Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Last week I was surprised to read an article about Kibbutz Kissufim, the second intifadah and the disengagement plan. That kibbutz happens to have been my first home in Israel, I spent more than a year there in 1992-3 as a student, working in the laundry, the chicken coops, the dining room-kitchen, the kindergarten and as an assistant to the person who was responsible for the volunteers. Three days a week I took the bus to Jerusalem ( a 2-3 hours' ride ) and back, the rest of the week I worked in the kibbutz, where I had a room of my own. Most of my Hebrew I learnt in a two months' intensive ulpan at the Hebrew university, and in the laundry, the coops, the kindergarten, dining room and swimming pool of Kissufim. I had a great time there, and met Y., who today is my wife, on the Be'er-Sheva - Kissufim bus ( nr. 36, if I am not mistaken ) a few months before I left the kibbutz. I was on my way to Kissufim, she got off at Eyn HaShlosha, the kibbutz right next to mine, where she was a youth leader for the kibbutz youth movement, after she had finished her army service. In those days I took Y.'s bike and cycled the four or five kilometers separating Kissufim from Eyn HaShlosha several times a week, in the early morning to get to work or in the afternoon right after work. Only later did I realize how stupid and dangerous it was to do that, both kibbutzim are right next to the Gaza Strip, but then things seemed to be so quiet and almost peaceful over there.
The family of Ahuva and Shlomi Ilan, who is mentioned in the article, used to be my kibbutz family.

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