Among those speaking at the conference, which was organized with the Jewish People Policy Institute, were Rabbi Benny Lau of the Ramban Orthodox community in Jerusalem; Rabbi Chaya Rowen-Baker of the Conservative Ramot Zion congregation in Jerusalem; Rabbi Meir Azari of the Reform Beit Daniel synagogue in Tel Aviv; Dr. Moti Zeira from HaMidrasha in Oranim; and others.
“Like family, a society also needs solidarity and brotherhood,” President Rivlin told the attendees. “A society without this – as the Talmud teaches us – is destined for destruction. The notion of family is intrinsic to a healthy society. In a healthy society there exists unity and ethics, leniency on the law alongside the letter of the law.”
The president went on to emphasize, “We must remember and ensure the existence of unity, of the simple ‘love of Israel’ within us, within the Jewish people… We must not forget for a moment, that fierce debates are a sincere and genuine expression of a concern for us all – Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, and Secularist – for the present day, and for the future of the Jewish people.
Rivlin said that “one could disagree with the positions and opinions of members of the Reform or Conservative movements, but one could not deny their dedication, or the clear voice with which they speak, in support of the State of Israel here and around the world. One could debate with the Religious Zionist community, or with the Kibbutz movement, but one could not deny the contribution of these movements to the building of the State of Israel, to its well-being and security.
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