Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Fear to Fail

Photo: Miriam Woelke


Tel Aviv is always moving and it hardly ever stands still. No, I am not talking about action, discos and fun but about Parnassah (income). The city is expensive and in order to make it here you have to run. Run after a job, after enough hours in order to ear money, after an affordable place to live, after anything. Everyone is on the search form something because a job today doesn’t mean that you still have it tomorrow.

Many people come here from all over Israel, as Tel Aviv still means having a chance a life and living it. Who doesn’t move here in order to study at Tel Aviv or Bar Ilan University is trying to find a job. Youngsters bring some money from their parents and those who move to Tel Aviv from Afula, Kiryat Shemona, Migdal HaEmek or Netivot mostly get supported by their parents. At least for a while because otherwise they wouldn’t make it.

Once you are here, the stress begins. Stress and fear to fail. What should those people from smaller towns and villages do ? Admit that they can’t make it in Tel Aviv, go back to their parents and admit everything ? Who can imagine how hard it is living here when you have never tried it out ? Some American immigrants told me that even New York is easier than Tel Aviv.

What I love and what also gives me plenty of material for writing stories are Israelis striving for a career. Being successful, however, is no guarantee for keeping a job, as in Israel you still need connections. There has to be a demand for you and TV celebrities are running after their rating.

If you don’t run, your life (income, place to live) may be over soon. I have never seen so many people running under such stress. Pessach is ahead but I don't feel like leaving slavery because our city seems to be the center of it.


  1. Like any western country (yes, I said "western" because the medinah is becoming more and more a western country).

    What you wrote sounds like "an Israeli version of the American Dream"

  2. B"H

    Basically Tel Aviv is like New York. You find a whole bunch of different people running around.:-) Unfortunately, many Israelis, incl. our Prime Minister, want to be like Americans.

  3. It is well known that Netanyahu has a great admiration for the American society. He was politicaly formed in America.

    It's sad, because Israelis are losing their roots. It's a country in the Middle East, and Judaism has nothing to do with the western way of life or culture (remember Chanukah). You can develop without compromising that fact. It won't surprise me if Israelis ask to join the European Union or to be the 51th state of the USA : )

    In reality, Israel IS like the 51st state of the USA. Just see how American presidents like dictating Israel how to behave, how to fight the Arabs, how to negociate "peace", etc.

  4. B"H

    In a way you are right but there are also many people here keeping up the Jewish heritage as well as the Torah. And not only religious Jews but also many seculars.:-)