Lavi (Levkovitz), Shelomo
LAVI (Levkovitz), SHELOMO
LAVI (Levkovitz ), SHELOMO (1882–1963), agricultural pioneer in Ereẓ Israel. Born in Plonsk, Russian Poland, Lavi went to Ereẓ Israel in 1905. At first he worked as a laborer in the Jewish villages in the southern part of the country. In 1909 he moved to Galilee and later worked as a watchman in Ḥaderah and Reḥovot. He conceived the idea of the "large collective" (kevuẓah gedolah, later called kibbutz), which would combine agriculture, crafts, and industry and would be capable of absorbing new immigrants lacking agricultural training and experience. This system would reduce the investment necessary for establishing the settlement and would avoid the use of hired labor. In 1920 Lavi organized a group of laborers as part of *Gedud ha-Avodah to establish the first "large collective" in the Jezreel Valley. This led to the foundation in 1921 of *En-Harod and *Tel Yosef, originally one settlement, which was the first example of the kibbutz as distinguished from the kevuẓah. Two years later the Gedud ha-Avodah split: Tel Yosef became independent, while Lavi and his supporters remained in En-Harod, which they transformed into a center for similar kibbutzim based on the combination of agriculture and industry.
Lavi was a leader of *Mapai, serving on many national bodies. At the age of 60, during World War ii, he volunteered for service with a Jewish unit in the British army. He wrote articles in a biting, original manner, as well as stories and ideological essays. A number of his articles were published in his Ketavim Nivharim ("Selected Writings," 1944); the history of En-Harod is outlined in his Megillat Ein Ḥarod (1947); and he also published an autobiographical novel entitled Aliyyato shel Shalom Layish (1956). He was a member of the First and Second *Knesset. Through all the years of his membership in the kibbutz he continued to work the fields and to do all kinds of manual work, undeterred by his public and literary occupations. Both his sons fell in the *War of Independence (1948). They both left writings published in Gevilei Esh edited by R. Avinoam (n.d.), 464–74; 583f.
Meshek Ein Ḥarod-Iḥud, Shelomo Lavi le-Yom ha-Sheloshim (1963); B. Katznelson, in: S. Lavi, Ketavim Nivḥarim (1944), introd.; Kariv, in: Ha-Po'el Haẓa'ir, 51:28 (1958); D. Lazar, Rashim be-Yisrael, 2 (1955), 238–43; Tidhar, 6 (1955), 2548–9.