Observant Jews are happier with life, and Jews living in Hareidi cities can expect to live longer than others, according to a new study by the Taub Center for Social Studies.
However, the researchers cautioned:
It is important to note that the relatively positive self-reports of Hareidim may also be due to a social norm that frowns on complaining, and would particularly disapprove of ‘airing one’s dirty laundry’ in the context of a secular survey.
Previous studies have concluded that religious involvement is a factor in satisfaction with aspects of living, and Taub researchers reported:
Relatively high percentages of Hareidim attest to being very happy with their relationships with family members: 80.2 percent versus 62.7 percent or less in other population groups….
A relatively low percentage of Hareidim report feelings of loneliness. Only 11.4 percent of Hareidim said that they were lonely, compared with at least twice that amount among other groups.
The link does necessarily apply to non-Jews. The researchers stated::
A rise in satisfaction levels moving up the religiosity scale does not appear among non-Jews. About 37.7 percent of non-Jewish respondents in the study who identified as very religious or religious felt lonely – more than the not very religious (30.7 percent) and the non-religious (30.0 percent).
The report also stated that Hareidim can expect to live three years longer than others in Israel.
A direct link was found “between a city’s socioeconomic and the life expectancy of its residents” but the trend is different for Hareidim in Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, according to the study.
The researchers also noted a study carried out in 1996 that showed that national religious Jews living on kibbutzim have a lower mortality write than secular kibbutzniks.
The 1996 study stated:
These findings indicate that, even in closed and highly-structured communities such as kibbutzim, level of religious observance has an impact on health status.
The latest Taub study noted that then-Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s drastic reduction in child welfare payments more than a decade ago, in addition to the global financial crisis in 2008, “hurt Hareidi families financially” but also ” led many Hareidim to vocational study and employment.”