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Ramat Rachel (Hebrew: רָמַת רָחֵל, lit. Rachel's Heights) is a kibbutz located in east Israel. An enclave within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries and overlooking Bethlehem and Rachel's Tomb (for which the kibbutz is named), it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 519.[1]

Ramat Rachel

רָמַת רָחֵל
Skyline of Ramat Rachel
Ramat Rachel is located in Jerusalem, Israel
Ramat Rachel
Ramat Rachel
Coordinates: 31°44′23.97″N 35°13′8.37″E / 31.7399917°N 35.2189917°E / 31.7399917; 35.2189917Coordinates: 31°44′23.97″N 35°13′8.37″E / 31.7399917°N 35.2189917°E / 31.7399917; 35.2189917
DistrictJerusalem
CouncilMateh Yehuda
AffiliationKibbutz Movement
Founded1926
Founded byJerusalem Brigade of Gdud HaAvoda
Population
 (2017)[1]
519
Websitewww.ramatrachel.co.il

According to archaeologists, Ramat Rachel "replaced Jerusalem as the economic and political hub of the southern highlands" in ancient times.[2]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The kibbutz was established in 1926 by members of the Gdud HaAvoda labor brigade. Their goal was to settle in Jerusalem and earn their livelihood from manual labor, working in such trades as stonecutting, housing construction and haulage.[3] After living in a temporary camp in Jerusalem, a group of ten pioneers settled on a stony plot of land on an 803-metre high hill south of the city. The kibbutz was destroyed by the Arabs in the riots of 1929. Hundreds of Arabs attacked the training farm and burned it to the ground.[4] The settlers returned to the site a year later. According to a census conducted in 1931 by the British Mandate authorities, Ramat Rachel had a population of 131, in 45 houses.[5]

 
Members of Ramat Rachel, 1944

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War it was cut off from the city.[6]

 
Ramat Rachel 1948

In 1967 it was the target of intensive artillery shelling from Jordanian positions. As the borders of Jerusalem were expanded southward, the kibbutz was surrounded from all sides by the city's municipal borders. In 1990, the kibbutz had a population of 140 adults and 150 children.[7]

EconomyEdit

The kibbutz economy is based on hi-tech, tourism and agriculture. Data Detection Technologies, established in 2002, provides advanced counting and packaging solutions for the seed, pharmaceutical and diamond industries based on electro-optic technologies. Data counters are uniquely appropriate for items that are sold by units and not by weight. In the seed industry, prior to the advent of data seed counters, packaging was accomplished by weight. With the advent of seed counters, items are packaged in units as they are sold.[8]

Hotel Mitzpeh Rachel is the only kibbutz hotel in Jerusalem. The hotel, surrounded by gardens, has 108 rooms with a panoramic view of Bethlehem, the Judean Desert and Herodion. The hotel also operates a convention center, tennis courts and a large swimming pool.[9]

The kibbutz grows cherries, oranges, nectarines, grapefruit, olives, persimmons, figs, pomelos and tangerines.

Archaeological findingsEdit

 
Archaeological garden showing Israelite column capitals.

The first scientific exploration of the site, known in Arabic as Khirbet es-Sallah, was conducted by Benjamin Mazar and Moshe Stekelis in 1930–1931. In a series of digs in 1959–1962, Yohanan Aharoni tentatively identified it as the biblical Beit Hakerem (Jeremiah 6:1), one of the places from which flaming warning signals were sent to Jerusalem at the end of the First Temple period.[10] Yigael Yadin dated the palace excavated by Aharoni to the reign of Athaliah and identified it as the "House of Baal" recorded in 2 Kings 11:18.

One of many important artifacts discovered at Ramat Rachel are numerous stamp impressions. Among these are LMLK seal impressions.[11] Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, who excavated the site in 1984, says the ancient name of the site may have been MMST, one of four enigmatic words that appear on the handles.[12]

Excavations resumed in 2004 under the direction of Tel Aviv University archeologists Oded Lipschits and Manfred Oeming. According to Lipschits, the site was a palace or administrative center with a water works system "unparalleled in Eretz Israel."[13][14] Lipschits says agricultural produce was collected there as a source of government tax revenue.[15]

In July 2008, archeologists discovered a cooking pot from the 1st century CE containing 15 large gold coins. The pot was found under the floor of a columbarium.[16]

Sculptures and environmental artEdit

 
Sculpture of Rachel
 
Olive columns sculpture

A grove of 200 olive trees planted on the outskirts of the kibbutz leads up to the Olive Columns, three 33-foot high pedestals topped by live olive trees, the work of Israeli artist Ran Morin.[17]

In the hotel garden is a sculpture of the biblical matriarch Rachel, who personifies the nation. The sculpture is inscribed with a Hebrew Bible verse from Jeremiah 31:17: "Your children will return to their own land." In the Book of Jeremiah, Rachel is depicted as a woman of large proportions, protecting two children and surveying the horizon as though waiting for others.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Localities File" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  2. ^ Gadot, Yuval (2015). "In the Valley of the King: Jerusalem's Rural Hinterland in the 8th-4th Centuries BCE". Tel Aviv. 42 (1): 3–26. doi:10.1179/0334435515Z.00000000043.
  3. ^ "Kibbutz Ramat Rachel". Krr.co.il. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  4. ^ "קיבוץ רמת רחל ענפים עסקיים". Krr.co.il. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  5. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 42
  6. ^ Lapidot, Yehuda (1948-07-15). "Besiege: The Battle For Ramat Rachel, Southern Gateway To Jerusalem". Daat.co.il. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  7. ^ Rosovsky, Nitza (1990-05-20). "Israel's Kibbutz Guesthouses". The New York Times. ISRAEL. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  8. ^ "Seed Counting, tablet counting, Filling & Packaging Equipment, parts counting". Data-technologies.com. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  9. ^ "Ramat Rachel Hotel". Krr.co.il. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  10. ^ "Back To Ramat Rahel: What Do We Want To Find". Tau.ac.il. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  11. ^ Grabbe, Lester L. (2003). Like a Bird in a Cage: The Invasion of Sennacherib in 701 BCE. A&C Black. p. 9. ISBN 9780826462152. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  12. ^ Barkay, Gabriel (2006). "Royal Palace, Royal Portrait?". Biblical Archaeology Review. 32:5 (September/October): 34–44.
  13. ^ https://archive.is/20130706010332/http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1157913679297&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ https://archive.is/20120708025321/http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525918256&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Israeli researchers: Jerusalem's trendiest street built over biblical site". Haaretz. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  16. ^ "J'lem Dig turns up gold coins from end of Second Temple period". Haaretz. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  17. ^ "Ramat Rachel". Goisrael.com. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2015-06-03.

External linksEdit