Miriam Peretz is a powerful woman, an inspiration to one and all. She lost two sons to Arab terror while serving as IDF soldiers. She also lost her husband to a broken heart after the loss of their first son. Overcoming the tremendous natural sadness from her huge loss, she now spreads love, joy and appreciation to all who hear her.
This is the speech. Masses of Israelis watched this on Israel Independence Day. A speech for the ages.
Israel Prize Winner
Miriam Peretz was the winner of the prestigious Israel Prize. At Israel’s Central Independence Day Celebration ceremony in Jerusalem, Peretz was honored. In addition, she was chosen to speak at the ceremony on behalf of all sixteen of the 2018 prestigious Israel prize awardees.
She lost her eldest son, Uriel, killed in combat in Lebanon in 1998. Twelve years later, one of her younger sons, Eliraz, was killed in combat as well. He bravely fought terrorists in 2010 on the Gaza border.
Peretz was born in Casablanca, Morocco, moving to Israel in 1964, at the age of 10. Her story is unbelievable. It includes hardship and many challenges. However, her underlying life lesson is appreciation.
“As a girl, I felt I did nothing for my country. I came to a ready-made country and didn’t know that there would come a day when I would give my dearest to the country — my sons Uriel and Eliraz. But you don’t just build a homeland with pain and tears, but also with labor and continued generosity,” she said.
“I am proud to be part of a group that chose to engage in education, out of the belief that this is the way to breach the walls of ignorance and inadequacy, and out of the understanding that education opens opportunities for self-fulfillment, as it had for me.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I stand humbly before my colleagues, honorable people who created, wrote, studies and invented, people of vision, creation and faith. I am not worthy, I don’t have a creation. I can’t point to a revelation I made or a formula I cracked.”
“I have a heart that was broken three times with terrible announcements. The loss of my eldest son Uriel in battle in Lebanon, the death of my partner Eliezer due to a broken heart, and the loss of my second son in battle in Gaza,” she recalled.
“With that heart I came to my nation and in simple words, in the language of a broken heart, I spoke of this land and its legacy, of choosing goodness, of happiness, of devotion to life, of responsibility, of social involvement, and out of that heart which beats with faith in this country and this nation, out of the great depth of pain flowed springs of love.
“When the heart is full of faith, it can withstand great challenges. I turned my grief into a new melody.”