Tuesday, May 15, 2012



The Harod Spring is the westernmost of a group of springs flowing from the foot
of Mount Gilboa. The Gilboa range is made of limestone, which causes water
to seep down to its base, and springs to form there. This spring flows from fault
lines that cross the Gilboa range on a northwest-southeast axis. The sweet water

emerges from Gideon’s cave at a rate of approx 360 cubic metres per hour.

Where the spring emerges is called Gideon’s cave. This is where Gideon chose
his soldiers to fight against the Midianites.

Judges 7

1 Early next day, Jerubbaal (Gideon) and all the troops with him encamped at En-
harod, while the camp of Midian was in the plain to the north of him at Gibeath-

32,000 men initially answered Gideon’s call to arms, but after a preliminary
selection, he was left with 10,000. G-d then ordered Gideon to take the troops
down to the water, where G-d would make a selection.

Judges 7

4-8 Then the Lord said to Gideon “set apart all those who lap up the water with
their tongues like dogs from those who get down on their knees to drink”. Now
those who lapped the water with their mouths by hand numbered 300. Then the
Lord said to Gideon “I will deliver you and I will put Midian into your hands through
the 300 lappers, let the rest of the troops go home.

With the aid of these 300 mean, Gideon defeated the Midianites in a surprise night

Yehoshua Hankin came to Israel with the first aliya. He had means and decided
to become a realtor. He bought and sold land for profit. After the 1903 Zionist
Conference (when Keren Keyemet for Israel was also formed), he became a
Zionist and decide to buy as much land as he could and donate it for Jewish
settlement. In total he bought and donated over 600,000 dunams, including
35,000 in the Jezreel Valley.

In 1921 Kibbutz Ein Harod was founded on land purchased by Hankin. This was
the first settlement in the mosquito infested Valley. Other kibbutzim were also
founded in the area and the swamps drained.

Yehoshua and Olga Hankin decided to settle in the Jezreel Valley and in 1932
started to build a house above Gideon’s cave on the side of Mount Gilboa. The
house was completed in 1936, but they were never to live in it. Yehoshua decided
the house would become a museum telling the story of land purchases and
settlement in the Jezreel and Harod valleys. The Hankins are buried in a “2nd
Temple style” tomb next to the house.

West of the house and tomb is a memorial to residents of the Jezreel Valley who
fell in Israel’s wars.

Charles Ord Wingate, a British solder in Palestine, was a great bible reader
and became friendly with Haim Strumer. He consequently spent a lot of time in
the area and Gideon was one of his heroes. Arab riots started in 1936 and in
1938 he set us the SNS (Special Night Squads). These units consisted of half
British and half Jewish solders to guard British instillations. In the 1948 War of
Independence, his wife come to Ein Harod and donated her husband’s bible to the
kibbutzniks, to inspire them to fight for their kibbutz.

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