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Jewish 'Hermit' from Herzliya Speaks

Documentary stars Israeli man who decided to carve his own home out of a cliff face.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/7/2013, 1:16 PM

Nissim Kachlon's beachfront home
Nissim Kachlon's beachfront home
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Nearly 40 years ago Nissim Kachlon, a divorced father of three, decided he was done with city life, and wanted to live on the beach. Unlike many others, Kachlon made his dreams a reality by literally carving out a new life in the face of a cliff near Herzliya.

Now his unique life story is the feature of a movie. The film, “Sipur Aploni” (An Appolonian Story) by directors Ilan Moskovitch and Dan Bronfeld, will be shown this week in the Jerusalem Film Festival.

“I decided that I didn’t want to live in the city, I love the sea, that’s how I came here. I don’t have to pay city tax because I don’t have garbage, I burn everything and use the ashes for concrete to build with,” Kachlon told Arutz Sheva.

“I have a well for water, I haven’t had electricity for years. I don’t have a washing machine, I don’t even have a telephone, I do everything by hand,” he continued.

He said he prays daily and observes the Sabbath. “I get up at a quarter of six in the morning and go to synagogue, a 15-minute walk from here. I cook for the Sabbath starting today [Sunday], green beans and meat from a cow’s neck, salad and sardines,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, there used to be plenty of fish in the sea but today they are already gone. Industrial fishing killed it,” he said.

Over the years Kachlon’s cave on the cliff has become an impressive multi-story edifice. “A city engineer who came was shocked,” he related.

“I like it here alone. I’m always busy doing things and building. People also come here to teach Torah,” he said. Kachlon said he does not want to be famous, but that everyone is welcome to come and visit.