Israel’s hold on the city of Jerusalem cannot be undermined, President Reuven Rivlin said on Sunday night, as he hosted a Selichot prayer service at the synagogue of the Presidential Residence.
The synagogue was built about a decade ago and holds services on a daily basis, thanks to a faithful group of worshipers who attend every day and who participated in Selichot on Sunday night, joined by local residents and other guests.
The President referred to the recent violence in Jerusalem, saying that everything possible must be done to avoid harming Jerusalemites and worsening the security situation in the city.
"Jerusalem has always been a kind of microcosm of Israeli society,” Rivlin said. “Unfortunately last year we saw more than ever the enormous gaps among the city's residents. Jews and Arabs, religious, hareidi and secular Jews, confronted one another over political, cultural, religious, and gender-related reasons. When there is no dialogue a deep silence and violence develop and most times, they end in distance and rejection and even more than that – in covert hatred and overt violence.”
“In recent days,” he continued, “an escalation arising from provocations by hostile elements who are trying to deteriorate the security situation in Jerusalem and harm its people has taken place. Just this morning I paid a condolence visit to the family of Alexander Levlovitz who was killed by rocks on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. We returned to Jerusalem to build it and not let any factor undermine our hold on the city, its safety, and security.”
"May the coming year be a year of forgiveness and love, of creating and building, a year in which we will all pray for the peace of Jerusalem," concluded Rivlin.