President Reuven Rivlin lit Hannukah candles at the President’s Residence Monday, together with survivors of the Holocaust.
The event was entitled ‘Heroism and Rebirth', and was attended by around 150 guests, including representatives and heads of the various Holocaust survivor organizations, Yad Vashem, and the children of survivors.
“Your story is the story of an entire generation," Rivlin stated. "A generation which emerged from the depths of evil, and chose life. A generation, whose belief in the justness of our path, was a guiding light. A generation of heroic deeds. A generation which has contributed to every aspect of Israeli society."
"Clinging to life despite the painful burden of dark memories, is the message that you carry, now and always," he continued. "Continuing to act, to give, to build the Land of Israel."
"Janusz Korczak wrote, ‘The one concerned with days plants wheat. The one concerned with years plants trees; and the one concerned with generations educates people,'" Rivlin noted. "Your generation produced a dynasty, planted seeds, and educated as you carried the torch of this generation. You bear a great responsibility. This torch is a beacon of light, of heroism, of choosing life and a path forward. To my joy, you are not alone in your brave acts.”
The President then referred to the importance of the welfare of the Holocaust survivors in Israel.
“Today, in contrast to the past, the public in general is doing some soul-searching about the absurd situation of the generation of Holocaust survivors, and their well-being in this country," he stated. "I want to clarify now, that we remain vigilant, as citizens, as representatives of organizations, and as a society."
"There is no greater responsibility," he continued. "This is our obligation as a people and a state. And our window of opportunity is shrinking in order to ensure that the survivors are able to live in dignity – the very people who arose from the darkest of times, and created here in the Land of Israel, the prosperous State of Israel.”
The President concluded by wishing the survivors and all those attending a warm and happy Hannukah.