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Geography of Israel: Petah Tikvah

The name of this city, located east of Tel Aviv means “Gateway to Hope.” Religious Jews from Jerusalem established Petah Tikva on November 3, 1878. Three entrepreneurial families initially established the settlement, one of which was Rabbi Moshe Yoel Salomon’s family, from Jerusalem. Additional families joined them in 1880.

Its name was chosen from the prophecy of Hosea (2:15), “And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

The settlers’ intention was to establish a new settlement in the Achor Valley – near Jericho. They purchased some land there, but the Turkish Sultan cancelled the purchase and forbade them from settling there. They retained the name Petah Tikvah – as a symbol of their aspirations.

Located in what was a swamp area near the source of the Yarkon River – the land was purchased from the village of Mulabbis. For a time, the settlers had to move to a nearby location (site of modern day Savyon), until the swamps were dried, with the help of Baron Edmond de Rothschild.

Like Degania Alef, which was known as the “Mother of the Kevutzot,” Petah Tikvah was known as the “Mother of the Moshavot” – or small cooperative villages. It was really the first modern agricultural settlement in Israel.

Many settlers from the First and Second Aliyah found their way to Petah Tikvah, where they established the foundations of the Israeli labor movement.

While you can still see remnants of Petah Tikvah’s agricultural roots, (primarily in the form of orange groves), today, the city is one of Israel’s largest industrial centers.

Source: Copyright © 2001 Gems in Israel All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.