Nechama Rivlin, wife of President Reuven Rivlin, who died on Tuesday, was laid to rest at Har Herzl in Jerusalem on what would have been her 74th birthday yesterday afternoon. Thousands of people paid their last respects by filing past her coffin at the Jerusalem Theater during the day.
"I got up this morning - you know I didn't manage to sleep - I looked at the date, so familiar. Happy birthday. Sad birthday. A few weeks ago, at the hospital, when you were still able to say what was in your heart, and were already starting to be concerned, you asked me to take you back home. Today, Nechama, you returned home," President Rivlin said in his eulogy for his wife.
President Rivlin spoke of Nechama Rivlin's upbringing on a farm on a moshav, and her closeness to the earth and to nature. He also spoke of her love of literature and art, mentioning her determination to visits art museums on overseas trips and the pile of books on her bedside table. "Sometimes you tried to get me out of the dull ceremonies and official receptions and drag me to the nearest museum. 'This you have to see,' you would say, and you took me and explained," he said.
"Thank you, Nechama, for the love, for the partnership, for the family, for being always with me, for the helping hand and the attentive heart, for the sense of humor and the sharp mind, and for the fact that I had the privilege of being the partner of the state president's wife. Many waters cannot quench love, and rivers, all the rivers in the world, will not drown it. Rest in peace," President Rivlin concluded.
Before President Rivlin, Anat Rivlin, his and Nechama's daughter, and the author Haim Be'er, also spoke at the funeral.
Nechama Rivlin, née Shulman, was born on Moshav Herut in 1945. She was a researcher in life sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1967 to 2007. She married Reuven Rivlin in 1979 and they had three children. She was a vocal and active supporter of disadvantaged children's causes.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 6, 2019
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