Peres and Yosef 311.
(photo credit: Jossef Avi Yair Engel)
President Shimon Peres was the recipient of numerous blessings on Tuesday
morning when he called on Shas spiritual mentor and former Sephardi chief Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef, current Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi
Yona Metzger, who received him in their respective succot.
individual conversations with the three rabbis, Peres emphasized the importance
of their support for the peace process, which he asked them to express through
their sermons and rulings, especially during the current period of negotiations
with the Palestinian Authority.
He was particularly appreciative of the
opinion expressed by Yosef – with whom he has a long and warm
that saving human lives takes precedence over sovereignty of
At the start of his meeting with Yosef, Peres commended the
efforts that Yosef had made toward peace and moderation among the people
Israel, and thanked him profusely for the letter that the Shas mentor
recently sent to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in which he expressed
personal support for peace and for what Egypt was doing to advance the
process and prevent bloodshed.
In his conversations with all the rabbis,
Peres also spoke of the urgency of stopping Iran from taking control of
region and of the need for unity among the people of Israel in
the Jewish world in general.
Peres also raised the issue of the
Conversion Law with Amar and asked him to use his good offices to find a
solution that would not only resolve the problem in Israel, but also be
acceptable to the Jews of the United States.
The rabbinic blessings
continued in the afternoon when Chabad rabbis Binyamin Lifshitz and
Ohana called on the president to present him with an Israeligrown lulav
Although it was nearly the conclusion of Succot, the rabbis, who
traditionally present the president with a lulav and etrog, explained
been out of the country until late Sunday afternoon and had held an open
in the presidential succa on Monday, leaving Tuesday as the only
for the presentation.