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 Early settlement attempts

Thus saith the Lord:

 "refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded saith the Lord; and they shall come back from the lands of the enemy. And there is hope for thy future saith the Lord; and thy children shall return to their own border”     (Jeremiah XXXI: 15-16)

 Three times the Jews ascended Mount Hebron in recent times. A stony, arid, hostile, stormy and snowy mountain greeted them.Three times they were uprooted from the land and retured for a fourth time. This parallels the history of the Jewish people in its homeland; three times the Jews went up to the land of Israel, contended with its host of limitations, they were uprooted from it but returned and clung to it on the fourth occasion.

 Those are the three Early settlement attempts: 

Kfar Etzion – “El-HaHar 5695-5697, 1935-1937 


El-HaHar (To the Mountain)

In the year 5695 (1935), they made a second ascent. The El-HaHar Company purchased tracts of land and founded an agricultural farm. The place was named Kfar-Etzion after its founder, Mr. Shmuel Zvi Holtzman (holz means wood in Yiddish), a citrus grove owner and visionary pioneer from Rehovot. This is the origin of the name that the restored Kibbutz Kfar-Etztion bears to this very day, as well as the entire region of Gush-Etzion – the Etzion Bloc.

 S.Z. Holtzman envisioned a developed area of fruit orchards and vacation facilities, and invested the bulk of his capital in the project.  The settlers included members of “HaShomer” headed by Pinhas Shneerson, who served as Yosef Trumpeldor’s deputy and alternate in the battle for Tel-Hai on 11 Adar 5680 (3.1.1920), immigrants from Kurdistan and workers from the moshavot  joined them in settling the hill.


Shmuel Zvi Holtzman


 With a view to fostering good and neighborly relations, Mr. Holtzman established an infirmary that would service the surrounding Arab villages and his own son, a doctor by profession, worked there.

The infirmary that Holtzman established at Kfar Etzion did not suffice to improve the fate of the community.  This settlement attempt was also established by private initiative, to the displeasure of the “settlement institutions”.

In the year 5696 (1936), during the bloody disturbances, Arab rioters also harassed Kfar Etzion.  The Jewish community in Hebron, still recuperating from the 1929 riots was evacuated to Jerusalem. The Kfar Etzion settlers were compelled to abandon the community and leave the buildings on the farm to the rioters who destroyed and despoiled everything that been built. 

To the “El-Hahar” gallery

To the next chapter: “The Cohen Farm"

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