'To listen, accept, and hear each other'

President Rivlin: 'Religious Zionism has already proved that it knows the changes in outlook required of one seeking national leadership.'

Hezki Baruch ,

'To listen, accept, and hear each other'
'To listen, accept, and hear each other'
Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

President Reuven Rivlin spoke today, Thursday, at a conference of directors of Religious Zionist institutions and organizations held in honor of former MK Nissan Slomianski.

"There is no doubt that today’s students in Religious Zionist educational institutions are expected to be the leaders of the next generation. Those who wish to lead must be willing to take responsibility for society as a whole," the president said.

"This message is obvious and very clear, but sometimes it seems that the obvious must be said so that it is not forgotten. The current structure of Israeli society, in which the four tribes are nearing each other in size, requires that anyone aspiring to be a leader is able to listen, accept, and hear each other. ‘Israeli Hope’, the flagship program of Beit HaNasi, brings the tribes together, encouraging meeting and discussion. We believe that we have no other country and no other citizens. None of the tribes is going to disappear from here and no one is going to erase their identity," the President added.

"Religious Zionism has already proved in the past that it knows the changes in outlook required of anyone who seeks national leadership. Thus, for example, national-civic service began within the Religious Zionist community, and today it serves Haredim, Arabs, religious and secular. This is the what is required - not only to promote, my tribe, my camp, but to listen and allow others to work with me," the President said.

Later, the President spoke to the heads of the institutions, and thanked them for their ongoing efforts on behalf of Israeli society. "I just returned from a visit to South Korea, a country that invests vast sums of money, thinking, and strategic planning in the field of education. In South Korea, they look at Jewish learning with great appreciation. The prime minister of South Korea studied Talmud here in Israel. In my meeting with the Korean president, I gave him a tractate of Baba Kama," the president told the conference attendees.

"When I was at school, at the Gymnasia Ivrit in Jerusalem, studied Talmud, without fear of religion. We were not afraid of Judaism, we wanted to learn it, each according to his own beliefs, each according to his customs. We learned the Talmud because we understood that this is one of the fundamental things in our sources and from our need to understand, to be diligent and to see the sources from which our forefathers, who led the Jewish people for thousands of years, drew inspiration. We have nothing to be ashamed of in our educational tradition, in our educational institutions. We should be proud of them and nurture them. We must put remember that these educational institutions are the engines of Israeli society. You should be proud of your work. It is important that you understand that you are building Israel's future society, and it is important that we also remember to say thank you. "

Speaking about Nissan Slomianski, the president said: "Nissan is a person with a vision for Israel as a whole, and a commitment to educational institutions. Thank you, Nissan, for your many years of working for the people of Israel and for your contribution to religious Zionism. Thank you all for your investment in building the future generation of the State of Israel."