They Built and Prospered

Kibbutzim swimming at Tel Amal in 1930s

Credit:Zoltan Kluger/GPO

“‘Let us build up these towns,’ he said to Judah, ‘and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.’ So they built and prospered.” (2 Chronicles 14:7)

On this day in 1936 — or technically on this night, as you’ll soon learn — Jewish people in the Holy Land constructed the first kibbutz with the “Tower and Stockade” method.

Because of Arab attacks on the construction of Jewish communities, it was decided that such towns would be built overnight. Using prefabricated walls and towers, hundreds of volunteers would come together on one night and build an entire village.

The first of 118 such settlements, Tel Amal, can be seen above. Today it is still standing, now called Nir David, and as the Bible verse above says, its people have surely prospered as farmers, growing crops in their fields and orchards and raising fish to eat, such as tilapia. And it all began one night 82 years ago.

Tags: History Israel Nir David Settlements Tel Amal Tower and Stockade

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