1st place: Rain
Photo: index open
2nd place: Less unemployment
Photo: AFP
3rd place: Swine flu cure
Photo: AP
Poll: Rainfall most popular wish for Jewish New Year
What do Israeli citizens wish for the country for the Jewish New Year (besides peace and Gilad Shalit's release)? What do we need to correct about ourselves? Who should lead the Jewish people, and who would we want to have at our holiday table? Ynet and Yesodot conduct survey of Israel's reflections on year past, year ahead
In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is a time for reflecting on the year past and for wishing good for year to come. This year, the Jewish public in Israel most regretted the abundant violence of the past year and most wished for abundant rainfall in the year to come.


A joint Ynet and Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy conducted on the eve of Rosh Hashana shows that a majority of the country hopes for abundant rainfall in the winter of 5770, and most regret the violence that plagued Israel in the last weeks of 5769.


The poll also found that most of the Israeli public would choose President Shimon Peres to be the leader of Jewish people, and that most people would want to host at their holiday table a needy family.


The Ynet-Yesodot survey was carried out by the market research company, Panels, and was conducted on 500 respondents representative of the adult Jewish population in Israel. The sampling error is 4.3%±.


The first question asked, "Except peace in the region and the release of Gilad Shalit, which blessing would you most wish for the country's citizens?" Some 68% chose abundant rainfall, 16% preferred a decrease in unemployment, 9% wished for medication against swine flu, 3% wanted a fair solution to the issue of foreign workers in Israel, 1% indicated a school year without any strikes, while 3% did not respond to the question.


A breakdown according to religious affiliation showed that religious people are significantly more concerned about Israel's water crisis, and responded that they would like abundant rainfall was preferred significantly over the other responses.


If it were up to us, whom would we chose to lead the Jewish people? Thirty-three% of the respondents chose President Shimon Peres, 11% said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and 10% wanted Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi to lead the Jewish people. Others on the list were: Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar (8%), Nobel Prize-winning economist, Prof. Yisrael Aumann (6%), Supreme Court President Justice Dorit Beinish, or someone else (28%).


By religious affiliation breakdown, seculars preferred Shimon Peres to lead the Jewish people (46%), while traditionalists were split between Peres (16%), Prime Minister Netanyahu (15%), and Chief of Staff Ashkenazi (15%). The religious and haredi public viewed Rabbi Amar as the most worthy candidate for leading the Jewish people (39% and 46% respectively).


To conclude, just hours before the beginning of the holiday, respondents were asked whom they would prefer to have at their holiday table. Fifty-two percent responded that they would like to host a needy family; 22% said a Holocaust survivor; 5% said an important rabbi; 5% a television star; 1% responded they would like to host a government minister at their table. Some 15% of the respondents said they would not like to host any of the figures mentioned at their holiday table.


All the religious affiliations most preferred to host a needy family. In second place for secular, traditional, and religious respondents was a Holocaust survivor, while an important rabbi ranked second for the ultra-Orthodox crowd.


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