Family, loved ones gather at Nechama Rivlin's grave to mark end of mourning period

Herbs were planted around her grave - thyme, sage, mint, rosemary and many others - that Nechama particularly loved.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 5, 2019 15:32
1 minute read.
Family, loved ones gather at Nechama Rivlin's grave to mark end of mourning period

Israel's president Reuven Rivlin stands by his wife Nechama's grave on Mount Herzl . (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)



The mourning period for Israel’s first lady Nechama Rivlin came to an end on Thursday.

Family and friends gathered at her grave in the Great Leaders of the Nation plot on Mount Herzl. Her gravestone reads ‘Nechama Rivlin, daughter of this land’, and plaque on the plot reads ‘She always lent a helping hand and treasured life's simple moments.’

Herbs were planted around her grave - thyme, sage, mint, rosemary and many others - that Nechama particularly loved. The president, Reuven Rivlin, read Psalms at the grave, together with his daughters and son, who also read Kaddish, the traditional Jewish mourners’ prayer, with him at the end of the gathering.

From there, the family continued to a private event in the gardens of the President’s Residence, during which the family read pieces of poetry that Nechama loved, and her daughter Rivi and Arik Kilmanik, founder and director of the Jerusalem Print Workshop often frequented by Nechama, spoke in her memory.

Due to the festival of Shavuot, the family did not sit the usual full week of mourning, and the president himself did not really have time to mourn, because he attended synagogue services during Shavuot, and immediately afterward resumed his duties which inter alia included numerous meetings with various Israeli and foreign dignitaries, accepting credentials of new ambassadors, and hosting large-scale events that were part of an annual tradition, or which marked milestone anniversaries.

The absence of time for himself has taken its toll on the president, so much so that in a departure from tradition, he did not participate in the official ceremony marking the 243rd anniversary of American independence, which was hosted in Jerusalem for the first time.



Many of the guests were surprised because Rivlin has long been known as the paramount defender of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as well as that of the Jewish people.



His family has lived in Jerusalem since 1809.



Moreover, Rivlin seldom misses an opportunity to speak of the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.



But according to a member of his staff, the crowd and the time factor were just too much for the president, who will turn 80 on September 9.

Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this story.

 


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