Israel, Seltzer, and Public Fountains

They say Israel is the land of milk and honey. But I received a fascinating report from a Chava at Lehigh University, who suggests Israel is also the land of free flowing seltzer:

      In the summer of 1966, I spent a month on kibbutz Ein Tsurim, in the
      Shefelah (ha-kibbutz ha-dati). Seltzer was piped all over the kibbutz,
      so that one could get a drink of seltzer nearly as easily as a drink of
      water. It would be interesting to know if this was the case on other
    kibbutzim as well.

Interesting indeed. I knew this would be an interesting thread to track down. When I wrote to ask for more information she responded with:

    What I remember is this, that seltzer was piped to (several? many?) public sites around the kibbutz, not into people’s rooms or homes. Ordinary drinking water was also available at other faucets in the same locations. Mainly, I remember a sign at one of the public seltzer fountains that read “Na lo lishtof et ha-kosot be-sodah [or: be-mei sodah],” i.e. please do not rinse the cups out with seltzer water. This was certainly not the case on all kibbutzim–but I do not know how wide-spread it was.

If anyone knows anything else about Seltzer on Israeli kibbutzim, please let me know! As I do not speak Hebrew, this is a hard one to track down. But golden, right? I wonder if Ben Katchor knows, whose graphic novel The Jews of New York features a man who dreams of piping carbonated water into Manhattan for public consumption. Did he know it had been done in Israel? I love when truth is stranger than fiction.

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