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The presidency that was: Reuven Rivlin’s seven years in office

Moments when Israel’s 10th president hugged, cried and laughed with the Israeli public

  • President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony awarding outstanding soldiers as part of Israel's 70th Independence Day celebrations, at the President's residence in Jerusalem. April 19, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony awarding outstanding soldiers as part of Israel's 70th Independence Day celebrations, at the President's residence in Jerusalem. April 19, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • President Reuven Rivlin visiting the home of the Goldin family following the death of Hadar Goldin during the 2014 Gaza War, August 5 2014. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin visiting the home of the Goldin family following the death of Hadar Goldin during the 2014 Gaza War, August 5 2014. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin (L) meeting US President Barak Obama at the Whitehouse in Washington, December 9, 2015. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin (L) meeting US President Barak Obama at the Whitehouse in Washington, December 9, 2015. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin addressing the UN General Assembly, January 28, 2015. (President's Office)
    President Reuven Rivlin addressing the UN General Assembly, January 28, 2015. (President's Office)
  • President Reuven Rivlin (R) with his wife Nechama after snowfall in Jerusalem, February 20, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin (R) with his wife Nechama after snowfall in Jerusalem, February 20, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin (R) playing soccer with then-London mayor Boris Johnson (L) in Jerusalem, November 11, 2015. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin (R) playing soccer with then-London mayor Boris Johnson (L) in Jerusalem, November 11, 2015. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin (R) presenting Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu with the mandate to form a government, March 25, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin (R) presenting Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu with the mandate to form a government, March 25, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin (L) meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican, September 3, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin (L) meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican, September 3, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin playing with his grandchildren after snowfall in Jerusalem, February 20, 2015.
photo by (Haim Zach / GPO
    President Reuven Rivlin playing with his grandchildren after snowfall in Jerusalem, February 20, 2015. photo by (Haim Zach / GPO
  • President Reuven Rivlin is welcomed by an honor guard during his visit to Georgia, January 2017. (Haim Zach / GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin is welcomed by an honor guard during his visit to Georgia, January 2017. (Haim Zach / GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama at the Tal Mahal in India,16 November 2016. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama at the Tal Mahal in India,16 November 2016. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

Isaac Herzog took office on Wednesday afternoon as Israel’s 11th president after a day of ceremonies with outgoing President Reuven Rivlin.

According to a statement Tuesday from the President’s Residence summarizing his seven years in office, Rivlin has the dubious record of overseeing more elections, tasking more lawmakers with forming a government, and spending more hours in consultations to form a government than any other president.

Waiting for Herzog on his desk in the president’s office will be a personal letter from Rivlin, addressed to “the president.”

“The truth is I am a little envious of you. In a short time you will discover the tremendous privilege that has fallen to you,” Rivlin wrote in the missive.

“In the coming seven years you will meet the men and women who are citizens of Israel. I am already telling you, you will want to hug them, all of them. You will want to cry with them, and to laugh with them. To be excited with them,” Rivlin wrote.

Here are some of the moments in which Rivlin himself hugged, cried and laughed with the Israeli public:

President Reuven Rivlin visits the Har Tzofim Jewish school in Melborne, Australia, February 25, 2020 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin visits an Israel Police base in central Israel, September 30, 2020. (President’s Office)
President Reuven Rivlin visiting the Talmud Torah Darchei Noam school in Ramat Beit Shemesh, August 27, 2014. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (L) helping to carry the body of 4-year old Daniel Turgeman, killed by Gaza rocket fire, at his funeral, August 23, 2014. (Eliyahu Hershkowitz/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin visiting the home of the Goldin family following the death of Hadar Goldin during the 2014 Gaza War, August 5 2014. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (L) meeting US president Barak Obama at the White House in Washington, December 9, 2015. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (L) meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican, September 3, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin addressing the UN General Assembly, January 28, 2015. (President’s Office)
President Reuven Rivlin (R) with his wife Nechama after snowfall in Jerusalem, February 20, 2015. (Haim Zach / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (R) presenting Benjamin Netanyahu with the mandate to form a government, March 25, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (R) playing soccer with then-London mayor Boris Johnson (L) in Jerusalem, November 11, 2015. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin playing with his grandchildren after snowfall in Jerusalem, February 20, 2015.
photo by (Haim Zach / GPO
President Reuven Rivlin (L) lighting a Chanukah menorah alongside US president Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, December 9, 2015. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin visiting the Mikhve Elon IDF base, June 15, 2015. (Mark Neyman / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin in a tunnel built by the Hamas terror group, in southern Israel, August 23, 2015. (Mark Neyman / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama at the Tal Mahal in India,16 November 2016. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin is welcomed by an honor guard during his visit to Georgia, January 2017. (Haim Zach / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with ultra-Orthodox men working in high-tech, February 23, 2017. (Mark Neyman / GPO)
President Rivlin joining a training exercise of the Golani Brigade in northern Israel, February 22, 2017. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Rivlin at a meal to end the Ramadan fast at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, June 12, 2017. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (C) during a state visit to Ethiopia, May 2, 2017. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Rivlin being presented with a soccer jersey by Croatian PM Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović during a visit to Croatia, February 22, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Rivlin (C) lights a memorial flame with IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkott (R) and Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp site in Poland, April 12, 2018. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (R) presenting Blue and White chair Benny Gantz with the mandate to form a government, October 23, 2019. (Haim Zach / GPO
President Reuven Rivlin opening Jerusalem Day celebrations at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on May 23, 2017. (Mark Neiman/GPO)
US President Joe Biden meets with President Reuven Rivlin in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Reuven Rivlin meets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Washington on June 29, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Members of the Yamina party meet with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on April 5, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin getting vaccinated against the coronavirus at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem, December 20, 2020. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin lays a wreath at the grave of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem, October 28, 2020. (Haim Zach/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot at a voting station in Jerusalem, during the Knesset Elections, on March 2, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Britain’s Prince Charles, left, meets President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020 (Victoria Jones/Pool via AP)
Members of the IDF Commando Brigade present President Reuven Rivlin with a cake at a surprise birthday party in September 2019. (Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin trying on virtual reality goggles in his office in Jerusalem on August 12, 2019. (Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (2nd-R), accompanied by his children, recites the Mourner’s Kaddish for his wife Nechama during her funeral at Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem on June 5, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin with his wife Nechama at the French ambassador’s home in Jaffa, on June 18, 2014. (Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin with IDF commanders near the border with Lebanon on December 16, 2018. (Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin visits students at the Religious Noam Eliyahu school in the southern city of Netivot, on the first day of school on September 2, 2018. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony awarding outstanding soldiers as part of Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalemת April 19, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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