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Hannah Trager reflected on growing up in Petach Tikvah during the 1880's

When it came to weeding the vineyards, we had a hard lesson to learn. . . Day after day I came home with my back breaking, and the skin peeled off my hands and face by the hot sun, crying that I would not-could not-do such work any more. "A nice example," said my mother, "you would set the other girls! Shall it be said that the first colonists came here to lead an easy life, and that their daughters were waited on like fine ladies? The pain in your back-you will forget it, but how about the pain in your heart, when you are afterwards looked on as a coward." Then, seeing the tears gather in my eyes, she would add: "Think how sweet the grapes will taste when you remember the hard work in the vineyard. Take courage, my child, the worst will soon be over." So it was the weeding came to an end, and a little later we had the pleasure of seeing our first young olive-trees planted, and were all impatient to pluck and eat the first olives.

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(Reprinted with permission from Pioneers in Palestine: Stories of the First Settlers in Petach Tikvah, 1976, Hyperion Press)

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