Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, will be buried on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem. Rivlin passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 73.
Prior to the funeral, her coffin will be placed at the Jerusalem Theater from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. At the request of the Rivlin family, the public has been invited to both pay its respects at the theater and attend the funeral.
On Thursday and Friday, the president and his family will receive condolence visits at his official residence in Jerusalem as part of the traditional Shiva mourning period.
Rivlin died on the eve of her 74th birthday at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where she was being treated after relapsing following the lung transplant.
“I’m happy Nechama is no longer suffering. She really deserves the love she is getting now and the recognition of her service and work,” Channel 12 news quoted Rivlin telling friends following his wife’s death.
The Rivlins had been married since 1971. In an archive television interview that has been screened frequently in the past day, President Rivlin was asked what he would most like to have written on his gravestone: “Me? That I was Nechama’s husband,” he said simply.
Soft-spoken and mild-mannered, Rivlin was eulogized by Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum. She was also mourned by foreign diplomats stationed in Israel, as well as US President Donald Trump’s envoy for Middle East peace.
Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Frank Walter Steinmeier all called Rivlin’s office to express their condolences, according to Channel 12, which reported the president only spoke by phone with a few close friends of his and his late wife’s.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the Rivlin family.
“Along with all the citizens of Israel, my wife Sara and I feel deep sorrow at the death of the president’s wife, Nechama Rivlin,” Netanyahu said in a brief statement.
Nechama Rivlin was born in 1945 in Moshav Herut in the Sharon region. She married Reuven Rivlin in 1971, and worked for many years at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, until her retirement in 2007, at which point her lung condition was discovered.