President Shimon Peres saluted Bar and Mitzvah children of fallen soldiers Tuesday and wished them a hearty mazal tov.
“Your greatest hope is that both of your parents would be with you today, when you have reached the age of being commanded to perform mitzvot. Both your parents are not with you, but we are with you,” the president said at the annual ceremony.
“The Bar and Mitzvah signals the passage from childhood to responsibility,” he continued. "You carry the memory of your mothers or fathers, but their values are an inheritance, not just a memory.
“You are the sons and daughters of soldiers who fell in the line of duty and gave their lives for the re-establishment of the State of Israel and for its continued existence today. You grew up with the love of the People of Israel, although the loss of your loved one will be with you all of your lives.
"A new chapter in your lives has opened. You never will forget this day. You now will feel the obligation of mitzvot, and that means accepting responsibility along with the love of the People of Israel.
“Grow with the roots of your land and defend your homeland. Be careful on the way and distance yourselves from temptations that are illusions, from danger on the highways, violence and arrogance.”
President Peres asked the new young adults to “be an example for young and old alike and help those who are in need of help.”