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Sde-Boker

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Template:Infobox Kibbutz

Sde-Boker is an Israeli Kibbutz in the Negev, in the Southern District of Israel, founded on May 15, 1952.

From 1963 it was the dwelling place of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion until his passing in 1973, who is buried nearby at Midreshet Sde-Boker (Sde-Boker seminary and college) aside his wife Paula Ben-Gurion.

Ben-Gurion had a vision of cultivating the arid Negev desert and building up its surrounding towns such as Yerucham and Dimona. He believed that eventually the Negev would be home to many Jews who would move to Israel after having made aliya to Israel, and he felt that Sde-Boker was a trailblaizer and example for what should follow.

In his official writings Ben-Gurion often mused about his efforts at rejuvenating the arid Negev:

"The desert provides us with the best opportunity to begin again. This is a vital element of our renaissance in Israel. For it is in mastering nature that man learns to control himself. It is in this sense, more practical than mystic, that I define our Redemption on this land. Israel must continue to cultivate its nationality and to represent the Jewish people without renouncing its glorious past. It must earn this which is no small task a right that can only be acquired in the desert.
When I looked out my window today and saw a tree standing before me, the sight awoke in me a greater sense of beauty and personal satisfaction than all the forests that I have crossed in Switzerland and Scandinavia. For we planted each tree in this place and watered them with the water we provided at the cost of numerous efforts. Why does a mother love her children so? Because they are her creation. Why does the Jew feel an affinity with Israel? Because everything here must still be accomplished. It depends only on him to participate in this privileged act of creation. The trees at Sde Boker speak to me differently than do the trees planted elsewhere. Not only because I participated in their planting and in their maintenance, but also because they are a gift of man to nature and a gift of the Jews to the compost of their culture." [1] (http://www.jafi.org.il/education/moriya/negev/DavidBenGurion.html)

Solar Energy Research

The Kibbutz has a solar energy research programme that has developed some interesting demonstrations of how the extremes of heat and cold experienced in the desert can be mitigated through efficient storage of heat during the day for release at night.

Among these are an adobe house that has rational fenestration, with small windows in the northern side and heat collecting concrete prisms in the windows of the south facing wall. The prisms are situated in the rooms. They absorb heat during the day and can be rotated to allow the heat to discharge into the rooms at night. The "chimney" is actually part of an evaporative cooling system that maintains the temperature of the house during the day at bearable levels.

There is a double skin greenhouse that uses copper sulphate solution as a heat screen during the day. The liquid is pumped between the two skins, protects the interior from ultra-violet rays and collects heat. At night the liquid is recirculated returning the heat to the greenhouse.

External links

nl:Sde_Boker de:Sede Boker

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