President Reuven Rivlin..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
President Reuven Rivlin will on Tuesday evening at 11 p.m. participate in Slichot (Penitential) prayers in the synagogue in the grounds of the President’s Official Residence.
It will be the first time since his inauguration on July 24 that Rivlin will accept the invitation of regular congregants to join in the service, the period of the Ten Days of Penitence seems to be an appropriate occasion.
The synagogue was inaugurated during the term of Israel’s eighth president Moshe Katzav in the presence of the late Shas spiritual mentor and former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, for whom the period of mourning has just concluded.
Katsav frequently joined worshippers at morning prayers, but his successor Shimon Peres, though invited many times to join the quorum, never once participated in a service, although he was certainly familiar with the provenance of the Torah scrolls in the holy Ark and as recently as May of this year, when visited by Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, Peres took him and his entourage on a tour of the grounds which included the synagogue. Peres then explained the background of each of the scrolls.
Regulars were confident that Rivlin, who comes from a traditional background, would not need much persuading to join them occasionally – and it appears that they were correct in this assessment.
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