BE'ER ORAH (Heb. בְּאֵר אוֹרָה), training camp of *Gadna (the Israel pre-military youth corps) founded in 1950 in the southern Negev, 14 mi. (20 km.) north of Eilat. Youth were brought here in groups for periods of a fortnight or longer to combine the study of nature and farming with excursions, sports, and small-arms training. In May 2001 a ceremony was held establishing a civilian settlement near the training camp, with the same name. However, in 2006 it was still not inhabited. Be'er Orah, meaning "Well of Light," is a reversal of the former Arabic Bīr (Beʾr) Ḥindīs, "Pitchblack Well," so called by the Bedouin because the strong magnesia content of the local well's water was likely to cause illness.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.