The Tanach Study Circle is named after the Prime Minister's late father-in-law, who passed away last November, and was a Bible teacher and researcher.
The Tanach Study Circle, held in cooperation with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, was reinstated two years ago, renewing a tradition started by Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and which was continued by its sixth prime minister, Menachem Begin. This evening's meeting focused on the Book of Ruth, which is read on the holiday Shavuot taking place this week.
"I have always thought and believed that the Bible is the foundation of our existence here," Prime Minister Netanyahu said. "Otherwise we would be somewhere else or nowhere at all. The influence of the written words has not lessened over the generations; on the contrary, their strength has only increased.
"Therefore, I think that we need – here in the prime minister's residence – to focus on the Bible every few months."
At the start of the first lesson of the renewed Tanach Study Circle, Netanyahu said that "Ben-Gurion and Begin believed that the Bible should be the heritage of the entire nation – secular and religious, young and old, men and women.
"The Bible is the foundation of our existence. It unites the Jewish people, as it has throughout the generations. It also serves not only as a foundation but also as a map and compass.
The Bible is always relevant vis-à-vis today's problems and challenges. It inspires, it is a source of life for our people and I think that it is important to expand Bible study and love of the Bible among all parts of the nation.
"This is also the goal of this circle. I am certain that thanks to the researchers, rabbis and learned men and women here, who know and love the Bible, we will enrich our common knowledge."
Reprinted with permission from the Tazpit News Agency.