Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives a folder from President Reuven Rivlin during a ceremony in Jerusalem March 25.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
President Reuven Rivlin, 75, who has officially been a senior citizen for the past eight years, will on Sunday receive a Senior Citizens Card not for himself but on behalf of the state that is this week celebrating its 67th anniversary.
The official retirement age for men is 67, and 62 for women. The late MK Uri Orbach, who was the senior citizens minister, thought that it would be appropriate for the No. 1 citizen – namely the president – to receive a Senior Citizen’s Card to indicate that the State of Israel has reached that milestone age.
Although the word medina – the Hebrew for “state” falls into the category of female gender, Hebrew grammar dictates that when one male is in a room full of females the grammar used for the crowd is masculine.
Thus because Rivlin is receiving the card, the presentation automatically becomes a man thing, validating entitlement on the state’s 67th anniversary.
Orbach had hoped to make the presentation himself, but fell ill with a blood disease to which he succumbed in mid-February, aged 54.
The presentation of the Senior Citizens Card will be made by Orbach’s widow, Michal, together with Gilad Semama, the director-general of the Senior Citizens Ministry, in the presence of a group of senior citizens who are all aged 67.
In common with government ministers and members of Knesset, the State of Israel will not be forced to retire for reasons of age.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be eligible for a Senior Citizens Card in October 2016. Labor MK Nahman Shai, at 68, is already a senior citizen, as are Yesh Atid MKs Yael German, 67, and Yaakov Peri, 71, Yisrael Beytenu’s MK Sofa Landver 64, and United Torah Judaism MK Menachem Eliezer Moses, 68. At 72, the Likud's Bennie Begin is the oldest serving Knesset member.
Several lawmakers are in their early to mid-sixties, but most are younger.