ZIKHRONO LIVRAKHA “May his memory be forevermore a blessing’

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Ariel Fana’afi Ioane

Last weekend the State of Israel bid farewell to Shimon Peres, the last member of the Zionist Movement. I first knew of this man’s existence when I joined my parents in watching the grand, somber funeral of the former Prime Minister and President of Israel.  Members of the audience included giants on the “world’s stage”….like Prince Phillip of England, President Barak Obama, Former President Bill Clinton, to name a few. 

Such a participation of high ranked officials made me wonder about the importance of this person. After some much needed research I found the following facts. Shimon was the ninth President of Israel, and he was well known for negotiating with former USA President John F. Kennedy to allow the first transfer of military equipment to Israel. In his youth he was known for his ability to speak; he was admired for his oratorical brilliance. He was also a “polygot” which means he could speak Hebrew, Polish, French, English……and Yiddish!

In his private life, he was a poet and songwriter….who had a habit of writing stanzas during cabinet meetings!

He began his political career in the late 1940s after the Arab-Israeli War. This war was birthed due to the refusal of surrounding nations to accept the fact that Israel was now a State, a nation. Throughout his career he pursued two things for his country….Peace….and security. Being a country surrounded by its enemies, these two goals seemed near impossible. Nevertheless, his whole political career pointed to the dream, to one day have a nation in peace, with security. 

He did so by setting up “kibbutz”, which are divisions of the Israeli army which work in groups to either promote agriculture, or train cadets into shape for any emergency outbreaks. He also founded several foundations such as the Peres Center for Peace in 1996, whose aim was to “promote lasting peace in the Middle East.” 

The political giant once said,

“Peace is not the pursuit of war by other means. Peace consists of putting an end to the red ink of past history and starting anew in a different color.” 

He continued to advise the leaders of Israel to make peace a priority for the future until his death on the 28th of September 2016. 

Shimon Peres was an example of a man that lived his act, on the stage…..to the fullest. 

His driving passion was to fulfill peace for his country. In his play “As you like it” Shakespeare compares reality to a stage. In a way, each and every one of us has a part to play on our stages. However, rather than being told what to do by an awesome director like Mel Gibson, we are required to write our own script. Will your act be one of valor, honour, justice, and love? Or will your time on the stage be one of stage fright and fear? 

 

The final stage, 

is the one that matters most.  

 

Although YOU will be.. 

Sans teeth

Sans eyes

Sans taste

Sans everything…

There are eyes

Ears

Senses and hearts

That need to carry forth your spark.. to light a new torch and take it forward.

  

I know many were inspired at Shimon Peres’ state funeral.  Many more curious and challenged as I was..

 

Rest in Shalom, Peace, Shimon.

 

And as they say in Israel when one dies..

“May his memory forevermore be a blessing” 

 

Determine what you should do, before the final act bids YOU farewell!

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