For the past two weeks I have been back in the big city and parked with the trailer on the outskirts, packing the Eco office that had been my previous life in cardboard boxes, marking them with black ink, signing them with duct tape, wiping a forgotten tear, and transporting them to warehouses. It will remain there until the world gets back on track, until people agree to take their nose out of the door of their home and travel the world as they once did, ten months ago, ages and ages ago. Meanwhile the world has changed and I have found my place in a trailer that has become my home, traveling and rolling on country roads. Some of the pictures from around the world that adorned the walls of my beautiful office have found their place in the trailer. I cut them with a Japanese knife in accordance with the wooden frames of the interior design, and the traveling trailer in Eretz Israel got a world-wide atmosphere, a member of the Himba tribe from Namibia, alongside penguins from Antarctica, under a two-humped camel from Mongolia, and in front of a loving couple from Cape Verde.
And so I said goodbye to Jaffa and the business center of Israel, and went out again to discover for myself and tell everyone the norths of the Land of Israel, places and people. Winter is already in full swing and I was looking to stay a few days in a place that would serve as a comfortable base for me to go out into the desert.
Kedar Sheep Farm is located in the northern Judean Desert on a hill at the foot of Mount Monter, and above a tributary of the Kidron River. To the south, on the mountain across the creek lie the houses of the town and the mosque of Ovadia, and are painted black on a red background at sunset.
Ariel, his wife Yaska and the three youngest sons came to the ground a year and a few months ago. “We always wanted to have a farm,” says Ariel, “first of all it is the connection to the land and the ability to engage in agriculture, to grow vegetables for our own consumption, to raise sheep and goats as the ability of the desert and natural grazing, and another thing is to preserve the land.”
Iska is the desert version of the woman of valor who will find. With one hand she weaves challah dough, sprinkles white sesame seeds and black fennel, and with the other hand she carries Kedem, the youngest of the boys who are only a few months old, and so she also maneuvers and puts the challahs in the oven. Iska makes all kinds of goodies, cheeses for stone and Safed cheese from sheep’s milk, conquers lemons and olives, and also makes cosmetic creams from plants that she picks from nature like marigold is calendula and chamomile is bong.
A group of volunteers accompanies them on the establishment of the farm. The vast majority of them are young people from Judea and Samaria. Some come for a few days, others have been working for several months and even from the day of establishment and are an integral part of the farm.
Ariel is a man of work and travel alike. He builds the place and manages the work of the volunteers. Together they take care of sheep and goats, take them out to pasture on the farm and milk them, for a living they also organize events like weddings in front of the desert landscape, and host groups of hikers who want to feel the special atmosphere on the farm or go hiking. In his hiking vision, Ariel sees hikers coming to spend the night on the farm, continuing through Horkania Fortress, Marsaba Monastery and the Pillar Pit to a desert overnight parking lot near Keren al-Hajar, Mount of Rocks, and from there ascending through Nahal Tekoa to the settlement of Tekoa. The vision continues for longer trips towards the British police in Rojum a-Naka, and even ten days of terrain through the entire Judean Desert to Arad in the less accessible areas, taking care to accompany these trips with donkeys and camels, meal preparation, overnight parking, food and water equipment and training . Like the trips that used to be, less pampering and more space, and I get carried away by his enthusiasm and excited by his dreams.
Stop at the neighbors
Around the farm sit families of Bedouin from the Jahalin tribe. This is a large tribe, members of the Judean Desert, and the families of the tribe come from here to the territories near Arad in the southern desert. Ariel says that they are considered to have a low status among the desert people. Even the cisterns belong to the peasants, the farmers who live in permanent villages above the desert, and the Bedouin pay them for the authority to irrigate the herds.
Winter now, in early December the last rains have fallen and the desert has grown an overly thin green cover. The herds of yellow sheep and the black goats of the Bedouin go out to pasture on the hills, consuming the little grass and emphasizing the lines of the poisonings.
One day towards evening I stopped at the neighbors. Suleiman the Elder and Muhammad Jr. walk out towards me with a wide smile and shake my hand, “Hello” Suleiman says warmly and invites me for coffee. The living room is a shed with an Iscor roof, fabrics on the walls, rugs on the floor and mattresses with convertible pillows. A traditional crater and leaves for making coffee stand as a decoration in the room and Suleiman laughs and says “Today everything is fast, buy ready-made coffee in a bag”. Muhammad goes to make coffee, Suleiman rolls himself a cigarette from hot tobacco and thin papers, as I used to make and smoke for years and recently quit. I was glad to see that it did not make me want to smoke. “When you were a child, the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim and Kedar had not yet arisen, right? How was that?” IM asking. “True,” says Suleiman, “everything around was deserted, there were no roads and cars, and there was no store nearby. My father could have bought an apartment in El Azaria for maybe ten thousand shekels, today it’s worth a million, but he did not want to move to the city. We We like to live like this in the desert, as long as we have enough money to buy food and water and raise camels, sheep and goats. ” He has five sons and no daughters. Right now only Muhammad with him, and the woman I did not see her face but tasted from the thin pitas and white cheese half hard and wonderfully delicious she made. “One son works in Israel and brings all the money to the family to have something to live on, a second son with the camels, a third with the sheep and a fourth with the goats. There was not enough rain here and no pasture, so they went to graze near Marsaba,” says Suleiman. “And how many women do you have?”, I ask. “I have one wife, well that’s enough,” Suleiman replies, “there are those who have two or three and even four, it’s not for me.” “It takes a lot of money to keep a woman,” I ask and answer at the same time, and Suleiman calculates and answers, “You need to buy gold and clothes for about twenty-five thousand shekels for a family, and another such amount for a wedding, make a hafala, slaughter maybe fifteen twenty sheep, each maybe 800 shekels “It costs about NIS 50,000 to take a woman.” Suleiman thinks for a while and asks me if a Bedouin is allowed to take a Jewish woman? “If she agrees then of course she does,” I reply. “And how much do you have to pay?” I answer that I do not have to pay for it, and he claims that I did not understand the question and repeats it, and I answer and he asks until he is convinced and falls silent into the thoughts.
Before I left, he asked me to talk to Ariel, who would sell him water. “I only need fifteen cubic meters a month,” he says. I promised to forward the request.
In the evening I was called from Channel 12. They are preparing an article about people who live and travel in caravans, have read my blog and want to interview me. I was debating whether I wanted that exposure. Me and my simple and peaceful life in nature. Actually why not? I constantly tell about the lives of others, and here is my chance to turn the spotlight on my beautiful life. Agreed. The next day at ten in the morning like clockwork they were already with me, near the trailer in front of the desert view. Tonight, Saturday night, you can watch the interview on Channel 12 News.
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