When I was very young, about 10 or 11 years old, I remember that I wanted to buy something which had gone up in price. Of course, being an innocent little girl, I couldn't understand why it cost more money that day than it did the previous time I saw it. I was told things always go up in price. I may not have understood about the economy or inflation, but all I could picture was that by the time I was an adult, things would be so expensive no one would be able to afford anything. And lo and behold, some 40 years later, the cost of materialism has skyrocketed beyond normalcy. True, salaries have increased over the years to balance out the purchasing costs, but things just kept spiralling upwards unrealistically. Unfortunately, only certain groups of people were able to keep up with the standards and the rest of the population just sunk to the bottom like a chunk of mud in a puddle of water. The rich got richer and the poor can't get ahead. (A good test for those trying to refrain from jealously and envy)
One specific commodity which has soared into absurdity is housing. I won't discuss the American situation because aside from the fact that I know very little about the real estate market in the U.S.A., it appears to be changing drastically day by day. But in Israel, it is definitely a seller’s / renter’s market. Supply and demand has pushed the prices into oblivion. So far, for many it is still a good incentive to make Aliya (every cake needs a bit of icing). I realize that “Aliya” money has affected the prices, but I don’t comprehend how anyone earning an average Israeli salary is able to afford housing in today’s market. Buying could be possible; if a couple is able to scrape together a down-payment for a small apartment, it’s a great investment. But what of the families who do not yet own a home? Living expenses prohibit savings. To purchase a property without help from the parents is difficult at best. How do those who must rent make ends meet? Mathematics was never my forte, but rental costs, plus food, plus utilities etc. must equal less than income. In this economy, the math just does not add up. (The system we are temporarily chained to is man-made and artificial, but it exist nonetheless)
We live in a small 'Yishuv' (literally settlement, but I prefer to call it a town). It started out as a communal agricultural town more than 30 years ago. At the time, one could buy a lot including a small home for less than $40,000. Today, the lot alone is selling for between $85,000 – a quarter million dollars! I am not totally naïve, and I understand the materialistic world we live in is controlled by the desire for profits, but enough is enough! In my heart I am saying “This land is not man’s to sell. G-d gave it to our people but it is still HIS.” But for now, He is allowing someone very big revenue. When I received word that these plots of land would soon be up for grabs, I had only one thought in mind ~ Moshiach is on his way!
Due to several events in our lives, our family has never had the privilege of owning a home in Eretz Yisrael. In light of the present circumstances, if I were to be realistic, I would be unable to foresee any changes in the immediate future. But what keeps me from being discouraged is that I know everything HaShem does is for the best. I continue to pray for salvation. My emuna tells me that life will soon be very different in ways we cannot even imagine, and only for the good.
With G-d’s help, may all of His children soon dwell in His land in comfort, peace and joy!
Shabbat HaGadol: The Great Shabbat
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