A billion-dollar lottery and the thousand-dollar question

Hikers in wilderness full resolution

A group of hikers from one of our EIN tours enjoys a walk through the Judean Wilderness.

By now, America is past its $1.6 billion disappointment.

The biggest lottery jackpot in history has come and gone, with three lucky winners splitting the money. Millions of people ignored unfathomable odds and threw away dollar bills as if they actually had a chance to win the big pot.

All of them heard the odds. It was a 1-in-292 million opportunity. No one can actually comprehend odds like that. But let’s try.

Want to be a pro athlete? You’ve got a 1-in-22,000 shot. That’s 13,000 times more likely than winning the money.

Want to be President of the United States? That’s a 1-in-10 million shot. That’s 29 times more likely to happen than winning the lottery, and several times more likely to be a better idea than any of the current candidates running. So please … hurry along those bumper stickers announcing your candidacy!

Everyone knows you might die in a plane accident one day. You’re taking a 1-in-354,000 risk every time you board. Lightning taking you out? That’s a 1-in-700,000 likelihood. Going out in a bang due to a fireworks death? The fuse is burning at a 1-in-616,000 rate. Attacked by Jaws? It’s more unlikely than getting yourself elected President.

Play the lottery? It’s a sure bet you’ll lose your money.

Getting hurt going to Israel?

Forget about it. Tourists are a protected entity in Israel by every community. It’s an incredibly safe trip, though risks are a part of every journey. Been to the grocery store lately? It’s a zoo in there!

Yes, a nuclear weapon could land on top of the Temple Mount the very day you were putting a prayer request into the Western Wall.

Side note: If you’re praying when your life comes to an end, you’ll get extra points.

Yes, it’s conceivable a crazed idiot could race toward your tour group with a suicide bomb strapped around his chest, holding a knife in the air while all the time screaming Jihadist slogans at the top of his lungs. It’s never happened before … but hey! It could!

And yet millions of people wasting money on un-winnable lottery tickets will announce with certainty that it’s “too dangerous” to go to Israel. They believe in a news-media-generated illusion while investing in the impossible.

What a tragedy.

Tour hosts in America are reporting smaller groups this year across the board. Fear is keeping the numbers small and many groups are simply canceling their plans. Know what this means? Those who work up the “courage” to go in 2016 will have the country to themselves. There won’t be the usual crowds at the most famous places. There won’t be long lines for meals or restroom breaks. Those who go will find a red carpet waiting on them at every destination.

I communicate almost every week with people who are living in Israel right now. They are going to work, school and the corner drug store. They are not sneaking around corners or dodging bullets while they walk the family dog around the neighborhood. They laugh at the idea of Israel being a war zone, even when CNN shows the latest image of a rock-throwing kid with a scarf around his face.

Actually, because of what they see on television, some of my friends in Israel are afraid to come to America! Who could blame them? Have you seen the news lately? Shootings, gang violence, tornadoes, stock-market plunges … it’s crazy over here!

If you want to go to Israel, Paris, Istanbul or South Africa, by all means, go. Face the reality of life. Every day is a risk. Some kind of cancer attacks about half of the people who manage to live into adulthood. You’ve got a 1-in-470 chance of being killed in a car accident, and a 100-percent chance of being irritated by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Sooner or later, every person has to decide whether or not he’s going to live while he’s still alive. At some point in her life, she has to take control of her choices or let fear keep her from chasing a dream.

I lead tours to Israel. I would love to live there for a season of time. I have taken my wife, my children and hundreds of friends.

We’re going back in May. Want to come with us?

Quit wasting money on lottery tickets or worrying that a shark will end your pro baseball career. Come with us, and we’ll show you the trip of a lifetime!

And hurry. We’re facing our first deadline of confirming reservations in early February.

Click here to learn more about our May trips to Israel.