In 1943 there were courageous men in Mitzpeh Revivim in the Negev. They started to build a small settlement that was going to become a kibbutz where as of today still live, work and study more than 900 people. In the days of the beginning of the State of Israel the purpose of the settlement was to research and find out whether it was possible to grow food and plants in the desert. In this extreme climate to do experiments that would give insights as to bring plants to fruition and bloom. This meant that the amount of precipitation had to be measured all the time. Methods of irrigation had to be developed. Also men had to find out which plants were able to grow in the desert climate and were also right for cultivation and crops that, etc. This all meant very hard and dedicated work.
The people used the rivers, that were filled yearly twice with rain. The water was stored in cisterns underground. After a difficult period in the beginning and very hard labor the women and children also came to live at the settlement. They started under very primitive circumstances, but were able to organize, build and create a settlement of families. Men and women working together as a unity.
During the time of the war of independence in 1948 there was fierce fighting also near Mitzpeh Revivim. There were victims among the members of the settlement. In the settlement was a command center in one of the cisterns underground from where the war was directed. In the other cistern a hospital was organized to give the wounded medical care. People were very creative to find solutions to solve problems. One thing was to hide weapons so the enemy was not able to find them. The weapons were hidden under the ground where the enemy never found them.
When you travel in the Negev in these days it is amazing to see how much vegetation there is to enjoy. Even forests are planted and you can see villages and cities with many trees and plants. The irrigation is simple and ingenious. In all of Israel the system is used and you can see this irrigation system in all of Israel along the streets, in the parcs, etc.
What it expresses is a great love for trees and vegetation, for greenery and gardens. A love that comes right from the memory of Gan Eden in the human spirit I believe. Because God created all this beauty, we have to love it and Israel shows that love by the way it has built up the country since 1948. It is an amazing, touching thing: a miracle.
We see now in the Negev beautiful olive groves. In Mitzpeh Revivim a great amount of olive oil is being produced because of the produce of the olive groves. They sell the olive oil at Mitzpah Revivim. Oil that is so rich and wholesome. If you travel to Israel or you are in the Land just bring a visit to Mitzpeh Revivim.