Rivlin receives blessings from members of World Federation of Moroccan Jews

May 22, 2015 08:03

Sam Ben Chetrit, the chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jews came to the President’s Residence with a delegation of Moroccans from different parts of the world.

2 minute read.

President Reuven Rivlin

President Reuven Rivlin. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Two years ago, during the Mimouna festivities in Dimona, Reuven Rivlin, then a Likud Member of Knesset was told by Rabbanit Bruria Ifergen- Zvuluni, who is reputed to have supernatural powers as does her brother Rabbi Yaakov Ifergen who is known as the Rentgen (XRay) for his amazing ability to diagnose people's problems at first glance, that he would be President of the State of Israel. At that time Rivlin had some heavy competition, and his victory in the presidential election was by no means assured.

Rivlin was reminded of the prediction on Thursday by Sam Ben Chetrit, the chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jews who came to the President’s Residence with a delegation of Moroccans from different parts of the world.

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Ifergen-Zvuluni who also has expertise in gematria, told Rivlin about many good things that his name adds up to in gematria, while Rabbi  Yehuda Amar recited a long, detailed prayer for the well-being of the President who interrupted him in mid-recital because in using the customary Jewish reference to the father of the President, he had omitted to mention Rachel Rivlin the president’s mother. “I’m Ashkenazi,” quipped Rivlin. “We do it differently.”

Ben Chetrit and other speakers heaped praise on Rivlin in the most eloquent of terms because he personifies everything that WFMJ stands for. Ben Chetrit explained that WFMJ has members who are Druse and members who are Ashkenzim because it believes in harmony between people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds.

He was proud of the fact that Moroccan Jewry has given one of its better known traditions – that of the Mimouna, a festival of hospitality and harmony  – as a national holiday to the State of Israel and that it is now celebrated by people of all backgrounds.

Relating specifically to the Mimouna, Rivlin noted the importance of immigrant groups preserving the heritage of the countries from which they came instead of losing their identities in an Israeli melting pot. He stated that among his nine grandchildren there are only three who are fully Ashkenazi. The others are part Moroccan, part Yemenite and part Iraqi. He also made  the point that Moroccans embraced the Zionist idea long before it occurred to Herzl, and that Moroccans such as the family of Israel’s fifth President Yitzhak Navon had come to Jerusalem long before the First Aliya.

Ben Chetrit was very proud of the fact that WFMJ is the umbrella for 23 organizations and city councils, with 70 branches in Israel and 31 in Morocco, Europe and North and South America. It works towards the unity of the Jewish people and has a scholarship fund from which scholarships are awarded to students of all faiths, ethnic and national backgrounds. Up to the end of 2014, WFMJ distributed NIS23 million to 3640 students.

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