Interesting and Fun Facts about Israel

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Did you know that Israel is associated with being the World’s Start-Up Nation? It is a country that has 1,748 startups, which translates into one startup each for every five thousand of its citizens with IoT and hardware, software and data and health being the leading industries. Let’s now explore a selection of interesting facts about Israel, as well as its geographical location and population statistics.

1. Israel Claims to Have the Lowest Point on Earth

Israel Claims to Have the Lowest Point on Earth

At around 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is one of the lowest points on earth. The lake is exceptionally salty and thick. Tourists flock to the Dead Sea from around the world to float in its dense waters and cover their skin with mineral-rich mud. [1]

2. The Official Language is Hebrew

The Official Language is Hebrew

The official language in Israel is Hebrew, but many Israelis also speak Arabic or Russian as well as English because they’ve lived abroad or studied at foreign universities. [2]

3. Home of Many Tech Startups

Home of Many Tech Startups

Israel has the highest concentration of tech start-ups per capita in the world and is home to some of the most exciting start-up companies like Waze, Fiverr, SodaStream, Mobileye, Taboola, and IronSource. [3]

4. Concentration of Museums

Concentration of Museums

Israel has more museums than any other country in the world (per capita). However, the country’s most unique museum is the underwater Caesarea Maritima National Museum, located in the Mediterranean Sea. What makes Caesarea Maritima so special is that people can dive through the ruins of an ancient city. [4] [5]

5. Israel Has the One of the Highest Rates of College Graduates in the World on a Per Capita Basis

Israel Has the Highest Rate of College Graduates in the World on a Per Capita Basis

Israel has one of the highest rates of university education in the world – 50.9% of adult Israelis have a college degree. Other countries topping the list include Canada (56.7 percent) and Japan (51.4%), while the US ranks firth (46.4%) after South Korea (47.7%). [6]

6. Israel is Home to the World’s Oldest Winery: Assaf Winery

Israel is Home to the World’s Oldest Winery Assaf Winery

Unmatched in size and age, archeologists have discovered what they believe to be world’s oldest wine cellar in Tel Kabri site, which is ruins of a city that dates back to 1,700 B.C. They found a 15×25 foot storage room hosing 40 packed jars. The city was likely destroyed in 1600 B.C. in a violent event such as an earthquake. The jars had a capacity to hold around 2,000 liters of wine. [14]

7. Israel is Among the Few Countries in the World That Does Not Have a Codified Constitution

Israel is Among the Few Countries in the World That Does Not Have a Codified Constitution

Israel is the only country in the world whose laws are based on Jewish religious law. The country’s legal system is based on the Talmud, as interpreted by religious courts and scholars over centuries. This is because Israel has no single document that defines its government and laws. Instead, Israel has a collection of laws, regulations, and court rulings that make up “Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.” The name of this law was changed from Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation in 1992, but it still refers to the freedom of occupation as its main goal. [5]

8. Various Religions are practiced within Israel

Various Religions are practiced within Israel

Israel has many different religions represented within its borders. Jews make up 74.3 percent of the population, Muslims make up 17.8 percent, Christians make up 1.9 percent, and Druze make up 1.6 percent of the population. 4.4% population belongs to other religions. [6]

9. Ancient Hebrew Alphabets had No Vowels

Ancient Hebrew Alphabets had No Vowels

The ancient Hebrew alphabets had no vowels because they were not written at all times in ancient Israelite history; they were indicated by diacritical marks above or below consonants or with dots between two consonants (such as yod). However, it is unknown how these marks were used since there are no extant inscriptions on stone or clay. These marks were preserved before 1000 BC, when vowel signs developed into something like modern vowel signs today. [7]

10. The Mystery of White City in Tel Aviv

The Mystery of White City in Tel Aviv

The White City, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, is one of Israel’s most important tourist attractions and is a collection of more than four thousand buildings from the 1930s. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exceptional example of Bauhaus architecture. The White City was built by German Jewish architects and residents who wanted to create a new city in the Land of Israel. The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, who designed buildings that incorporated modern design and technology.

11. Winemaking Has Been Around Since Biblical Times in Israel

Winemaking Has Been Around Since Biblical Times in Israel

Because vines were cultivated in biblical times, winemaking is a thriving business in Israel. The country has over 300 wineries and the ten largest of them produce over 90% of Israel’s total wine. 70 of these wineries harvest 50 tons or more grapes each year, while the rest of the wineries are medium-sized wineries.

The Galilee region, the Judean Hills, the Samson region, the Negev desert region, and the Shomron region are notable wine-producing areas in Israel. Around 60,000 tons of wine grapes are harvested in Israel every year. [10]

12. Home to Oldest Cemetery of Jews

Home to World’s Oldest Existing and Continuously Used Cemetery

Around 3,000 years old, the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives is considered to be the oldest Jews cemetery that has between 70,000 to 300,000 graves. It is tied closely to biblical events and the mountain is considered to be holy place for Jews. [11]

13. Israel has 137 Beautiful Beaches

Israel has 137 Beautiful Beaches

Israel is a small but diverse country. From the mountains in the north to the deserts in the south and the Mediterranean coast, there’s a little bit of everything here.

The country is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From Tel Aviv to Eilat, Israel has 137 beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing.

14. Israel is Home to 81 National Parks

Israel Has Two National Parks

Ranging from archeological sites to sites of great natural reserves, Israel has over 80 national parks and 400 nature reserves. Most of these are in the occupied West Bank and protect a wide range of species, including fish, plants, birds and mammals.

15. There is no Starbucks in Israel

There is no Starbucks in Israel

Starbucks, the American-based global coffee chain, opened six stores in the country, but after only two years, the company folded. Some believe that it was because of political reasons, but Starbucks has already clarified that it does not make business decisions based on political reasons. [12]

16. Israel is the Hub of New Inventions in Technologies

Israel is the Hub of New Inventions in Technologies

Israel, an affluent country with a large population of scientists and engineers, has been at the forefront when it comes to the invention of new technologies. The country boasts thousands of high-tech businesses in different fields, including telecom, semiconductors, software, medical electronics and biotech. Most of these companies are startups with some reaching the top in their field.

Israel’s technologies include the cell phone, the USB flash drive, voice mail technology, the Pentium MMX chip technology, instant messaging, Microsoft’s first antivirus software, and the Windows NT operating system.

17. The First Jewish Colony was established in Jerusalem

The First Jewish Colony was established in Jerusalem

King David established the first Jewish colony in Jerusalem around 1000 BCE. He conquered it from the Jebusites during his reign as king over Israel. Babylonians later destroyed the city in 586 BCE and destroyed Solomon’s Temple, which was rebuilt around 50 years later when Jews were allowed by the Persian King to return back to Jerusalem. [13]

18. World Leaders in Agriculture

World Leaders in Agriculture

Israel is one of the world leaders in agriculture, credited with introducing drip irrigation and giving the world thornless prickly pears and sweet cherry tomatoes. It also produces 95 percent of its food for domestic consumption and boasts world’s highest milk productivity.

19. Israel Has One of the Most Advanced Economies in the World

Israel Has One of the Most Advanced Economies in the World

Israel’s economy is ranked as one of the most advanced in the world, with high living standards among its citizens. This is especially true compared to other countries in the Middle East region. Israel also has a strong agricultural sector, with more than 250 different crops grown throughout the country each year.

20. Israel has Mandatory Military Service for All Citizens over the Age of 18

Israel has Mandatory Military Service for All Citizens over the Age of 18

Israel is one of those countries with compulsory military service for all Jewish, Druze and Circassian Israeli men and women once they turn 18 years old (or 19 if they continue full-time religious studies). Most males serve for three years, while females serve for two years before entering into reserve status.

Conclusion

Israel is a small country with a distinct culture and identity. Some of their traditions are rooted in over three thousand years of history, such as welcoming and honoring guests or the special blessing for candle lighting on Hanukkah. However, other religious, cultural, and social practices transcend Judaism and blend with the greater Levantine/Middle Eastern culture.

The land of Israel is a really fascinating place, and hopefully, this blog has shown you just how interesting it is.

References

  1. Dead Sea. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Dead-Sea
  2. Adams, D. (2020, September 11). What languages are spoken in Israel? | CCJK. Professional Translation Services | 120+ Languages | CCJK. https://www.ccjk.com/languages-spoken-israel
  3. (n.d.). Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/07/14/learning-from-israels-successful-innovation-ecosystem
  4. Israel has more museums per capita than any other country…. (2015, May 31). Israel21c. https://www.israel21c.org/fact/israel-has-more-museums-per-capita-than-any-other/
  5. Israel, T. (2021, November 23). Caesarea. Tourist Israel. https://www.touristisrael.com/caesarea-guide/33412/
  6. Israel ranks as world’s third most educated country. (2018, December 20). Israel21c. https://www.israel21c.org/israel-ranks-as-worlds-third-most-educated-country/
  7. BASIC LAW: HUMAN DIGNITY AND LIBERTY, 5752-1992. (n.d.). https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/39134/97918/F1548030279/ISR39134.pdf
  8. Israeli culture. (2018). Cultural Atlas. https://culturalatlas.sbs.com.au/israeli-culture/israeli-culture-religion
  9. Hebrew/aleph-bet/1 – Wikibooks, open books for an open world. (n.d.). Wikibooks. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew/Aleph-Bet/1
  10. Wines of Israel. (2020, October 5). SevenFifty Daily. https://daily.sevenfifty.com/regions/wines-of-israel/
  11. Journey-admin. (2021, March 3). Mount of Olives. Tourist Israel. https://www.touristisrael.com/mount-of-olives/27213/
  12. Why Starbucks failed in Israel. (2021, November 21). TLV1 Podcasts. https://tlv1.fm/business/2016/08/15/why-starbucks-failed-in-israel/
  13. com Editors. (2017, August 23). Jerusalem. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-middle-east/history-of-jerusalem
  14. Rice, D., & TODAY, U. (2013, November 22). USA today. USATODAY. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/11/22/old-wine-cellar-israel/3667621/

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