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August 21, 1987 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-21

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

I LIFE IN ISRAEL

BETH ABRAHAM
..eassa
1 HILLEL MOSES
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Ma NCO

art 5 5 rt rn

roa

"THE SYNAGOGUE WITH A HEART"
Offers You An
INNOVATIVE NEW - MEMBERSHIP PLAN
$1,000 REBATE*
0% FINANCING

Unique Judean Hills Farm
Utilizes Biblical Technology

PLUS

1. Reduced Rates For Persons Under 35 Years Of Age
2. Free Kindergarten And First Grade - (First Year Only!)
3. Reduced Tuition For Religious And Nursery School
4. Free Membership In U.S.Y. Or Kadimah - (First Year Only!)
5. Teen-Age Trip To Israel (Sidney & Bee Kalt Scholarship)
6. Free Membership For Newlyweds - (First Year Only!)
Children Of Members Or If Married In Beth A.H.M.

Affiliated With The United Synagogue Of America
And A Member Of The Synagogue Council of Greater Detroit

*Building Fund Offer Good Until Wednesday, September 23, 1987
Contact Membership Co-chairmen: Alfred Bricker or Franklin Levy

5075 W. MAPLE ROAD • WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI 48033 851.6880

■ =1:11i,

Congregation
Beth Achim
High Holiday Services

in the MAIN SANCTUARY will be Conducted by

RABBI MILTON ARM and
CANTOR MAX SHIMANSKY

MEMBERSHIP AVAILABLE

AUXILIARY HIGH HOLIDAY SERVICES

Sol J. Schwartz Auditorium

RABBI BENJAMIN H. GORRELICK

will officiate and

DAVID ARM WILL CHANT MUSAF SERVICES

TICKETS $80.00

LaMED AUDITORIUM

at United Hebrew School, Rohlik Building

RABBI HERBERT ESKIN and
CANTOR BARRY ULRYCH

will officiate

TICKETS $60.00

TICKETS AVAILABLE:

21100 WEST 12 MILE RD., SOUTHFIELD, MI

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL 352-8670

36 FRIOV, AUG, 21, 1.987., ,

Terraced fields in the Judean Hills produce food as they did for
Jerusalemites 3,000 years ago.

BILL CLARK

Special to The Jewish News

udean Hills, Israel —
How could primitive
agriculture on poor soil
with little rain feed one of the
most vibrant cities of all
history? A unique team of
farmers, scientists and
technicians is probing this
very question in the moun-
tain soils just five miles due
west of Jerusalem.
Until recently, scholars had
presumed that throughout
antiquity, the greatness of
Jerusalem lay in her prophets
and kings. - But recent ar-
chaeology has revealed in-
disputable evidence that the
city also supported a very
large population. At the time
of the prophets Isaiah and
Jeremiah, Jerusalem was one
of the largest cities in the
world, with a population of
about 100,000 people.
But this important
discovery raised serious
issues. One of the fundamen-
tal questions is: How could
they feed so many people?
Jerusalem is a mountain city,
with very little arable land in
its vicinity. And the scant
land which is available has
only poor mountain soils,
much of it `rendzina' and
burdened with too much
calcium carbonate. Rainfall
amounts to about 20 inches a
year, concentrated almost en-
tirely in four winter months.
On the average, less than two
inches fill through the entire
April to October dry season.
Other great cities of anti-
quity were located on
lowlands, surrounded by
large, fertile regions which

were well-watered by rivers
such as the Nile, the Tigris,
the Ganges and the Yangtze.
Israel's capital had no such
benefit.
To probe this important rid-
dle, the Jewish National
Fund (JNF) has assembled a
team to restore the ancient
terraces on the slopes of
2,585-foot Mount Eitan, and
to begin cultivating those
mountain plots with tradi-
tional agricultural techni-
ques. The modern pioneers,
now in their second year at
the site, have already un-
covered a number of long-
forgotten practices — in-
cluding a few which had been
enigmatic biblical passages
until recently.
"Here's a good example," ex-
plains Tal Bashan, a young
graduate of the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem who
now lives and works at Sataf.
Quoting from Deuteronomy
11:10, she reads of "sowed thy
seed, and watered it with thy
foot, as a garden of herbs."
"That bit about watering
`with thy foot' stumped many -
Bible scholars for a long
time," she says. "But as we
started working these ter-
races, and irrigating them
with a little trickle of water
from a cistern, we found that
it's really convenient to push
a bit of soil with a foot in
order to divert the flow into
individual rows of
vegetables?'
Other biblical verses,
describing the benefits of crop
rotation, letting fields lie
fallow every seventh year,
care and distribution of seed
and the tending of olive and
almond trees all contribute to
the day-to-day understanding

of ancient mountain
agriculture.
The JNF project is much
more than a novelty, however.
Development experts around
the world are coming to agree
that one of the critical factors
behind famine in so many
developing countries is the
simple failure to use "ap-
propriate technology."
Billions of dollars have been
pumped into foreign aid
schemes over the past decades
—yet still there is starvation
in many recipient countries.
The Sataf effort, however, is
demonstrating that newly
rediscovered ancient farming
practices may be a valuable
key for reassessing
agriculture in developing
countries. These practices
may well be the "appropriate
technology" which can make
the difference between ade-
quate food and the tragedy of
famine.
So far, the JNF farmers
have been raising enough
food to provide themselves
with full tables plus a large
surplus which is sold off in
the health food stores of
Jerusalem. And it's all grown
just as it was when Solomon
sat on the throne: plowing
with a donkey, organic fer-
tilizers only, no chemicals or
pesticides, and using a
number of simple, efficiency
techniques which had for cen-
turies been forgotten by the
growth of modern agriculture.
Israeli farmers know that
the Sataf project is not quite
enough to persuade them to
give up their super-
sophisticated, computerized,
bio-engineered agriculture
which has made the country
a world leader in "making
the desert bloom." But there
is a growing agreement that
the rediscovery of ancient
mountain agriculture techni-
ques may be just the advan-
tage that many developing
country farmers could use to
provide enough food for their
hungry nations.
The JNF project, visited
regularly by groups of school
children, not to mention a
steady flow of picnic-loving
Israelis, is named in honor of
the late Moshe Dayan, an
Israeli whom people around
the world remember as a com-
petent soldier and diplomat.
Israelis also remember Dayan
as an inveterate amateur ar-
chaeologist and farmer who
had hoped one day to combine
these interests at Sataf to
reconstruct a farm from the
biblical period. 0

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