Members“I turned my grief into a new melody”

Miriam Peretz (64) was one of 16 recipients of this year’s Israel Prize, the highest accolade in the State of Israel, which is regularly awarded at the end of Independence Day.

By Aviel Schneider |
Miriam Peretz
Photo: Flash 90

As the mother of two soldiers killed in action, Peretz called for reconciliation in her moving acceptance speech. In the weeks following, Peretz, a celebrated educator, became the talk of the Jewish state, with many even urging her to run for the ceremonial position of president. Below are excerpts from her inspirational words to all Israelis.

“I remember how every evening my father told me about a city that he had never actually seen and only knew about from the descriptions his forefathers had given: Jerusalem. One night in 1963, my father told us that the Messiah is coming today. I asked how I could recognize him. He will be wearing an open shirt, short pants and sandals, I was told. And do you know what? I met the Messiah. He was the envoy from the Jewish Agency, who led us out of Casablanca (Morocco) to Jerusalem in the Land of Israel. I was at that time just 10-years-old.

“As a girl, I felt I did nothing for my country. I came to a ready-made country and didn’t know that there...

Israel Today Membership

Become a Member

  • Read all member content

    Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel.

  • Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel

    Connect with Israel, right from your home.

  • Lift up the voice of truth and hope

    Support Jerusalem-based Zionist journalism.

Already a member? .