Written on December 8th, 2005, 25 years to the murder of John Lennon, with a prayer that the quest of the late 1960's will never be forgotten in the land of Israel.
Remembering the news of John Lennon's murder while n a bus, travelling home to Tzfat, passing the hills of Mount Meron that loom over the Tfzfat-Meron Road, a pace of spiritual quest in Israel, a place where the Zohar flourished, where the message of the Kabbalah that the Jews would return to their land has been promised and fulfilled in our life time.
Remembering the essay that I wrote that we need a JOHN LENNON PEACE FOREST for the land and people of Israel to remember and to appreciate the spiritual quest of the late 1960's. The late Moshe Rivlin of the Jewish National Fund responded. So did Joel Glasier of Delaware, who became the co-founder of the John Lennon Peace Forest. The message of the late '60s was not only of rock, pomp and circumstance. The message of the late '60s was a spiritual quest, to think anew and to act anew, to examine one's life style and to question material motives of the space around us. Not simply to pursue a career, but to do something that would correct self-centeredness that we all possess. The music that accompanied that quest was best sung by the Beatles. Today, my oldest son, Noam, who was born in Tfzat and who has grown up in Israel, and who proudly served as a combat soldier on Israel's northern border, and who is now travelling the world, writes from Vietnam, after a month of travel to that war torn nation, that he met another proud people who fought for their independence, and that "This visit closes a circle. Your generation would not fight to hurt these people. You always explained that America doing the wrong thing in Vietnam brought you to Israel. Now I understand." You say you want a revolution. You know. It is in the heart of every person to be true to the inner voice and to an inner conscience and not to ride the waves of materialism and not to bow to blind loyalty, when your country does something which is wrong. To paraphrase the Beatles, ALL WE ARE SAYING: GIVE PEACE OF MIND A CHANCE. John Lennon was killed on Chanukah, which marks the first national religious liberation struggle from those powers who would not let a proud people live freely and independently in their own land.
David Bedein, Co-Founder, John Lennon Peace Forest, now a reality in the hills of the Galilee between Tzfat and Meron. Now living in the hills of Judea, remembering the quest of the late 1960's.
For my generation, John Lennon and the Beatles symbolized hope, because their fame and success proved that "anybody" could make it and make it big. In the mid and late 60's innumerable groups of four guys, three guitars and a set of drums would get together in immitation and great hope. Most hadn't a clue and should have sufficed with buying and playing records.
I used to audition bands to play at our "dances," and I got to know quite a few. Not long ago, my mother let it slip to one of my kids that I had even sung with a band. She remembered driving us to a gig. I also danced, even at the World's Fair, which was in nearby Flushing, NY. One of the bands had a gig in the New York State Pavilion and in order to get them "more attention," one of the fathers had the brilliant idea that we ladies, the three females accompanying them should dance on the stage. So add to my CV, go go girl. It was a lot more innocent than it sounds today. If I had done something to be embarrassed about, I wouldn't be mentioning it.
Back to John Lennon. One night a few months into my fourth pregnancy, for the first and only time, in all my pregnancies, I felt so sick that I couldn't sleep. When it was finally morning, I listened to the radio news before trying to get out of bed. Suddenly: FLASH! FROM NEW YORK! JOHN LENNON SHOT DEAD!
I didn't get out of bed that day. The girls were home for Chanukah vacation and fended for themselves.
John Lennon was a very confusing image. He projected himself as kind and peace-loving, but apparently his violent streak was strong. As a role model his drug-taking was also very problematic. But he had charisma. As we know, not all charasmatic people are good. Yoko Ono, his widow, has made a career out of their relationship. Both his sons have been left with demons to fight.
And we're left with his music, and "life is what happens when you're making other plans."