By now everyone in Israel has read the results of the study published earlier this month that showed Israelis ranked among the happiest people among the Western nations, despite an extensive laundry list of problems in their country.
Israel ranked low in terms of income, housing, education and security for example—all things we would typical associate with contentment. As an Asian-American who hails from San Francisco, I could add a few of my own complaints to the list: lack of ethnic food, the outrageous cost of imported goods, the raging summer heat, the marginalization of minorities and refugees, and the famous Israeli frankness that has me constantly fielding questions about why I pay so much for my apartment and my (ever so subtle) fluctuation in weight (Up or down? Eating cakes or working out?), chief among them.
So then why—if they probably can’t find a job or afford the apartment that they live in—are Israelis so damn happy?