Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Travel the World - Israel

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Israel is a country in the Middle East and Asia bordering Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian Territories.

It is the only state in the world with a majority Jewish population – around 74%.

The modern state of Israel has been a nation of the Jewish people since 1948. Jerusalem is its capital city.

Since its early history, Jerusalem has been a fully walled city. The walls are over 40 feet tall, eight feet thick, and 2.5 miles long. It also has 34 watchtowers and seven main gates to let traffic through.

Israel is a long wedge of land. It is as narrow as 10 miles in some areas and no wider than 70 miles in other areas.

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv is considered to be among the most powerful cities in the world.

In 2020, Israel was the eighth most expensive country in the world to live in. Switzerland came in at number one.

Israel is bordered by snowy peaks at one end and a desert beach on the other. It has a total of 137 beaches.

Israel is part home to the lowest point on Earth. Shared by Israel and the Palestinian Territories on the western side and Jordan on the east, the Dead Sea is 1,424 feet below sea level.

The Dead Sea has a salt concentration of 34% – 10 times saltier than seawater.  

Israel is about the size of the US state of Massachusetts—around 8,000 square miles.

It is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan.

Israel’s population is half the size of Metro New York City.

Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.

Israel is the only country to have revived a dead language and made it the national language.

At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, an old wooden ladder has been propped up against a window since the 18th century. No one can move it because the building is managed by six different churches and none can agree on who owns the ladder.

There are more museums per capita in Israel than anywhere in the world.

Israel has one of the world’s highest life expectancies at 82.8 years.

It is ranked the 10th happiest country in the world.

Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other nation in the world.

The Mount of Olives is the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world. It’s been in use for over 3,000 years.

Israel is home to the largest known dog cemetery of the ancient world. More than 1,300 dog skeletons, most of them puppies, were found at the Ashkelon site.

Israel spends more money for security than any other country in the world.

Israel has the fourth largest Air Force in the world (after the U.S., Russia and China).

Albert Einstein was offered presidency of Israel in 1952; however, he declined the invitation.

Eighty-five percent of Israeli households get hot water from rooftop solar heaters, compared to less than 1 percent in the United States.

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Talking on a cellular phone while driving is against the law in Israel.

Microsoft has more employees in Israel than it does per capita anywhere in the world.

Israel has more computers per capita than any other country.

Quicktionary, a portable electronic pen that can scan and translate printed text was invented in Israel.

The small but hardy cherry tomato was developed in Israel in 1970s.

Israeli students won an international award for producing real honey without bees, using a bacterium programmed to “learn” how to make honey.

A Tel Aviv company has invented a folding car that can retract its wheels for narrow streets and snug spots, but still can reach speeds of 55 miles per hour.

Israel has the largest underground hospital in the world: the 2,000-bed Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.

Israel is home to the world’s only theater company comprised entirely of deaf and blind actors.

In Israel, the most common way to mop the floor is by doing what’s called a sponja: flooding the floor with copious amounts of water and using a long-handled squeegee to push the dirty water outside or down the nearest drain.

Israeli toilets have two handles: A smaller one that releases less water to flush down #1, and a larger one that elicits more water to get rid of #2.

Over 150 nature reserves and 65 national parks are established throughout the country covering some 400 square miles.

Over 500 million migrating birds, more than 230 species, fly in Israeli air space on annual migrations between Europe, western Asia and Africa.

Israel is the world’s largest wholesale diamond center; most cut & polished diamonds in the world come from Israel.

The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.

Every year, about 1,000 letters are sent to Jerusalem, Israel, that are addressed to God.

Also known as Wailing Wall, Jerusalem’s Western Wall is considered to be Judaism’s holiest prayer site.

An estimated one million notes are left in the Western Wall each year.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Israel was 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit in 1942 at Kibbutz Tirat Zvi in the northern Jordan Valley. (The highest temperature ever recorded worldwide is 134.6 degrees in Death Valley in 1913.)

An Israeli company has developed a paint that uses sunlight to activate a cooling mechanism on cars, buildings, planes and even clothing, providing air conditioning without electricity. The hotter it is, the more the coating cools.

While Jerusalem has snow storms every few years, and even the Negev Desert gets occasional snow, Tel Aviv has only had one snowstorm in its history. In 1950, it snowed 4.7 to 7 inches, thrilling locals, many of whom had never seen snow before.

More than half the landmass of Israel is desert, but it still has an Olympic bobsled and skeleton team.

Israel publishes more books per capita than any other nation in the world.

Cows in Israel produce more milk on average than do dairy cows in other countries.

Israel is the only county to have more trees today than it did 50 years ago.

Babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to be allergic to peanuts than in other countries. Studies suggest it’s because they eat Bamba peanut snacks from an early age.

In Israel, there’s hardly such thing as a gift registry for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Instead, people come to the parties bearing envelopes full of cash.

Israel takes in more immigrants than any other country in the world per capita. Since it was founded in 1948, 3.3 million people have immigrated to Israel.

There are more than 40 kosher McDonald’s in Israel. The only one outside Israel is in BueƱos Aires.

Haifa’s subway system is one of the world’s smallest, with four carriages and just over one mile of track.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Israel... Israel is a global leader in medical clowning and was the first country in the world to send medical clowns into COVID-19 wards.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Sets: Peachy Keen Clowning Around Faces stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers and CC Designs Circus stamped with Versafine Clair Nocturne Ink

Paper: Hammermill 110# White and SU Basic Black CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles and Pink & Main Stitched Dome

Embellishments: Striped Enamel Dots from an unknown vendor


Aracelli Merla said...

I love your card. Sorry, I was only able to skim your blog today. I did not sleep last night, so I'm literally skipping through a few blogs today. TFS!

Janis Lewis said...

So fun! Peachy Keen Stamps are so fun. Great card!

Lisa said...

This is so darn cute Jeanette! I love that Peachy Keen image and your great papers and layout. Wonderful tribute to Israel.

Lynn McAuley said...

Medical clowning!! Who knew that was a thing? Such a fun card, Jeanette!

Carol W said...

Wonderful job on this post. Your traveling the world posts are always so informative and fun. I LOVE the card it is so dang cute. Great job Jeanette.