Peres with Rabbi Ovadia
Peres with Rabbi OvadiaIsrael news photo: Flash 90

President Shimon Peres paid a condolence visit Sunday to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who is sitting shiva over his son, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef.

"It is good to have a family like this, which exudes Torah," Peres said, "because the Jewish nation lives, not by force of arms but through its spirit."

Rav Ovadia told Peres of his son's debut as a teacher of Torah, when Rabbi Ovadia was unable to deliver a lesson and called upon his son to serve as his replacement. Yaakov Yosef was 24 at the time.  

"I told the congregation to tell me if they liked the lesson he gave. They went crazy! He taught everything from memory, without opening a book!"

Peres noted that he had, in fact, heard that Rabbi Yaakov Yosef had a phenomenal memory.