Rivlin marks Tisha B'Av with a study session

In the run-up the Jews' most tragic day of mourning, President Reuven Rivlin finds solace and unity in Torah study.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

President Rivlin address the study session
President Rivlin address the study session
Mark Neiman/GPO

For the second year, ahead of Tisha B'Av, President Reuven Rivlin today (Thursday) hosted at his residence, a study session which brought together different streams of the Jewish community. The event, which focused on 'Remembering Jerusalem', was held by the President's Office in partnership with the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI).

Tisha B'Av is a day of national mourning in Jewish tradition when several great calamities befell the Jewish people throughout the ages and are commemorated on that day; including the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the expulsion from Spain, and more recently the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. The day is marked by fasting and the reading of the Book of Lamentations and will this year be marked on Sunday 14 August.

The President began his address by quoting from the book 'King of Flesh and Blood' by author Moshe Shamir, and said, "More than once I have found myself particularly during these days in the run up to Tisha B'Av, returning to the story of Moshe Shamir. The sectarian picture of the world in the final days of the Second Temple disturbs me greatly."

President Rivlin addresses the study session
Mark Neiman/GPO

He continued, "Disagreements must be held with respect, with persistency and with attention, and never with flippancy or hypocrisy. I hope that if we learn this lesson, to be honest with those who share our covenant, with those with whom we have disputes, then we will be able to overcome sectarianism before it overcomes us. I want to welcome you, all the speakers, on your accepting to come and speak, and express your opinions, without trepidation, and without negating the other. I am sure that all of us have something to learn from you."

Also speaking at the event was Jewish Agency Chairman Nathan Sharansky, and Israel Prize recipient Dr. Eliezer Schweid, as well as; educator Noam Dan, former head of the BINA Center's pre-military service program; Rabbi Daliah Marx, Associate Professor of Liturgy and Midrash at the Hebrew Union College; Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary; and Rabbi Jeremy Stavisky, Principal of the Himmelfarb High School, Jerusalem. The event was chaired by Shmuel Rosner, Fellow at the JPPI.