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April 09, 1971 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1971-04-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Arava--Youths' Challenge to Nature

By ILANA LEVINE

(Copyright 1971, JTA, Inc.)

-

Relevance, communal living, im-
plementation of values, protection
of the environment are catchwords
and deeply-felt goals of the young
generation throughout the western
world.
Unfortunately, efforts to achieve
these goals often erupt in senseless
rioting and rock-throwing; not be-
cause the desired end is unworthy,
but rather because the young peo-
ple do not really know it can be
brought about.
A• happier example is to be found
in Israel, where the development
of the Arava valley by young set-
tlers of kibutzim (collective vil-
lages) and moshavim (cooperative
villages) are using their abundant
energy to create a hospitable en-
vironment for man in a harsh
desert.
Arava is a 115-mile long rift,
stretching from the southern tip
of the Dead Sea to Eilat. With the
kingdom of Jordan immediately
to the east, the Maya is Israel's
longest continuous frontier and is
the central artery connecting the
center of the country with the Red
Sea through which all maritime
trade to Africa and Asia must
pass.
In biblical times, the Maya

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Passover Greetings

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Passover Greetings

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was part of the area of Sodom
and Gomorra destroyed by God
in his wrath against the sins of
man. Since that day, thousands
of years ago, the Arava was an
endless desert, with the mono-
tony of its parched earth re-
lieved only by occasional tired
gray thistles.
Its only function was as a travel
and trade route. Most scholars be-
lieve that the Israelites journeyed
through the Arava in their exodus
from Egypt. The route was later
used by the Queen of Sheba on her
fabled journey to meet King Solo-
mon. The Romans established for-
tified stations along the way to
protect their trade; and centuries
after occasional Bedouin caravans
traveled the Arava, often for
smuggling operations.
However, there is no evidence,
written or archeological, of perma-
nent settlement in the valley until
the area became part of the state
of Israel in 1949. The first agricul-
tural experimental station was
opened one year later in an effort
to find productive use for the land,
which, as a border area, had to be
populated.
For the past 20 years, the Arava
has drawn young people searching
for ways of creating something
new. Most settlers are in their
20s or early 30s, from both rural
and urban backgrounds.
In creating an economic base
for the eight villages established
to date in the valley, the settlers
make use of a factor which was
once considered a hindrance to
habitation—the climate. High tem-
peratures are the rule the year-
round and 100 degrees F. is com-
mon for most of the long summer.
The fact that fruit, vegetables and
flowers could be grown also in
winter, when in Europe they are
in short supply, has turned the
Arava into a major exporter of
agricultural produce and an im-
portant source of foreign currency
for Israel.
However, though it has been

-.=Best Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Season

PAUL INMAN
ASSOCIATES

••=.0.=*=.=-=-=.t.

Ham Passover to Our Relatives and Friends

-

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MIDWEST WASTEMATERIAL CO.

Rol and Cotton Rags

1947 E. Kirby

923-6400

LAFAYETTE STEEL CORPORATION

Extends Its Heartfelt Best Wishes
'
for a Happy Passover

6837

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Happy Passover

DUNK DONUT SHOPS

149 W. 6 Mile near Woodward, Highland Park

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Wishing All Our Friends and Customers

A Happy, Healthy, Peaceful• Passover

The Robert Hirsch Company and Famil

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GREEN4 SHOPPING CENTER
21184 GREENFIELD ROAD
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proven that the Arava is econo-
mically viable, its problems are
far from ended. Each site to be
farmed, each plot for a house,
must undergo extensive reclama-
tion.. For the Jewish National
Fund, Israel's land development
authority, the opening up of the
Arava entails a number of spe-
cial difficulties and the need to
devise new methods of preparing
land for settlement.
The basic factor determining the
site of a new village is the discov-
ery of a source of underground
water, since rainfall is less than
two inches annually. Once a well
has proven successful, the Fund
has to make the best of whatever
land surface is in the vicinity. In
a number of cases, there is almost
no soil at all, just layer after layer
of gravel washed down from the
Edom Mountains to the east. Thou-
sands of tons of fertile earth are
brought to the sites from areas as
far as the Galilee and either spread
as a deep blanket or placed in
channels.
In other instances, soil is there
but its high salinity content de-
stroys fertility. The JNF, together
with the ministry of agriculture,
initiated a soil rinsing program.
Sprinklers are operated 24 hours
a day, with the water saturating
the earth and forcing the salt and
other undesirable minerals deep
enough into the ground so as not
to affect the top soil. Such treat-
ment of a plot normally takes one
week and 1,000 cubic meters of
water.
Once the soil problem is solved,
the JNF is faced with the diffi-
culty of protecting the newly re-
claimed lands. The villain is flash-
flooding. Though total seasonal
rainfall is extremely low, the rain
that does come descends in torren-
tial storms which sweep through
the valley floor and destroy every
thing in sight. Therefore, the Fund
digs deep channels edged with high
earthen embankments which direct
the flow away from the populated
and cultivated sites.
This year, for the JNF's 70th
anniversary, the further develop-
ment of the Arava has been
chosen as the central project.
JNF has undertaken to reclaim
an additional 30,400 dunams of
land which will permit the ex-
pansion of the existing eight vil-
lages and the establishment of
six new ones by 1973.
New settlements are of vital im-
portance since the wide spaces be-
tween the present villages afford
a convenient access for infiltrators
across the Jordanian border. Most
of the settlements in the area have
had incidents of minings and shell-
ings. Especially since the Six-Day
War, large groups of terrorists
have been caught by the defense
forces in the unpopulated gaps in
the valley. •
Together with its reclamation
work, the Fund also is engaged in
afforestation in the Arava. Trees
are planted in the settlements to
serve as shelterbelts shielding
crops from wind and storms and to
afford a bit of greenery for the
otherwise desolate landscape. In
addition, the JNF has begun to
plant small groves along the Arava
highway for which it also provides
picnic facilities. The groves have
become popular relaxation sites for
travelers on their way to and from
Eilat.
The development of the Arava is
progressing. Some of the older set-
tlements already have such lux-
uries as swimming pools and the
possibility of sending many of their
members to universities. Even the
newer villages have installed air
conditioning. In fact, the solution
to the Arava's climate problem has
been found in air conditioning the
houses and working in the fields in
the early morning hours. Economic
prospects are encouraging, but
substantial work still is required
to come to terms with nature.

There are optical illusions In
time as well as in space.
—Marcel Proust.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, April 9, 1971-25

Passover Best Wishes

Happy Passover

McNICHOLS
HARDWARE

BEDROOMS

Inc.

Detroit's Only Exclusive
Bedroom Store

Dishmaster Sales • Service

13320 W. McNICHOLS

5802 E. 8 Mile

TW 1-1720
Next to Sofas, Inc.

UN 3-0838

Happy Passover To Our
Friends and Patrons

Passover Greetings

MIDWEST FIRE
ADJUSTERS, INC.

Mr. and Mrs.
J. BERKOWITZ

Mackey Co.
Chas. I. Jacobson, David Gross
and Allen Gross
14744 FEN.KELL

BRoadway 3 9450

-

PASSOVER GREETINGS

Best Wishes For A Happy
Passover

Oakland
Waste Material Co.

Charlie Robinson's
Shell Service

Buyers of
Waste Paper - Scrap Hetal - Rags

1534 Gillet

*

*

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8 Mile Rd. and Mark TNVain
864-7915

TR 3-2575

Holiday Greetings

♦ (

O'BRIEN DRUG STORE

*
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*

Prescription Pharmacy
We Deliver

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* 20655 West 7 Mile at Braile
Call KE 2-2410

Happy Passover to Our
Friends and Relatives

MORRIS FRIEDMAN
AND SONS

Plumbing — Heating Contractors

it
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24605 John R, Hazel Park
LI 4-2454
566-1547

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Happy Holiday

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Holiday Good Cheer

STEVE PETIX

GLOBE PARCEL
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For Men
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Southfield — Birmingham

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6460 Michigan
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Best Wishes for a Happy Passover
to All Our Friends and Patrons

GEORGE MIESEL & SON

WHOLESALE GROCERIES
Serving Restaurants, Hospitals and Institutions

6000

Buchanan

TA 5-7990

Holiday Greetings

PAUL'S MENU-ETTE

Delicatessen and Restaurant
10 Mile Road near Lahser
Southfield, Mich.

357-9803

;,,L***********************************************•
*
*
A Happy Passover to All Our
4K
*
Friends and Customers

*

SAMUEL BROS. CAFETERIA

ast
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Eastern Market
it
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Wishing Our Friends and Customers
Passover Greetings

SUSSMAN'S PRINT SHOP

Quality Printing Since 1919

11826

DEXTER

TO 8-2909

4 1111 111 ** * 1111. 11 111 ** 11 1111 11111 •111 1. 11[111 11 114

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Best Wishes for a Happy Passover
to Our Customers and Friends

DRAKE
PRINTING CO.

2000 W. 8 MILE RD., FERNDALE, MICH.

545-8000

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