Friday, December 19, 2008

Kibbutz Shoval, a rose in the Negev desert

John and I lived at Kibbutz Adamit, then Kibbutz Shoval in late 1990, and were living at Kibbutz Dan when Operation Desert Storm blew in.

A few honorable mentions of Kibbutz Shoval in my writings:

"I was living at Kibbutz Shoval in Israel’s Negev desert, beautifying the grounds, when I heard that [Meir Kahane] had been murdered in New York by another Arab terrorist. When his funeral took place in Jerusalem, I was honored to attend with tens of thousands of others to show solidarity with what he boldly taught— and as a blond, stood out in the Black Sea of Haredim on TV."
–excerpt from Beyond Babylon: Europe’s Rise and Fall - Chapter 3 - TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES

"Shoval, a rose in the Negev desert, just north of Be'er Sheva..."
- God-given love for Jews

I remember when we stayed at Shoval, how rumors of war with Iraq had us concerned, and how this older kibbutznik man said, "There won't be war. The Iraqis know we're not like the Americans," implying the Israelis would hit back hard and fast. I thought of him later when we lived at Kibbutz Dan and war did break out and we were all huddled in our "sealed rooms" whenever the sirens went off, warning about incoming Scud missiles, taking shelter until the "all clear" was sounded (which we usually heard on the radio from the BBC first!).

We mentioned our concerns to the volunteer leader at Shoval, and she said something like, "If you're really worried about it, we can get you a gas mask" - with the tone that we were bothering her. After all, there had been notices in The Jerusalem Post about the Israelis obtaining their gas masks in case of war.

Here are a few pictures of Kibbutz Shoval volunteers, John's birthday, kibbutzniks, new Russian immigrants (from Tashkent, who gave me a traditional hat worn there), Ashdod, museum/former mosque in Beersheva, couple of Jerusalem, our volunteer trip to Ein Gedi (with Arugot Nahal waterfalls and Ibex) and the Dead Sea. Enjoy!


Christina Harper said...

I am trying to find out if the first photo at Kibbutz Shoval, of the woman with the red and white top, is Yehudith or Judith, a kibbutznik? I was a volunteer in 1986 and think of her often. She was very kind.
Please let me know if you can.


David Ben-Ariel said...

Boker tov Christina Harper,

YES! The woman with the red and white top is Yehudit Agassi. She was our kibbutz volunteer leader. I'm glad you were able to come across her picture here.

Kol tov,

Anonymous said...

Good Lord! The minute I saw that picture I recognised Yehudit Agassi! I wonder what happened to her and to Shoval? I was a volunteer there in 1987, '88 and '89 - wonderful, wonderful memories.

BTW, there is a youtube video of somebody walking down to the pool which brought back so many memories for me. The place looks remarkably unchanged. You can find it here:


Adam Tebble

Vince said...

Yes, that's definitely Yehudith Agassi in the first picture & that's a comment by my friend Adam Tebble! We both were volunteers on kibbutz Shoval & both had two months off work with hepatitis & so were in semi isolation in the same room - no one else got it fortunately & I see we both survived for another couple of decades at least. Adam if you read this get in touch & tell me what your doing & where you are -

David Ben-Ariel said...

Vince, out of curiousity, did you contract your hepatitis from a visit to Egypt? I know some French fellow at Kibbutz Regavim was as yellow as could be but I don't recall them isolating him. He had just returned from Egypt - infamous for hepatitis and bedbugs.

Shabbat Shalom,