Friday, August 29, 2008

Shalom Abie, go in peace

Today, August 29, two deaths are being marked. For many Christians this is the day of The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner.

In Hebrew John is Yochanan HaMatbil, meaning John the baptiser. But, as I heard one professor say, he could also be called Yochanan HaMakbil, meaning John the parallel one. The lives of John and Jesus are woven together from birth to death and beyond, as this icon shows.
John said of himself, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord."

Today Israel buried Abie Nathan, dead at age 81. Parallels here also. His voice, too, was of one crying out in the wilderness. Before there was peace with Egypt and Jordan, before Israel had a peace movement, Abie was a peace seeker. Like John the Precursor, Abie followed his heart and did bold and daring new things. He flew a little plane solo to Cairo in 1966, he talked with Arafat when it was still against the law, and he served time in jail for it. He almost died from a hunger strike. As today's Ha'aretz article says, "He earned a reputation as a maverick peace activist who often took diplomacy into his own hands." Like John, he was prepared to put his head on a platter if need be.
Nathan launched a pirate radio station in 1973 with news in Hebrew and Arabic and good music and talk. For twenty years we listened to what came from the Peace Ship. Who doesn't remember the opening "From somewhere in the Mediterranean, this is the Voice of Peace. . ."
More about Abie and his humanitarian work around the world is here, in the Jerusalem Post.

When asked what he would want engraved on his tombstone, Abie Nathan said, "Nisiti." It means, "I tried."

12 comments:

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for this post Dina. Abie Nathan was a hero and can be compared to Gandhi and Jesus. He was a voice of peace. We need such people

kjpweb said...

Abie is a true Hero.
It's too bad, that we won't find
"Nisiti" written on the tombstones of those, who ought to have tried.

Kay said...

Hi Dina, Could you come and give me a visit on my site and pick up your Super Commenter Award?

Shimmy Mom said...

Beautiful post Dina. Too bad more people don't feel it important to try.
*hugs*

ichandrae said...

Hello Dina.

Thankyou, another beautiful sacred presentation. I love the way you extend yourself to all religions.

I love this idea of having tried. Yes everyone needs a moral purpose in life, and to do the best that you can to acheive it is the zen teaching.
peace be with you.
shalom.

Daryl said...

Words to live by

:-Daryl

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you for educating me on this great man and I love the message on his grave...

Sherry said...

Sad that one would have to spend time in jail for speaking with someone who needs to be heard, in the name of peace...we must do all we can.. _()_ bowing to this great man.

livius said...

What a beautiful and touching tribute. I didn't know about Abie Nathan. Thank you for introducing his heroism to me.

GMG said...

Hi Dina! First of all many thanks for your comment on my post of 08.08.08 at 08h08 at Blogtrotter, now in Kos, Greece! It was great to read you there. Second, sorry for the long delay to come here, but August was a terribly busy month, as everybody else seems to be in vacation…
Anyhow, I found sometime now to land here and enjoy your blog. Great post!
Wish you a great weekend!

i beati said...

loving contrast sandy

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

A fantastic post, Dina. The world needs more men like Abie Nathan.