In Memoriam: Shimon Peres 1923-2016
The American Conference of Cantors mourns the passing of the great Israeli statesman and peace advocate, Shimon Peres.
"I was honored to have met Mr. Peres on a few occasions and am deeply saddened by his death," said ACC President Cantor Steven Weiss. "He was a true statesman and peacemaker who was a living history of modern Israel. His sense of hope even amidst war and other violence in and around Israel should be an inspiration to us all."
Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday morning at age 93, was a key figure in Israeli politics for more than 50 years. He was elected prime minister twice and served as minister of defense, foreign affairs, finance and transportation. Since 2014, he served as president of Israel.
His contributions include serving as a leading figure in the creation of Israel's defense industry, negotiating key arms deals with France and Germany and orchestrating the development of Israel's nuclear weapons.
But the world knows Peres best for winning the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, which he shared with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East".
Peace, in fact, was Peres's driving force. As he once said, "Peace with the Palestinians will open ports of peace all around the Mediterranean. The duty of leaders is to pursue freedom ceaselessly, even in the face of hostility, in the face of doubt and disappointment. Just imagine what could be."
As we usher in 5777, we extend our condolences to Peres's family and all of Israel.
HaMakom yenachem et'chem b'toch shar avay'lay Tzion vee'Yerushalayim.
May his memory be for a blessing.