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was the name of the land of modern day Israel found in the Jewish Torah and the
Old Testament. In the Bible Israel (meaning "strives with God") was the
name given to Jacob after he persevered in a battle with the angel of the Lord.
His children then became known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or the Children of
Israel, a term that has continued to be used by Jews to this day.
WARNING: Terrorist threats continue
in Israel, please read this travel warning
The culture and way of life in Israel is very dependent on religion and location
since the people differ in many ways and it may seem like a different country from
corner to corner and region to region. This is primarily due to the country's
history, both past, when most of the people were Jewish and present, when the country
was formed, changing the population from one that was primarily Muslim to one divided.
Israel is strongly divided between the Jews, Muslims, and to a lesser degree, the
Christians, as each has a very different way of life. The Jews have united in Israel,
claiming themselves to be the rightful heirs of the land, while many Muslims have
been voluntarily or involuntarily displaced with the arrival of the Jews; this has
created a lot of tension between the groups and magnifies the differences in their
The Jews tend to be very liberal and have been slowly building a state balancing
religious piety as well as economic and technological progress. Despite the city
of Jerusalem being a holy site for the Jews, Muslims, and Christians, the Jews in
Israel don't tend to be overly religious and more often their culture reflects
modern life with the opportunities and technology available. Despite this, most
of the Jews follow kosher dietary laws and observe the Sabbath to varying degrees.
The Muslims in Israel tend to be similar in that most aren't the most devout
Muslims in the greater region, but do cling to their religion as a means to differentiate
themselves from the Jews and most are practicing Muslims. The Muslims also have
dietary restrictions and many former residents of the region have moved out of the
country or have moved to regions within Israel (such as the West Bank or the Gaza
Strip) in order to avoid conflict and violence, making the country more segregated.
The Christians fall somewhere else entirely. The Christians have no dietary restrictions
and, like the Jews, are relatively liberal. They tend to remain out of the bulk
of the conflict between the Jews and Muslims, but also make up a very small percentage
of the population so are rarely noticeable on a national scale.
The next important factor in the culture and way of life in Israel is where a person
lives. Tel Aviv is almost entirely Jewish, the Gaza Strip and West Bank are almost
entirely Muslim, and other cities, such as Jerusalem are more diverse. No matter
a person's religion, if in a region that is primarily home to Jews, Muslims,
or Christians, the lifestyle and expectations of the people are altered by the majority.
Jerusalem tends to be where the people meet as it is a holy city for all groups
and the city is divided among Jews, Muslims, and Christians. This tends to create
a peace within the country as all people respect the history, sights, and importance
of the city to such a great degree that the city receives little violence as the
people tend to live side by side in relative peace.
Today there are constant negotiations and attempts to work together among differing
groups in Israel, but this is rarely successful. Despite this, the youth seems to
be becoming more and more similar as technology and business push them forward in
the same direction, but parallel to each other, perhaps one day shifting to a meeting
Despite the many differences from religious group to group, the people still have
many similarities. To all people religion is their defining characteristic and their
religions dictate their diet, way of life, and culture. Most people are also family-oriented
as school and education are growing in importance among the people and life is truly
focused on family, not work or even religion.
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