explain it. 

It makes you feel completely comfortable in your own flesh. 

The Occupation of Jerusalem

I used to work in a small hi-tech office with about 20 people in one big room. It was on the third floor of a building in the industrial area of Netanya. 

"The Pit" as we called it, was as loud as a Wall Street trading floor. All at once, salesmen, developers, marketers, and executives would shout at the top of their lungs trying to get things done. 

One morning, we could hear the faint sound of a radio playing outside about 20 feet below. Between screams, we could make out some of the words. As each person heard the tune, he stopped talking. One by one people heard the music and went mute in awed silence. 

By mid-song, the entire office was silent, seized by the sublime sounds coming from outside.

Once the last note was played we all went back to work, not realizing the power of the moment that just passed. 

We were listening to Naomi Shemer’s Jerusalem of Gold. The mystique of her poem and the magnitude of the events that surround it are enough to humble the rowdiest hi-tech startup even a half century later.

Every week you can expect me, David Ben Horin, to be writing this column, Thank God for Israel. Writing and fighting to give my every morsel of wisdom to the good people who love my beloved country. Even to the not so good people who should love my country, it's never too late to see the light. Check out