This is a tale about Israelis who have chosen repairing the world as a defining life purpose, so well written I could not put it down. As other reviewers have detailed, it's filled with interesting stories that are surprising, thought provoking and inspiring. But what stayed with me long after the details were forgotten was the little story near the end, when the author's 5 year old son repeats the 5 rules of their home: be a mensch, make the world a better place, try your hardest, never give up and have a good time. I googled the word mensch to find the definition "a person of integrity and honor".That's the lesson I hope to have passed on to my children, the lesson Avi Jorisch has obviously passed on to his son and the position that Israel represents in our world. This book offers a terrific balance to the debate about Israel's management of the Palestinian Arabs as it demonstrates what Israel is doing to make the world a better place. As he states "if it can contribute this much to the world while dealing with the current situation, imagine what the country would look like if it were not mired in war and constantly needing to defend itself and its borders . . . Israel's innovative success stems from . . .a culture that encourages its citizens to challenge authority, ask the next question and defy the obvious. Various factors . . .come together to explain how tiny Israel became a technological powerhouse".
In addition to the fascinating individual stories, the book has a detailed Appendix of "Israel's Fifty Greatest Contributions to the World" which, in itself, is mind blowing. So now I am asking myself, my husband, children and grandchildren "what are the 5 rules of life in our home?'