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When you come to another country, there are bound to be cultural differences.

When you come to another country, there are bound to be cultural differences. Here, I have found many things about Israeli culture that differ from the culture in the United States.

One thing I have noticed is that Israelis tend to be more pushy than people in the US. For example, when I am in a store trying to buy something, the shopkeeper really pushes for me to buy their product. I have encountered on multiple occasions shopkeepers items suddenly dropping to half price, both in Hod Hasharon and in Jerusalem. This is not a bad thing, in fact, I admire the determination these shopkeepers have on selling their products. Also, I think especially as Americans, we need to be watching how much we are spending. Shekels and dollars are completely different currencies, and the money has different value here. At home, I would be paying for a bag of chips for about 3-5 dollars, depending on the place. Here, a bag of chips ranges from 14-18 shekels (best estimate based on my purchases) depending on the place. Israeli culture differs from American culture in this sense.

Next, I have found that Israelis are extremely reckless drivers. For example, there is a speed bump on the road where our entrance to campus is, and while I am walking back to campus I constantly see cars zoom right over it. In another sense, cars speed on straightaways and pass any chance they get. Needless to say, at the multiple crosswalks you need to travel across in order to get into the town of Hod Hasharon, I have never felt not safe and cars always do manage to stop. Another thing I have noticed is that Israelis have no sense of a line. For example, the first time I went to the big supermarket in Hod, I wasn't paying attention and suddenly 3 people were in front of me. The difference is that Israelis don't think this is cutting, in fact from what I have seen, the concept of cutting in line isn't even a thing here. In the United States that would be regarded as rude, however here it is just the norm.

Finally, I have noticed a difference in the way weekends work. Shabbat is the most important part of the week, and basically everything shuts down. People truly treat Saturday as the day of rest, whereas in the United States, Sunday tends to be the super relaxed day of the weekend (at least for me). So, because of Shabbat, the weekend here is centered around Saturday as the day of rest and not Sunday. Also, as most people know, going to the army is mandatory here. Although I haven’t truly encountered and had a conversation with an 18 year old in the army, I can see that the way 18 year olds are treated here is much different than that of the United States. In fact, we have a couple 18 year olds on our session! But if they lived here, they would be in the army and not at Alexander Muss (or college). In that sense I think 18 year olds here and much more “grown up” that 18 year olds back home. This is another way I have noticed Israeli culture being different from that in the United States.