Advertisement of a Trip to Egypt, 1935 Parashat Vayigash
“Trip to Egypt
sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture
will take place from April 28, 1935.”
The notice details the timetable for the trip, which was split into two parts: a visit to Lower Egypt and a visit to Upper Egypt.
This is an information notice regarding a trip to Egypt in 1935. The trip was organised by the Farmers’ Association of Israel, the Culture Committee, and the Zionist Federation and was sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Farmers’ Association was an independent body which was set up in 1900, bringing together all the farmers from across the country.
The trip includes visits to Lower Egypt (northern Egypt) and to Upper Egypt (Southern Egypt) and begins with a train ride to Cairo. The trip focused on the history and agriculture of Egypt and included visits to historical sites including the pyramids and the sphinx and to agricultural sites such as the cotton plantations, the royal orchards, and the National Agricultural Museum.
The trip took place on the 28th April, "after Pesach, at the end of the fruit season", as stated on the poster. The poster also details the direct train route the tourist would take from Israel to Egypt on the Lod (Lyddah) station by train to the Kantara station near the Suez Canal and from there to Cairo. The price of the trip was 4.75 Palestine pounds, and for those travelling to Upper Egypt, there was a surcharge of 4.25 pounds. The Palestine pound was the currency in use at the time in Israel.
Connection to the Parashat Vayigash
By the end of Parashat Vayigash, we learn how Jacob’s wider family moved to Egypt joining Joseph and his family in an attempt to avoid the famine that had decimated much of the Land of Israel.
While there were many Jews who traditionally refrained from travelling and living in Egypt, ever since the Exodus from Egypt, there were also many great Jews over the generations, including Maimonides (the Rambam), who did. The Rambam apparently signed some of his correspondence with the words: “The person who daily violates three prohibitions,” referring to the three times in the Torah that the Jewish People are warned against travelling to Egypt.
Palestine Railways, Wikipedia
This source can be used in Jewish History lessons to discuss initial agricultural efforts for farmers in the land of Israel.
Jewish Studies teachers can use this source to the relationship between Egypt and Israel today,before the establishment of the State of Israel and since biblical times.
Geography teachers can use this resource to discuss the various geographic similarities and differences between Israel and Egypt.
What language is this advertisement written in?
What is being advertised?
Who is this trip aimed at?
Which places were on the itinerary?
Reading Between the Lines
Why would a farmer’s organisation arrange a trip to Egypt?
Why was this supported by the Yishuv?
Who would have been interested in such a trip?
Have you visited a farm in Israel? What are the similarities and differences between farms in Israel and in your own country?
Which biblical characters were known for farming the land?
Do you believe that Israel should share its technical know-how about cultivating land in difficult climate conditions?
Compare farming in Israel, Egypt and your own country. Present you findings to the class in a poster or an online presentation, focusing particularly on the similarities and differences between the countries.