My grandfather’s lesson to me on my bar mitzvah was that I should spend my life learning the lesson of Joshua. After he entered Israel with the people and after the walls of Jericho came down, Joshua had to make peace among those who sought to live in harmony in Israel.

On the day of my bar mitzvah in Jerusalem, we were about to celebrate when I was summoned across the corridor to the hotel bar. Sitting in the corner was Shimon Peres [“Blessed are peacemakers like Peres,” Opinion, Sept. 29]. He asked me to sit with him. He knew it was my bar mitzvah day, and we spoke.

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He was so eager to hear what a 13-year-old thought about the future. Even being quite nervous, I told him my views. I remember he cared deeply about what I was thinking.

Meeting Peres was a moment I will always cherish. The fact that such a political leader would take the time out of his important schedule to ask a young bar mitzvah kid to teach him about the future was very Jewish and very human.

Simon Saks, Huntington Station