ראובן ריבלין
President Reuven Rivlin
Photo: GPO
President Reuven Rivlin pardons Israelis who received fines for violating coronavirus orders

Battle against coronavirus is a war for our lives

In exclusive opinion piece, President Reuven Rivlin urges Israelis to adhere to health orders, reminding them that just as in all the country's previous wars, when there is no cooperation, there is no victory

President Reuven Rivlin |
Published: 10.04.20 , 14:36
This Sunday morning was supposed to be the last time during my tenure I would have opened my home to the Israeli people in honor of the Sukkot holiday.
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  • It was always a festive and heartwarming day for me and my wife Nechama, who would mingle among the visitors for hours on end, never missing an opportunity to shake someone's hand or take a "selfie".
    נשיא המדינה ראובן ריבלין מעניק חנינהנשיא המדינה ראובן ריבלין מעניק חנינה
    President Reuven Rivlin pardons Israelis who received fines for violating coronavirus orders
    I loved to see the children run around and play, washing away the seriousness of this old household and filling it with holiday joy.
    But this year my home has remained closed. In line with the lockdown rules and public health orders, the annual tradition will be replaced by an online event, where I will try, I hope successfully, to fill two hours of those children's time with some holiday cheer.
    Though it saddens me, I know there is no other option. We are in a battle for our lives, but also in a battle to save others. And if we don't cooperate and adhere to orders like in all the country's previous wars, we will not win this one.
    ביקור נשיא המדינה במעבדות המחקר של הפקולטה למדעי המוח של האוניברסיטה העבריתביקור נשיא המדינה במעבדות המחקר של הפקולטה למדעי המוח של האוניברסיטה העברית
    President Rivlin visiting Tel Aviv University's coronavirus research center
    (Photo: GPO)
    I meet every day with hospital directors, doctors, nurses, soldiers, officers, scientists and volunteers who are on the frontline of the battle against the pathogen and I see unending determination and sacrifice for the public good.
    Do not leave them stranded in no man's land. If we do not obey public health directives and do not do our part in the fight against the pandemic, we will lose.
    During the first nationwide lockdown, a sense of carelessness and freedom took hold of the public when suddenly their days were cleared of work. We are wiser now, and yes, also more tired than usual and unhappy. But, I plead with the Israeli public - shutdown does not mean vacation.
    ראובן ריבלין בביקורו בחמ"ל הקורונה של עיריית תל אביבראובן ריבלין בביקורו בחמ"ל הקורונה של עיריית תל אביב
    L-R: Coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu, President Rivlin and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai
    (Photo: GPO)
    "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons," Deuteronomy 4:9 says.
    I know being at home is not easy. I understand the children need space and parents need a moment to catch their breath. But despite all of this, we must not exploit this period for vacations and leisure.
    I ask of you to please follow social distancing rules and refrain from any mass gatherings, which is a real danger in this pandemic.
    I want to encourage you all and pray for the health and well-being of Israel's citizens. If we follow the Health Ministry's directives, they will keep us healthy. If we safeguard our spirit, it will keep us safe in return.
    Happy Sukkot!

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