Here’s a little story I was told this shabbat which in a small but significant says a lot about the morality of Israelis.

This person was on a bus where passengers were entering through the front and back doors. The people at the back could not reach the driver to pay their fare as it was so crowded. As a result, those at the back passed their fare money down the bus, hand to hand until it reached the driver. The driver then passed back the tickets and the change along the same route.

A lone, very English voice could be heard to say, “You would never see this in England. Only in Israel”.

This scrupulous morality and honesty, although, of course not universal in Israel is, nevertheless, the norm. It comes from a shared national project, Jewish ethics, and a sense that everyone in this small nation is part of the Israeli family. And when you come as a tourist, then you too are, for a few days or weeks, part of that family.

The bus example, for me, shows the real face of the majority of Israelis; honest, generous, welcoming, and at their best where a community spirit and teamwork is required.

Without this spirit there would be no Israel.