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Peace Offering

"We walked in the rain and mud towards Neve Shalom/ Wahat il-Salam. On the way we helped two Muslims from Abu Gosh push their truck which was stuck in the mud, and ended up having a heart-felt exchange and expressions of yearning for peace".

Not all spirituality is steeped in chauvinism. These people are seriously seeking to build bridges between cultures, sometimes at considerable personal risk. They deserve credit for that!

This might make a good item for a new IMC Progressive Spirituality Page...
From the Media Collective Wire:

This item distributed by Ashland Community Action listserv,

for Ashland Peace House < peacehse@mind.net>


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>> Peace Times
>> Ashland Special Edition

> (o/) Healing Abraham's Family (o/)
> Spirituality & Peacebuilding in the Holy Land
> with
>Eliyahu McLean of Peacemaker Community-Holy Land
> and
>Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa from the Mount Of Olives

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Join us for an evening of stories of reconciliation between
Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land

Presented by Eliyahu Olan McLean
Director of Peacemaker Community Israel
and
Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa from the Mount Of Olives

Prayer ceremony and Zikr from Jewish and Muslim Traditions

Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa from the Mount of Olives and Eliyahu McLean, director of Peacemaker Community-Holy Land, will speak about efforts to plant seeds of hope in this time of conflict. They will speak from the heart about projects on the ground that bring together Israelis and Palestinians for cooperation and understanding. During the evening session they will show a video of a Hanukkah-Ramadan celebration and lead a circle of prayer and zikr for peace in the Middle East and the world.

>When: Saturday Afternoon & Evening
July 20, 3:00-5:00 PM and 7:30-9:30 PM

Afternoon will be zikr and prayer Evening will be a video presentation and talk.

This is one event with two parts.
Folks can come to either or both.

>Where: Havurah Synagogue
185 North Mountain Ave., Ashland, OR

>Cost: Sliding scale of $4 to $25 per session
To help cover Eliyahu and Ibrahim's travel costs

>For more information call: Rabbi David Zaslow at 541-488-0772
or Larry Morningstar at 541-552-0481
 RainbowBridge@mac.com

>Photos of Ibrahim and Eliyahu accompany this message

This event is courtesy of Ashland's Havurah Shir Hadash and Rabbi David Zaslow.

 http://www.havurahshirhadash.org

Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa is a Muslim who is widely known as the "ambassador of goodwill from the Mt. of Olives." Ibrahim has received in his Mt. of Olives home thousands of visitors from around the world. For over 30 years he has been involved in peace and reconciliation efforts between Arabs and Jews in the Holy Land. Ibrahim works closely with the Jahalin Bedouin clan in the West Bank. Recently Ibrahim has been part of Jewish-Arab delegations bringing humanitarian relief to Palestinians in Beit Jala and Ramallah. Ibrahim is active in the weekly Old City Peace Vigil and works with many visiting peace and human rights delegation. He has eight children and many grandchildren.

Eliyahu (Olan) McLean is an observant Jew who is director of the Peacemaker Community-Holy Land. He immersed himself in Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley in California and in Chabad Yeshiva in Brooklyn, NYC. For the past five years, he has lived in Jerusalem, where he has initiated and supported many projects working towards Arab-Jewish reconciliation from a spiritual foundation, using tools found in traditional religions and ancient Middle Eastern culture. He organizes many projects that integrate spirituality and peace building. These include the weekly multi-faith Old City Peace Vigil, Sheikhs and Rabbis for Social Justice, Sulha: Healing Abraham's Family peace caravan, Jewish-Sufi prayer and study, Arab-Jewish peace walks, and a support network for peace and social change activists.

Eliyahu's work with Palestinian Sufis is described in the book "At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God With Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land" (William Morrow pub.), by Yossi Klein Halevi.

Eliyahu will lead a Jewish-Arab zikr at the end of the presentation.

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"Shalom means wholeness. It means including and understanding all sides in a conflict. This is why it is so hard to be a peacemaker. Eliyahu McLean has been blessed and anointed by the Creator to be a true peacemaker. His work is inclusive and whole."

-- Rabbi David Zaslow
Ashland, Oregon
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This promises to be a unique and memorable event for our community to share in the movement for peace in the Holy Land. Please spread the word by forwarding this message on to friends and family who may be interested, and by telling others who may not have email... and by all means, make the effort and come... and bring a friend.

Shalom, Salaam, Aloha!
Mir, Pax, Paz!

Warm Alohas, Many Blessings, and Overwhelming Peace,
Larry Morningstar
Rainbow Bridge Mission
 mana7@wave.net

Blessed are the Peacemakers.

"I see myself as a bridge between different worlds, bringing awareness to peoples and situations that seem to oppose each other on one level, and yet, resonate on a deeper, perhaps hidden level. People ask me, 'Are you right wing or left wing?' I reply, 'It takes two wings to fly... and we can fly when we yearn and work together towards harmony and wholeness, when we speak from the heart and learn to respect each other's differences. Then true peace can come to all of us who are blessed and destined to share this Holy Land together."
-- Eliyahu McLean, 5/14/02

from All-Faiths' Peace Prayer Gathering, Jerusalem

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Following are some additional stories and articles by and about Eliyahu McLean and Ibrahim Ahmed Abu El-Hawa, previously posted to the Peace Times eMail List, if you have a bit more time....

>It Takes Two Wings to Fly

Jerusalem Post Magazine,

8 February 2002

Walk along Rehov HaTamid in the Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Kotel on a Friday between 12:00 and 1:30 noon. You will see the pious hurrying to pray at the Kotel. You will hear the imam in the mosque on the Temple Mount preaching to the faithful. And you will see a small group sitting in a circle on the ground in the open area facing the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Maybe you'll see a Japanese Buddhist priest among them. Maybe you'll see a Sufi sheikh in the circle of Jews and non-Jews. One face you'll see there regularly is Eliyahu Charanamarit McLean.

"We gather here every Friday at this hour since the outbreak of violence in September 2000," 33-year-old McLean says. "We started then with a three-day fast and prayer vigil for healing and mourning the loss of life on every side and we study the holy books of all wisdom traditions.

"We pray for understanding, tolerance and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. Come and join us," he adds with a broad, guileless smile.

]McLean's background serves him well as a bridge between warring nations. His mother is a Jew from Brooklyn; his father, a Christian, the son of a Baptist priest. His parents, flower- children of the '60's, met in California. His mother was hitch-hiking to a commune and his father picked her up—in every sense of the word. They raised McLean in Sant Mat, a mystical branch of Sikhism on the Hawaiian Island, Oahu. They gave their son the Punjabi middle name, 'Charanamarit,' meaning 'the pool of nectar at the feet of the Lord." Then, his first name was Olan, akin to the Norse god, Olaf.

"I began searching for my own spiritual identity from a very early age. I could connect with the universal teachings of Sant Mat but I wanted a connection with my own heritage.

"As a young lad, in a search for my identity, I enrolled in a Japanese-language Cultural School that my friends went to. I wondered whether I, too, could become Japanese, but I realized very soon that I was not Japanese.

"When I was twelve, I discovered Judaism when I went to a friend's bar mitzvah in a Reform Temple. The moment I walked into the synagogue, something resounded deep within me, and I knew I'd come home. I made every effort to learn enough Hebrew so that I, too, could be called up to read from the Torah.

"My mother's father, Oscar, flew in from New York for my bar mitzvah and bestowed upon me the most precious gift, my Hebrew name, Eliyahu."

In 1987, McLean came to the one-year Young Judea Program at Beit Riklis, on the Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus. He spent part of that year living on Kibbutz Gadot in the Galilee, and with an Israeli family on Moshav Liman.

On his return to the University of California at Berkeley in 1988, he became involved in pro-Israel activities, the Israel Action Committee and at the same time started his bridge- building efforts on campus with the Moslem and Arab students.

He returned to Israel in 1990 for a year at Hebrew University, but when his program was canceled because of the Gulf War in January 1991, and despite his great disillusionment at this time with secular Zionism, McLean stayed. He found a job with Palestinian Moslem construction workers building Jerusalem City Hall on Jaffa Road, living on the site. After his day's work, he would go to the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, a short walk away, to study with Rabbi David Aaron in the Israelite Institute, thereby deepening his spiritual search.

That search continued when he traveled to Egypt for two months and met a West African Sufi who became his spiritual study partner. They taught each other the inner dimensions of Judaism and Islam and McLean went deeply into Islamic practice. However, on his return to Jerusalem, McLean found that his Egyptian sojourn and entry into Islam was but a stepping-stone in his return to and deepening commitment to Judaism. A turning point for him was living on Moshav Me'or Modiin where he was embraced by a community of deeply committed and colorful English-speaking immigrants.

"When I returned to Berkeley in 1991, I got involved with the Aquarian Minyan of Jewish Renewal, and at the same time with Habad. Habad sent me to learn in yeshiva in Crown Heights. I came back to Israel in 1994 and worked as a goat herder in Moshav Yavniel in the north. Those goats helped me return to Jewish practice more than any time I spent in yeshiva. I could appreciate that the practices of Judaism were deeply connected to the Land. Part of my becoming more observant was undergoing circumcision when I was 25 years old. As I became more observant, I started engaging in intimate dialogue both with extremist Moslems and pacifist Sufis."

In 1997, the organization Interns for Peace sent McLean back to Israel. He went to live in Tamra, an Arab village in the Galilee, training to become a professional in the field of Arab- Jewish co-existence, where he worked in local high-schools, bringing together Jewish and Arab students for encounter sessions.

Since that time, McLean has met with many Sufi sheikhs and imams. He has also met with many rabbis and teachers of Judaism, including Rabbi Yitzhak Bar-De'ah, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, and Rabbi David Broderman, Chief Rabbi of Savyon. He has traveled extensively, speaking at the UNESCO Conference on Inter-religious dialogue on Culture and Peace, in Tashkent, and for the Israel Interfaith Association at a conference in Pedoulas in Greek Cyprus. He traveled with Sheikh Khalil Elbaz to the Peace Maker gathering held at Aushwitz, bearing witness together with Germans, Poles and Holocaust survivors. "The Sheikh broke down in tears when we came to the site of the Selections," McLean remembers.

McLean's numerous projects include participation in Israeli- Palestinian dialogue in Nablus and Eilat. He is also a regular participant in a study-group of observant Jews and Sufis, "The Path of Abraham." He is current director of the Israel Chapter of the Peace Making Community, "Mevakshei Shalom," which serves as an umbrella for many projects integrating spirituality and reconciliation efforts. Several hundred Christians, Jews, ... Moslems and one Native American attended a gathering, "Healing Abraham's Family" that he helped organize in December 2001.

In his work, McLean has developed close relationships both with the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with Israeli Peace activists and Palestinian moderates. He even went to a mosque in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza in the spring of 1999.

"I see myself as a bridge between different worlds, bringing awareness to peoples and situations that seem to oppose each other on one level, and yet resonate on a deeper, perhaps hidden level. People ask me, 'Are you right wing or left wing?' I reply, 'It takes two wings to fly... and we can fly when we yearn and work together towards harmony and wholeness, when we speak from the heart and learn to respect each other's differences. Then, true peace can come to all of us who are blessed and destined to share this Holy Land together."

*****

Courtesy of O'Namaste

[Editor's Note: When I first read the title of this article, and then the further I read the article itself, I had the sense of another meaning to "It Takes Two Wings To Fly." The people of Palestine and Israel, the Jews and Palestinians, have a common heritage. They are both descended from Abraham (Ibrahim). This land was promised to Abraham for his descendants, for ALL his descendants, both wings of the family tree. And a question arises. If there was a great bird, and if one wing of that bird was able to destroy the other wing, how well would that bird then fly with its one remaining wing? Shalom, Salaam, Larry Morningstar]

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>My Name is Ibrahim Ahmed Abu El-Hawa

From: maryhawalyn,  maryhawalyn@alqudsnet.com

Date: 5/13/02

My name is Ibrahim Ahmed Abu El-Hawa, born on the Mount of Olives on 24 December 1942. I grew up with my parents and three brothers and three sisters. My father worked on the Mount of Olives. He cut stones for house building. After that he worked in the Russian Church until 1979. I started to help my father at work early, because I was the oldest son of the family.

I studied and worked as mechanic and married on 19 January 1961. Now I have eight children. Four boys and four girls. Some of my sons and daughters studied in the USA, the others stayed here and I still live in the same home where my grandfather lived. I still live here with my mother. She is one hundred years old. I want to tell you the story of my grandfather. He died when he was one hundred and forty years young. A picture of him and the story of his live can be found in National Geographic Magazine of April 1959.

The Palestinian people have been under control of many nations many centuries. I feel live is very hard in this country. As a young guy I worked with the doctor from Russia, he was the doctor of the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al Saoud and he brought lot of support and gifts and love to help the children and the older people at home. And for the Bedouin children I found a way to bring some clothes and shoes. Thanks God for this gifts which made it possible to do more now for people in the world.

I have been in many countries, most in Europe and the USA and Canada. I ask God to give me health and a long life to reach the world. Before two years we started with three religious people, a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew, special meetings to pray for peace of the whole world and specially for the Holy Land and for world's Holy city, Jerusalem. We have special gatherings at the peace vigils in the front of the Wailing Wall as the Kotel and the Dome of the Rock and Mosque of Omar and around all the churches to hear all the Muslim prayers, the Jewish prayers and to hear the church bells around us in the middle of the day. We have lots of people from different nations, different languages, and different colours and believes.
It's really special to see this in Jerusalem. This is done together with Eliayhu McLean and Debbie Brouse. We need all your prayers and love and support to continue this special gatherings in the Old City. I welcome every one to visit the Holy City and you are all welcome.

You can reach me at following address:

Ibrahim Ahmed El-Hawa,
Israel, East Jerusalem, po box 20254
Mount of Olives,
Tel. +972-(0)2-6280626, mobile: 050-548105

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>May Peace Prevail in the Holy Land, by Eliyahu McLean

>All-Faiths Peace Prayer Gathering, May 14th
>Between Jerusalem and Beit Jala

From: Eliyahu McLean,  yahuolan@hotmail.com (while traveling)
 eliyahu@peacecom.org

Date: 5/12/02

All-Faiths Peace Prayer Gathering
In response to the recent events in Bethlehem
To be held at Tantur Ecumenical Institute
Tuesday, May 14th, from 5:00-7:00 PM

An initiative of visiting Buddhist monks from the East on an Interfaith Peace Mission People from diverse religious perspectives will gather for prayers, silence and reflection

We gather to pray from the heart for the sense of sacredness and purpose to return so this will truly be the Land of Peace.

We empower each other to continue on the path of peace, harmony and understanding in this time of conflict

Let us regain respect for the sanctity and dignity of all people in the Holy Land. Then can we embrace the common spirituality of humanity.

We bear witness to the shared suffering of individuals, families and communities on both sides

People of faith—Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and wide public are invited to this unique prayer session

Tantur Institute is at the corner of Hebron Rd. and Gilo junction, between Jerusalem and Beit Jala

This event is supported by a coalition of these organizations:

Peacemaker Community, ICCI, Israel Interfaith Association,

Circle for Sanity, Bustan L'Shalom, Women's Interfaith Encounter

For more information contact

Rev. Terasawa Junsei at
055-974-976,
 myohoji@hotmail.com
or
Eliyahu McLean at
050-219-952
 yahuolan@hotmail.com (while traveling)
 eliyahu@peacecom.org

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>"The Walk" in the Land of Peace, from Eliyahu McLean

From: Eliyahu McLean,  eliyahu@peacecom.org

Date: 5/13/02

We walked in silence to light the flame of hope at points along the ancient pilgrimage route from Jaffa to Jerusalem. An eight-day 'mindfulness' walk, from March 31st to April 8th was the vehicle for a message of peace and sanity in this time of intense conflict. Joining "The Walk" at different points were over 300 people—Israelis and individuals from Germany, Japan and around the world. The Walk organizers, led by Tovana, the Israeli Vipassana community, were responding to an urgent need for popular action coming from the heart. The Peacemaker Community, joining a coalition of organizations in sponsoring this event, organized the interfaith component of this special journey.

The goal of The Walk to follow in the footsteps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. As Israeli Vipassana teacher Steven Fulder put it our intention was "to bring a message of non-violence with our bodies, with our silenceS." We walked in single file, camping out near different communities: Arab villages, Arab-Jewish peace centers and Jewish communities. Encounters and dialogues flourished.

After launching the walk from Jaffa on Sunday, we camped in a field next to Kfar Habad, a village of Habad Hasidim near Tel Aviv. I helped set up a dialogue with some of the Rabbis of Kfar Habad and the walk participants. Sitting together around the fire there was some dissonance in communication between the two groups. Then, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton sang, playing guitar in a reggae beat, helping to loosen up the atmosphere. "People are basically good. They're just missin' a bit of brotherhood—We're gonna build the Beit Hamikdash with bricks of love."

Having studied with Habad, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I explained that the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe were very universal. The Rebbe taught that we can bring the Moshiach (messiah) with acts of loving kindness. Speaking around the fire, I demonstrated the essential unity of vision of both communities by showing how the Lubavitch ideal of bringing Redemption was congruent with the goal of The Walk—to bring peace and healing to us and this land.

By the third morning we were over 50 people walking towards Ramle in open fields in rain and a hailstorm in a single file line, in silence. Visiting mindfulness teacher from England, Yanai Posternik reminded us to focus on every breath and every step, being aware of our surroundings and ourselves, noticing the feelings of fatigue.

As we arrived to Ramle we walked through the streets arousing curiosity of many onlookers. We were led to an Anglican church where we were welcomed by Michael Fanous and Dalia Landau, co-directors of Open House—an Arab-Jewish co-existence center. There, Father Samuel told our group "it gives us hope to see you—the sight of such a diverse group walking for peace and non-violence in such awful times". He shared how he felt "torn apart" by being both Israeli and Palestinian. As an Israeli he feels the pain of his Israeli Jewish friends suffering from terror attacks and as a Palestinian feels for the suffering of his brethren in the nearby West Bank.

Dalia Landau spoke of love and hate. "It's because of the love we have for our family and our own people, we become angry at those who cause pain to our people. The challenge is to stay with the pain—not to translate the pain into anger, which turns into hate, then revenge."

Walking in a long line through the market of Old Ramle we sparked the curiosity of both Arab and Jewish merchants. Michael Fanous welcomed us at the Open House and shared it's amazing history. Dalia, a child of holocaust survivors grew up in this house. After the 67 war, the Al-Khayris, the original occupants of the house returned. Both families later decided together to open a center for Arab-Jewish understanding. Michael Fanous, was so inspired by his encounter with the Walk that he and his assistant, Rifa'at Hizaz, decided to join us for a day.

We walked in the rain and mud towards Neve Shalom/ Wahat il-Salam. On the way we helped two Muslims from Abu Gosh push their truck which was stuck in the mud, and ended up having a heart-felt exchange and expressions of yearning for peace.

At Neve Shalom, Dorit Shippin, a resident of this Arab-Jewish village—which is an experiment in coexistence—welcomed us. We gathered in a large room and had a heartfelt discussion. The Walk organizer, and director of Tovana, Eran Vimal described how his longing as a child to see peace come led him to organize this event. I spoke of how in Islam salaam and in Judaism shalom—'peace' are both names of G-d and how we can reclaim the indigenous peace wisdom of both Middle Eastern traditions. Michael Fanous arrived with a group of Arab friends from Ramle.

Bustan L'Shalom director Devorah Brous joined the Walk and organized tree planting in the Arab village of Ein Rafa. One hundred walkers arrived at the village. There they were welcomed by 50 youth from the town and planted over 50 trees around the town soccer field.

In the hills outside Jerusalem, at Even Sapir, Amir, who lives in a teepee on the edge of the forest, welcomed us. There he runs a totem pole carving workshop, bringing together Israeli and Palestinian youth from Ramallah and Bethlehem.

While in the area we studied the Talmudic story about the four rabbis who entered paradise, and Rabbi Yehoshua Engleman offered insightful commentary.

We launched the final day of the walk from Ein Kerem, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Brian, a Christian pilgrim from Virginia was among the many who joined us. He had walked to the Holy Land by foot through Europe. As we entered the city, maintaining our silence I had a Muslim, Ibrahim Abuelhawa in front of me and a Christian behind me. I carried a large walking staff, reclaiming in each step the Holy Land as the Land of Peace.

Many spontaneously joined our silent line. As I looked back, the line seemed to go on and on! As we walked past the Prime Minister's office and Supreme Court building, many camera crews captured the walkers: Israeli TV, Japanese TV, a documentary film crew. We came to rest at the Rose gardens opposite the Supreme Court. At every stop, Yanai reminded us to "walk for peace and be peace" holding the qualities of kindness, care and peacefulness in all we encountered.

As we entered the center of Jerusalem, it felt very empowering to walk right past my house on Betsalel Street and reclaim the streets of our sacred city that have come to filled with so much fear. On Ben Yehuda Street, the site of recent suicide bombings, there were both expressions of support and curses from onlookers. The line of folks, stretched out over blocks, continued walking in silence. Several of the group passed out a flyer that said "the peace begins with ourselves, from me and from you, now we, Jews and Arabs, the children of Abraham and Adam walk togetherS join us to help express the values of listening, tolerance and non-violenceS."

On the way to Jaffa Gate Franciscan monks joined us. Inside the gate we met up with Rabbi Menachem Froman, rabbi of Tekoa and pioneer in Jewish-Muslim inter-faith peace efforts. Raida, a Palestinian Israeli woman from Acco, joined us then as we walked slowly, mindfully down to the "valley of Gehonim" near the walls of the old City.

There we formed a large circle. Once there we completed our journey by digging and planting a large peace pole. Rav Froman opened the circle of blessings with a teaching from the weekly Torah portion about Aaron the Priest lifting up his hands in surrender to bless the people and ask for peace. At that moment all of us lifted our hands, asking for peace.

After organizer Aviv Tatarsky and the Vipasanna teachers addressed us, Rai'da spoke of the beauty of the moment, that "in a time of war, we came together in honor and respect to speak out for peace." Shimon played the guitar and led us in a spiral dance around the peace pole as we sang for the 'peace of Israel' and the 'peace of Ishmael'.

We closed with dance, prayer and a chant for peace—shalom and salaam. The trauma of living in a conflict zone was transmuted to hope as we walked away empowered with the possibility of transforming the deep pain that we all feel into positive action.

The Walk organizers are planning a similar walk in the Galilee in August.

To contact Tovana, the main organizers of the Walk, write to

Eran Vimal,  eran-vim@012.net.il

Shalom, Salaam,
Eliyahu McLean,
Director, Peacemaker Community-Israel
 eliyahu@peacecom.org

PS Ibrahim Abuelhawa from the Mt. of Olives and I are planning a speaking tour to the UK and the US this summer. If you would like us to speak in your area or learn of our itinerary, please email me ASAP.

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> Entrance to the Garden of Eden

From: Eliyahu McLean,  eliyahu@peacecom.org
while traveling:  yahuolan@hotmail.com

Date: 7/2/02

Shalom friends,

I have embarked on a remarkable summer journey from the Holy Land, traveling to many locales to speak about our work for harmony and understanding in a difficult time in the Holy Land. Ibrahim Abuelhawa and I spent a week in England, hosted by our friends from the Creative Health Network. We went to the talk of Hamza Yusuf—an American Muslim scholar who spoke of the Islamic sources for tolerance and interfaith dialogue. We met with Hamza and many leading members of the Muslim community of Bristol.

In Glastonbury, Ibrahim led a 'peace vigil' in Glastonbury that our friends there hold on Fridays in solidarity and at the same time as our weekly Old City peace vigil in Jerusalem. Then, we received many guests and supporters of our work in the home of Pam Perry in Glastonbury. In the town of Bath we had two gatherings, the second of which was part of a fund raiser for the Ammerdown Center, a retreat center in southern England dedicated to spirituality, reconciliation and inter-faith dialogue. Ibrahim and I spoke in the Church of Bath, with the pastor of the Christ Church. The three us in an embrace symbolizing the unity of Jews, Christians, and Muslims—the Children of Abraham.

The International Interfaith Center of Oxford, on June 11th, organized an evening dedicated to "Reconciling the Children of Abraham: in the Middle East and Oxford". It was in the Council Chamber of Town Hall where a number of Israelis and Palestinians came, including Daniel Reisel, an Israeli who gave a response followed by a Palestinian Muslim religious woman from Tulkarm. Ibrahim and I were interviewed by BBC for an upcoming series on the Middle East issue.

We had a reception at the House of Lords in London, hosted by Lord Hilton, a trustee for the Ammerdown Center. The response was enthusiastic as we called for all those with us to help us build bridges for reconciliation at this difficult time in the Holy Land. Among the audience was the Sherard Cowper-Cowles, the British ambassador to Israel who apologized for having to leave early—he had to rush off to a meeting with Tony Blair and Ariel Sharon.

Arriving to Hawaii, the place where I grew up felt like a return to the Garden of Eden. I spent good time with my mother Miriam and sister Thauna in Honolulu. They helped set up an evening where I spoke at the Friends Meeting center of Honolulu. Among the people attending were old family friends, members of the Jewish community, friends from high school and members of the Jerrahi Sufi tekke in Honolulu. People there were proud of a "local boy" doing good in the Middle East. On Shabbat I prayed at the Temple Emanu-el in Honolulu- the synagogue where I was Bar Mitzvah. After Shabbat, the Sufi tekke invited me for another inspiring evening of prayer, song and zikr in their center in Honolulu.

On Maui I joined Reverend Kedar at the "Temple of Peace" and lead a prayer circle for peace in the Holy Land. Blue Mountain, whose house hosts the peace temple spoke of an intention to bring a delegation of the Maui community to meet the peace workers and mystics of the Holy Land. The next several days I enjoyed swimming in waterfalls and driving up Haleakala crater, hosted by old friend Goran.

The Big Island welcomed me. I stayed in Waimea at the farm Ken and Roen who knew me as a young lad, visiting with them and their 3 adopted children. Escorted by a new friend, I was brought to Kealakakua Bay near Kona where I had the inspiring experience of swimming with a pod of dolphins. I sang with them my favorite niggunim from Jerusalem. That evening was hosted by the Rothsteins, whose son Natan I know—he lives not far from my home in Jerusalem. I joined Kona Beth Shalom, the Reform community of Kona and gave a short talk.

Near the "City of Refuge" which reminded of the Biblical cities of refuge is Dragonfly Ranch, a retreat and bed and breakfast tucked away in tropical lushness. There I was joined by Lila, a teacher of Dances of Universal Peace and after a talk and showing of several videos of the Old City Peace Vigil, we lead prayer ceremony with Hebrew and Arabic sacred phrases and prayer [for] the Holy Land, and for Hawaii, and the world.

Please visit the website of the Peacemaker Community in the Holy Land at:
www.peacemakercommunity.org

When you arrive there, click onto the Hebrew letters for "Israel". In the coming weeks we will be adding info about the many "villages" organizations that integrate spirituality with peacebuilding in the Holy Land. Our new name in Hebrew is "Ruach Shalom" and in Arabic, "Ru'ch as-Salaam", meaning "Spirit of Peace".

About 4 years ago, journalist and writer Yossi Klein Halevi was writing a book about his journey and encounter with the Christian and Muslim mystics in the Holy Land. He knew only Christian mystics, and had heard of my work with the Palestinian Sufi sheikhs. So he approached me and said, "Eliyahu, I have a car and you have the Sufis, let's go on journey". So we traveled among the Palestinian Sufi world in the West Bank, Gaza and the Galilee. Our adventures now make up much of the book: "At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: a Jew's Encounter with the Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land" by William Morrow publishers. It is out now in paperback, I recommend reading it—a powerful journey of reconciliation through the mystical encounter and meeting of the hearts. It was written shortly before the outbreak of the intifada of the last 20 months and [is] well worth reading.

I will be sending another update with the info of the speaking tour of Ibrahim Abuelhawa and I in North America this summer.

While on the road I can best be reached at my hotmail account:
 yahuolan@hotmail.com

If you wish to support our work—the Peacemaker Community in the Holy Land—with a (U.S) tax deductible donation, please write a check to "Peacemaker Community" and write on check, "for PC-Israel". Then send check to:

Peacemaker Community
177 Ripley Rd.
Montague, MA 01351

Shalom, Salaam,
Eliyahu McLean,
Director, Peacemaker Community-Israel/Middle East

>> (o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/) <<

>Prayers and Plagues in Jerusalem

From: Devorah Brous:  deb2000@zahav.net.il
Ibrahim Abuelhawa:  maryhawalyn@alqudsnet.com
Eliyahu McLean:  eliyahu@peacecom.org or  eliyahu@actcom.co.il

Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002

In an atmosphere where our two nations are besieged by terror and paralyzed with fear, a circle of Israelis and Palestinians have been meeting weekly for the past 18 months. On Friday March 29th we held our 80th Old City Peace Vigil in the small courtyard overlooking the Western Wall and Al-Aqsa mosque. In a time when many in our circle feel deeply challenged to do something positive, silence and shared prayer seems to be the most powerful contributions we can offer at this most unforgiving time.

On this holy day to the three Abrahamic faiths—Good Friday, Pesach, and Salat al-Juma'ah (Muslim Friday prayers) we gathered with messages from many people and vigils around the world praying for peace in the Holy Land.

As we sat in silence, we were joined by a group of Christians living at St. Andrews monastery, among them nuns and pilgrims from Germany, England, France and the Philippines. Christians linked hands with Muslims, who linked hands with Jews, and each person offered heart-felt supplications for peace.

Among the unit of tough-looking border policeman in the area, one was especially moved when he saw the sight of such a diverse group gathering in such divisive times. Haj Ibrahim began by asking for the world to stop selling weapons to both sides for use in killing each other. Then Eli, an officer from the unit said "Halavai, if only your prayers for peace could succeed. I pray for true peace in the whole world.

It has been 18 months since the initial violence that signaled the onset of the intifada. For the first time in a year, clashes erupted again outside Al-Aqsa mosque between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. While worshippers were whisked away from both the Temple Mount and the Wall, soldiers and police, Good Friday pilgrims and Haredim rushed to the overlook site in the small courtyard where we hold the vigil to watch the events. Just as Devorah was offering a plea for mercy in face of clashes on the Temple Mount, we heard the loud explosions of stun grenades. At that point our friend Nizar from East Jerusalem, who had just finished Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa, joined us. We stood still, bearing witness. When quiet prevailed, Nizar lifted the Quran and read a teaching about oneness and our unity as Children of God. Eliyahu offered a teaching from the Torah about the arrogance of exclusive human ownership of God's Land.

In spite of this plague of violence, this was a most inspiring peace vigil, bringing people together for a ray of collective hope. On the way out of the Old City, the narrow stone paths in the market were deserted, as if frozen in time. Then a hailstorm pelted Jerusalem, perhaps a message from above.

Please pray at the same time as the Old City Peace Vigil at 12 Noon Jerusalem time (10am GMT)

*****
Courtesy of Pam Perry
and also
Courtesy of Jean Hudon

Jean Hudon/Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
 globalvisionary@cybernaute.com
 http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000

>> (o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/)(o/) <<

Larry Morningstar
 mana7@wave.net


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