Peres visits chief rabbis’ succot, receives blessings

President calls on Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger.

Peres and Yosef 311 (photo credit: Jossef Avi Yair Engel)
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.
In his 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 relationship – that saving human lives takes precedence over sovereignty of territory.
At the start of his meeting with Yosef, Peres commended the efforts that Yosef had made toward peace and moderation among the people of Israel, and thanked him profusely for the letter that the Shas mentor had recently sent to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in which he expressed personal support for peace and for what Egypt was doing to advance the peace process and prevent bloodshed.
In his conversations with all the rabbis, Peres also spoke of the urgency of stopping Iran from taking control of the region and of the need for unity among the people of Israel in particular and 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 speedy 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 Gershom Ohana called on the president to present him with an Israeligrown lulav and etrog.
Although it was nearly the conclusion of Succot, the rabbis, who traditionally present the president with a lulav and etrog, explained that he’d been out of the country until late Sunday afternoon and had held an open house in the presidential succa on Monday, leaving Tuesday as the only available day for the presentation.