Sunday, January 25, 2009
K'Far Giladi (our Hotel) and "the Sleek"
For more on the historical background of K'far Giladi please visit the wiki article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kfar_Giladi or their website http://www.kfar-giladi.org.il/main/main.shtml. For a Hebrew video with great pictures please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_4DT4aaTO4 . At 1:11 on the video you can see them opening the slik mentioned later in this post. It also shows the rooms, lobby, pool, gym, dining hall, other places and activities at k'far Giladi. Even if you do not understand the Hebrew, the pictures are really nice and it is worth watching.
Kfar Giladi is one of the oldest Kibbutzim in the country having been founded in 1916 and named for one of the founding families who lost two members to influenza in one day.
The kibbutz was founded by members of Hashomer, the original organization established to protect Jewish interests in what would become Medinat Yisrael. The model below illustrates the way the kibbutz looked at some point in the past, but I forgot to note the year. The building at the very bottom centre of the picture was the orriginal barrack that housed 16 famlies and their horses. Over time, they moved into the "Founders House" in the middle of the shot.
The picture below is Jason and two of his teammates taken at the banquet on the last night in what was the orriginal dining room of the "Founders House".
The views from the Kibbutz were unbelievable.
The picture below is the Israel/Lebanon border. Cars driving down that arched road on the right hand side would be Lebanese cars (if we had seen any). We also had a spectacular view of the Carmel mountain including it's snow capped peaks. I should add we were looking at it while complaining we were too warm in the sweaters we were wearing. Apparently in other years there has been snow in Kiryat Shemona and Metulah during the tournament- but this year the weather was fantastic for a vacation!
On the last afternoon we took a tour of the kibbutz and went to see "the Slik". Now, apparently everyone except me has heard of this. I guess I wasn ot paying attention that year in Jewish History (yes I know that would be very hard to believe!). In any case, the slik was a cache of illegal weapons, hidden from the Brittish (as Jews being found with weapons was a hangging offense!). It was built under the cover of night by 3 m3mbers of the kibbutz, and was stocked with weapons to use to protect the Interests of the Jews in the future Medinat Yisrael.
It was so secret that those working on it would not explain to their families where they were going at night, leading one wife to remove her young children from the kibbutz. She died years later still believing her husband had been having an affair.
The original slick was tiny and not nearly as water proof as they would have liked. Over time a new slick was built that was, even according to a British officer who looked and knew there were weapons being hidden, "impossible to find".
It was revealed to the public in 1983. I am pretty sure it was only reveled becuae another, more secret, better stocked, one has been built in a new location on the kibbutz.
Inside the orriginal slik
The entrance to the new slik. It is hidden below a 3 ton working machine. In order to open it you have to know which of the screws holding the mchine in place is the "lock" and use a special wrench to loosen it which in turn unlocks the sliding mechanism. Once it is unlocked Jason was able ot move the 3 ton trap door by himself.
You can see the mchine and how it moves around the 1:11 mark on the video posted above.
Inside the slick.