10 Interesting Facts About Israel
Israel may be a tiny country in the Middle East region, but it has many interesting facts. Here is our list of 10 remarkable facts.
Israel is the only country to have revised a dead language and made it the national language. Eliezer Ben Yehuda developed a modern Hebrew vocabulary, combining brand new and ancient Hebrew words. Hebrew became the official language of the Jews in 1922, a testament to the hard work and success of Ben Yehuda and his fellow Zionist pioneers in spreading the language.
The Mount of Olives is the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world. Many Jewish people since biblical times have requested to be buried here, hoping to be first in line when the Messiah comes on the Mount of Olives. Many ancient monumental Jewish tombs line the hillside.
Israel is one of the few countries in the world that has a mandatory military service requirement for women. Women have served in the Israel Defense Forces since its establishment in 1948. Today, women make up about 40% of conscript soldiers and 25% of the office corps.
Scientists in Israel managed to grow fresh dates from 6th century seeds found at Masada and Qumran. Hannah, one of the Qumran trees, was pollinated by Methuselah, a 2,000-year-old seed found in excavations in Masada and grew dates, a type that has not been tasted since the times of Jesus and the Maccabees.
In Israel, a meal without a salad is not a meal. You can find Israelis eating Israeli salad for breakfast or dinner or as a side dish for lunch. Traditional Israeli salad is made from fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Israeli salad goes well with some of the best Israeli foods such as shakshuka, in a pita together with falafel, sabich or any other street food, or as a side during a picnic or BBQ.
Israel Postal Company receives letters from around the world and from people of all religious denominations that are addressed to God or Jesus. Israel Post keeps the letters in a department until they are placed once a year, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, into the cracks of the Western Wall.
Israel has five out of seven natural erosion craters in the world. Ramon Crater in the Negev desert is the world’s largest, measuring 40km long, about 2 to 10km wide and up to 500m deep. Ramon Crater forms Israel’s largest national park, a place for hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is kosher. These stamps are certified kosher by the chief rabbis of Israel.
Israel is the biggest junction in the world for migratory birds. Every spring and fall, over half a billion birds touch down at Israel’s nature reserve and marshes to rest and refuel. People from around the globe flock to Israel to see a high diversity of feathered species from desert birds to wetland fliers to migrating flocks.
Israel is number 1 in the world in water recycling. About 90% of the wastewater generated in Israel is recycled and reused mostly for agriculture and trees. About 60% of the domestic drinking water supply in Israel is provided by desalination.