Lahav (Hebrew: לַהַב, lit. blade) is a kibbutz in southern Israel. Located around 20 km north of Beersheba and covering 33,000 dunams, it falls under the jurisdiction of Bnei Shimon Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 529.
The kibbutz was established in 1952 and was initially named Tziklag (Hebrew: צקלג) after the Biblical city of Ziklag, which was thought to have been located nearby. Originally the founders had been unsure whether to settle in the Negev or Galilee, but accepted a government decision that settling on Tel Halif (Tell el-Khuweilifeh) in the Negev was more important. After a few years, the kibbutz was renamed Lahav in honour of the Nahal group which established it.
The economy of Kibbutz Lahav is based on agriculture (both crops and livestock) and two industrial ventures: a plant for plastic containers (Dolav) owned and operated jointly with the neighboring kibbutz, Dvir, and a meat processing plant.
In 1963, Lahav established the Institute for Animal Research with guidance from leading scientists from the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture, which is the only research facility in Israel specializing in raising pigs. According to a 1963 law, pigs can be legally raised in kibbutzim (or more generally on land leased from the state) only for research purposes, but meat from surplus animals may be sold. While all other kibbutzim abandoned pig farming to comply with the 1963 law, Lahav transferred its pig farm to its new organization, the Institute for Animal Research, which continues to supply Lahav's meat processing factory with surplus pigs. Lahav's pork and other meat products are nationally marketed in non-kosher food stores all over Israel, and the Lahav brand is a major competitor to non-kosher meat products of Mizra.
The production of pig meat has raised criticism since the Torah prohibits the consumption of pork, which goes against the prevailing narrative of Israel as a "Jewish state".
- "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Carta's Official Guide to Israel and Complete Gazetteer to all Sites in the Holy Land. (3rd edition 1993) Jerusalem, Carta, p.295, ISBN 965-220-186-3
- Institute for Animal Research Archived 2008-12-24 at the Wayback Machine, Lahav.
- "Why these pigs are Israeli life-savers". The Jewish Chronicle. November 22, 2017. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- "Knesset Bans Pig-raising in Israel; Farmers Get Year to Sell Stock". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. July 25, 1962. Retrieved April 16, 2019.