A day before her 74th birthday, Israeli First Lady Nechama Rivlin died on Tuesday at the Belinson hospital after she lost her battle to the pulmonary illness she fought in recent years, and after she underwent a lung transplant in March.
She was the wife of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the first to pay tribute to Rivlin, on behalf of the people of Israel and his own family.
“Together with every Israeli citizen, my wife Sara and I are deeply saddened at the passing of the wife of the president, Nechama Rivlin,” Netanyau said. “We have all prayed for her health during the recent period, when she fought heroically for her life.”
Flags at the president’s residence were lowered to half-mast as a sign of mourning.
Many Israelis, among them politicians and artists, shared in social media their heartfelt sadness and loss. Hadash-Ta’al Chairman Ayman Odeh described as her “a dear woman who loved her fellow human beings,” while many reminisced about her touching tributes for the less fortunate.
She was also an avid nature lover and asked that the garden in the residence will be filled with birds feeders and be open to all children. She loved art, dogs and cooking and from time to time would write Facebook posts, generally began with the words “Hello everyone, Nechama here,” and signed them “Yours, Nechama.”
She will be laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon at the Leaders of the Nation section in Mount Herzel in Jerusalem.