Former President Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin’s Blessing to Israel Elwyn

President Reuven Rivlin

For 35 years, Israel Elwyn has been working with great dedication towards advancing the basic rights and quality of life of individuals with disabilities.

“It’s not the sea that separates us, nor the abyss that separates us, nor the time that separates us, it’s us – the two of us – that separates us.” These are the words of the poet Leah Goldberg. In this poem, Goldberg explains that the differences between us, such as skin color, faith, and, yes, disabilities as well, do not have true significance, but are only masks that hide our fear of the different and the unknown.

These are screens that enable us to hide without confronting, without needing to know, these are unnecessary screens that hurt an entire population. Screens that are expressed in forced exclusion of people with disabilities from the community.

Exclusion, which is difficult at every level, but which is blatantly expressed as an inability to integrate into the workforce, to feel of use to society, or to become a real part of it. One must always remember that those who struggle with disabilities are really the true heroes, and the least that we owe these wonderful people, and to ourselves, is to remove all the screens and barriers, not to fear but also not to pity, just to look, to communicate, to talk.

We must pave the way, open doors and hearts, and enable individuals with disabilities to play a significant and active role in society, in the community, in the IDF, national service, and the workforce.
I wish you continued success.

Reuven (Rubi) Rivlin
Former President of the State of Israel

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