Hear the radio tribute to the memory of Nahum Neal Bedein, my brother.
Nahum taught be how to be a brother. When I came to Israel, he said that he
missed me. And he meant it. That was forty years ago.
35 years ago, I came on special trip to America. To suggest that Nahum come on a
summer program to Israel. His first words I will never forget: “That means that we’ll be together”, he said.
He was a regular 20 year old guy, coming also for the social amenities of a summer in Israel. And then I asked him, as gently as I could, would he like to try out a yeshiva.
“That sounds cool”, he said.
And on Nahum’s second day in Israel, we went to the Western Wall, where Rav Meir Shuster whisked him off to a yeshiva.
Nahum was never the same. Israel was in his blood. Judaism was in his blood. Nahum went back to Temple University with a new thought, that he would complete his degree in the department of religion, and that he would become a Rabbi.
Well, Nahum came to Israel, registered for Pardes, with the intention of going back to study at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
He had confided in me that he wanted to bring happiness to people, and that this was why he wanted to be a Rabbi
In 1977. I saw him on his first day in Israel, on the grass at Hebrew University.
“I’m here to stay, David, I am here to stay”
.”I am going to misrad hapinim (ministry of interior) to change my status”, he said. He had fire in his eyes.
Something had happened when he hit the ground in Israel.
And within a few months, he had made that second decision, to become an observant Jew.
And when Nahum chose the profession of being a hotelier, he would always say to me that this was his way to bring happiness to people.
And he brought happiness to me as a brother, always helping, always there.
He would conclude every conversation, very simply, “I love you Dave”.
And every trip abroad, from every landing, it was Nahum whom I would call to say that I arrived OK and Nahum who would look at every aspect of my work, so that it would come through OK.
Nahum, you might say, was my private Rabbi.
And I ascribe my ability to succeed in the rough and tumble world of business to the advice that my brother gave me.
And when I walk into the new office that I am now facilitating at the new media center in the Malcha Technological Center in Jerusalem,
It will be an honor to place Nahum’s picture in the corridor and to call it the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research.
There is a popular Israeli song.
” Be my friend, be my brother, be there to reach out to my in a moment of my distress…”
That was Nahum
I MISS MY BROTHER.