Rivlin thanks public for ‘tides of love and warmth’ following wife’s passing

President says Israeli people’s ‘prayers, hopes and well-wishes’ gave the family strength during painful days after Nechama’s death

President Reuven Rivlin (L) greets people paying their respects to his wife during the traditional Shiva mourning period. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (L) greets people paying their respects to his wife during the traditional Shiva mourning period. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin on Friday thanked Israelis for the love and support he and his family received since the passing of his wife, Nechama, earlier this week.

“Thank you for the tides of love and consolations that have given us strength during these painful days,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“I know how much you loved Nechama, and I know your love was real and true. Your prayers, hopes and well-wishes were with us throughout the recent period that was particularly difficult, and we now truly feel your enveloping embrace,” he added.

“Thank you for the warmth, thank you for the love, thank you for the space you have given Nechama and us in your hearts.”

Nechama Rivlin was laid to rest in a state funeral on Wednesday evening at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl national cemetery.

Eulogizing her, the president recounted parts of his wife’s life story, recalling her love of nature and farming.

Nechama Rivlin. (Moshe Shai / Flash90)

He thanked his children and grandchildren, who he said did not leave his wife’s bedside “for one moment” over the last several months. The president added that it was testament to the kind of mother and grandmother she had been.

“I’m having a hard time accepting that these are my parting words… Thank you for being with me… thank you for allowing me to be the partner of the president of Israel’s wife” he said.

Nechama Rivlin died Tuesday on the eve of her 74th birthday at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where she was being treated after relapsing following a lung transplant.

She had worked for many years as a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, until her retirement in 2007, at which point her lung condition was discovered.

Soft-spoken and mild-mannered, Nechama Rivlin was eulogized Tuesday by Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum. She was also mourned by foreign diplomats stationed in Israel.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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