Elder Israeli Statesman Peres’ Birthday Greeting to Queen of England: ‘Life Begins at 90’
by Shiryn Ghermezian
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres extended a blessing to the Queen of England in honor of her 90th birthday on Thursday, The Jewish Chronicle reported.
Peres — who received an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008 — said in a video message that he hopes she will “continue to inspire” and to “offer a smile to young and old … in spite of all the problems and wars we are going through.” Quipping that “life begins at 90,” the 92-year-old elder statesman told the British royal, “You are a great leader for the free world; you are a great hope for the coming generations. God bless you.”
Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also extended birthday greetings to the monarch.
“It gives me the greatest pleasure to convey the Jewish community’s heartfelt greetings to Her Majesty on the milestone occasion of her 90th birthday,” he said. “She performs her role as Head of State with the utmost grace, dignity and warmth. Long may she reign in good health and strength.”
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Commonwealth’s chief rabbi, and his wife Valerie gave the queen a birthday present last week: a hand-crafted copy of the prayer recited in UK synagogues each Sabbath and festival mornings on behalf of the Royal family. The prayer was written on water-colored paper and mounted on a gold frame.
The gift was designed by British-Jewish artist Myra Levy and featured “a unique ‘papercut’ border around a specially calligraphed version of the Prayer for the Royal Family,” according to Rabbi Mirvis’ website.
To mark the queen’s birthday this year, famous Jewish photographer Annie Leibovitz took a series of pictures of “Her Majesty” with her family and dogs. In one photo, the queen is seen posing with her great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren.
Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch last year, according to The Jewish Chronicle.