On Sunday, Israel's President Isaac Herzog hosted a Hebrew Bible study class with the 929 Project, focusing on the book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet).
Rabbi Benny Lau and Dr. Chaim Shapiro, both leaders of the 929 project, and Amit Segal and Moran Ajami, members of the 929 project's public committee, also spoke at the event. Among the participants was Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut.
"Like you, I love the Hebrew Bible and feel connected to it with all my soul. My love of the Book of Books is rooted, in part, in the fact that there are so many interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, so many different gateways through which any man or woman can insert themselves into its words and discover themselves in its characters, stories, laws, and deep meaning," said President Herzog.
"Unfortunately, sometimes there are people who feel locked out of this space, as if they don’t have permission to enter. The Hebrew Bible was written for us to read together. It wasn’t written for any particular audience or community, but for everyone. And only by combining its many perspectives can we read it as a complete whole.
"This liberty, to draw from the ancient text of the Hebrew Bible and breathe new meaning into it, is astonishing and has always attracted me. It seems to me that only those who feel truly at home can allow themselves to dive into the words and extract new riches from its depths."
President Herzog also praised 929 as "a wonderful project conceived and led by Rabbi Benny Lau, a monumental project that will yet be studied in the history books."