President lights Hanukkah candle with haredi soldiers

Reuven Rivlin joined by haredi soldiers for candle lighting on first night of Hanukkah festival.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rivlin with haredi soldiers
Rivlin with haredi soldiers
Mark Neiman/GPO

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin lit the first candle of Hanukkah this evening with soldiers from the haredi formations of the IDF – the Tomer battalion of the Givati Brigade, the Hetz company of the Paratroops Brigade and the Netzah Yisrael battalion of the Kfir Brigade. Brigadier Eran Shani, head of the planning and administration division of the Manpower Directorate and head of the ultra-orthodox administration, Lt-Col Telem Hazan also participated in the ceremony.

Some 7,400 haredi solders serve as officers and solders in the IDF. There has been an increase of 10.5 times in the number of haredi enlistees.

“I look at you and see modern-day Hasmoneans – soldiers, warriors, righteous men who learn Torah. This is really a Hanukkah miracle,” said the president. “I am also impressed by the diversity I see here – Hassidim, Lithuanians and Sephardim. You represent all the strands of the ultra-orthodox community. I want to express my deep appreciation for your contribution to the security of the State of Israel. Your contribution is wide-ranging. You are a bridge of unity. You have not broken out, you are breaking a new path.”

Concluding, the president told the soldiers, “you are an inspiration and prove to us all that we can find the balance between protecting the country and protecting our what is most important to us. Each one of you have his own values and his own way of life. I remember when I was in military service, there were several ultra-orthodox soldiers with me. We did not change our way of life and we did not try to change our comrades’ way of life. We were all brothers in arms.”