While visiting Israel I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at the Yad Mordechai Kibbutz.
Israel stressed me out, but for some odd reason, I felt at peace and was fascinated with the kibbutzim. It was very peaceful, quiet, and green. It seemed to me to be a communal way of life, where, as the Marxist maxim states, “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”
Children do not live with their parents on a kibbutzim, they live together in a common area and are cared for by a few caretakers; as I understand it. Children of course still see and interact with their parents, but not like we are used to. Parents see their children for three to four hours per day in the afternoon. This is actually a lot more time than we spend with our children today. Though we see our children often, we do not usually spend three-four hours of quality time with them.
Beyond that, the folks living on a kibbutzim are hard working and not of many words. Perhaps like the farmers we would find in the Midwest or Montana.
It was also apparent to me that kibbutzim served a practical geographic purpose in that they helped with agricultural and helped to meet the country’s food demand.
In Israel, most visitors are fascinated by Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They are unique city centers for sure, but same as I do not like large cities in the USA, my preference in Israel was for the smaller communities that seemed to have stronger social ties, where everyone looked out for each other. I enjoyed Yad Mordechai Kibbutzim.
The kibbutz, for me, is something that I have continued to think about since traveling to Israel. It was the highlight of my trip. I don’t think I will go back to Israel, but I am thankful for a taste of kibbutzim life.
If only very briefly, I think I tasted something like socialist life.