President Shim'on Peres appealed for peace, Sunday afternoon in a garden of the Vatican City. Quoting in Hebrew from Psalm 122, he asked those present to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," saying that those who love the city shall prosper. Switching to English, he repeated what he said in Hebrew about Pope Francis carrying "a renewed inspiration to trust in heaven, to love the people, and to care for the earth. It is in that spirit that I have come here from Jerusalem, the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, and the vibrant heart of the Jewish People. In Hebrew, the word Jerusalem and the word for peace, share the same root – Shalom. And it is with that prayer in our heart and that call to action that we stand together. From Jerusalem, I have come to call for Shalom – Peace. Peace between nations. Peace between faiths. Peace between people. Peace for our children."
Peres said the Bible "commands us to walk the path of peace. It demands of us to toil for its realization." He continued, “Whoever loves life and desires to see good days. Let him turn from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.” This is a command to pursue peace. All year long. Every day. We greet each other with this blessing. Shalom. Salam. We must be worthy of the deep and demanding meaning of this blessing. Peace does not come easy. It calls for sacrifice and compromise. Without peace, we are not complete. We have yet to achieve this mission of humanity. Even when peace seems distant, we must pursue it to bring it closer. And if we pursue peace with determination, with faith, we will reach it. And it will endure through all of us, as is written by Isaiah: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
Peres closed with the Hebrew, "May He who makes peace on high make peace on us and on all of Israel and on all of the world and let us say 'Amen'."