Sunday, October 24, 2010

Farming the kibbutz land

Kibbutz workers (Caption: Farming the kibbutz land / Credit: Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem

My parents 'made aliya' soon after World War I. They were to be chalutzim – builders of the land. Wherever work was needed, they would be there. Whatever the work would be, they would do it. They would help create in the Land of Israel a new type of society – one based on equality, cooperation and justice. They joined up with other similarly motivated young Jews. Calling themselves 'G'dudei Ha'Avoda' (Workers' Brigades) they paved roads, drained swamps and undertook other strenuous work. When construction workers were needed in Jerusalem their group moved there and set up camp in an empty lot. My father quickly learned to quarry stone and my mother became a plasterer.

Not long after I was born, the group erected a kibbutz on a lonely hill south of Jerusalem. The kibbutz was called Ramat Rachel because it overlooks the grave of the biblical Rachel.

Tamar Caspi, Kibbutznik