I took a class earlier this year on Israel and its development, and one thing that we learned really struck me: we learned that at as Kibbutzim, a kind of collective lifestyle that is unique to Israel, were beginning to really develop in the early 1900’s, newly married couples had to share their tents with a third person because of a lack of room on their Kibbutz. And while that may not seem like such a big deal at first, after watching a video about it in which women recalled the embarrassment and discomfort that they experienced at the pure lack of privacy, I realized that it was.
This practice no longer happens, as it was a product of necessity and very much a short-term solution to the problem of space ( and as Kibbutzim developed and grew, there was no longer a need.) But the sheer awkwardness and discomfort of the situation is still relevant. Living with someone else in the same room, a couple days after your marriage? Awkward. And after being stuck inside for the past two days during a snowstorm I have realized that I definitely take my space and privacy for granted, so it’s impressive to think that young men and women (these pioneers were in their teens, early twenties) were willing to give that up for the sake of a collective. For me at least, it would take a lot of motivation, much more than I can imagine having. It’s hard to imagine being as passionate about a dream as they were, but part of that is because my life today is so different from life on a nascent Kibbutz. (And things always seem more ideal in hindsight).
I think it’s an interesting historical anecdote, especially when you think about how different Israel is today. And, on a lighter note: the women used to call the third people “primus” after the primus stove, a three-legged stove that was popular in the early twentieth century, in an attempt to make light of the situation.