Meeting Peres On My Bar Mitzvah Day


On the day of my bar mitzvah in Jerusalem we were about to enter the room to celebrate when I was summoned across the corridor to a bar in the hotel.

Sitting in the corner was Shimon Peres. Knowing it was my bar mitzvah day, he asked me to have a seat with him and asked me questions about my Torah portion and Haftorah. He also wanted me to tell him about my speech.

He was so eager to hear of what a 13-year-old thought about the future. Though quite nervous, I told him my thoughts and views. I remember he deeply cared about what it was that I thought about. After our discussion he patted me on the back and with a very warm smile congratulated me with a hearty mazel tov and handshake as I went to celebrate.

That meeting was a time I will always cherish. The fact that such an important leader would take the time to ask a young bar mitzvah kid to teach him about the future was very Jewish and very human.

Shimon Peres spent his time and his efforts on behalf of the Jewish people and all people seeking a better life through peace and harmony in the land of Israel and throughout the world.

May he rest in peace.