JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Reuven Rivlin opened Israel’s school year at the Robert M. Beren Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva, where he memorialized murdered student Dvir Sorek.
“The radiance of Dvir’s personality captured the hearts of everyone,” Rivlin said Sunday in an address to Sorek’s classmates and teachers. “One of the finest young men of this good land, whose grandfather Rabbi Binyamin Herling was murdered by terrorists in Samaria, and who was active in bringing together Arab and Jewish youth in this area. Dvir was truly a symbol of hope and faith and breadth of opinion.”
Sorek, who would have turned 19 in the days following his murder, went missing on Aug. 7 while returning from a trip to Jerusalem to buy gifts for his teachers. His body was found at about 3 a.m. the following day on a road leading to the Migdal Oz settlement where the yeshiva, part of the Ohr Torah Stone network, is located. His murderers were arrested several days later.
The Hesder program combines yeshiva studies and army service.
Rivlin added: “Dvir gave us with another responsibility, left us another will. A commitment to discourse and contact between the various tribes and streams within Israeli society. As the elections approach, when passions are raised and the discourse coarsens, I implore you not to believe the incitement and the personal attacks. Do not listen to the voices that are eager to radicalize the discourse, to the right or to the left. Take responsibility for our ‘together’ because this ‘together’ is our only guarantee of our strength and is the best guarantee for our safety.”