Thinks

by Erez Zukerman

Writer

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Short-term vs. Long-term Happiness

Happiness is a tricky subject. Deceptive, even.

Short-term happiness is all around us. Ice cream. Casual sex. Just lazing about, doing nothing. But is this what happiness is all about?

Long-term happiness can also be quite deceptive; at first glance, it doesn’t appear to be happiness at all. Hard work. Minding what you eat. Going to bed on time. Exercising.

Now, I’m not saying we should only go for long-term happiness. Yes, hard work is important. But being a puritan does not work (as history so clearly demonstrates).

Rather, moderation is key. The problem with “short-term happiness” activities is that they must be done moderately – not too much, not too often. But their call can be strong. And moderation is a quality (or a skill) that certainly falls under the “long-term happiness” category.

All around us, the call of instant gratification beckons. When is the last time you’ve seen...

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Hebron: Separate, But Not Equal

On Friday, 16 June 2012, I went on a tour of Hebron organized by Breaking The Silence, an Israeli NGO composed of soldiers telling their stories about the Israeli occupation and what it’s like out there.

The tour was eye-opening and I’ve learned several interesting things. Reality in Hebron, and in the occupied territories in general, is very complex and nuanced, and I would not even attempt to describe it objectively. Instead, I’ve decided to write about my own subjective experience – this is just how I see things, and there are the most striking facts I’ve learned.

The Straw Widow

On the way to Hebron, our guide, Avner Gvaryahu, told us a bit about his own military service. Avner grew up as a religious Jew, and was a paratrooper in the army – a fighting role, and one he’s proud of to this day. He introduced us to a new term (new for me, at least): A “straw widow” (Almanat Kash, in...

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