Rivlin presents South Korean president with book from Talmud

At a meeting between Reuven Rivlin met with Moon Jae-in of South Korea, the Israeli president gave his South Korean counterpart a book of ancient Jewish wisdom as a token of friendship.

By World Israel News Staff

“I believe that Israel and South Korea can work together to spread the blessings of technology and innovation throughout the Middle East,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said during a meeting with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in on Monday.

President Moon agreed, responding, “I believe that we can significantly advance bilateral ties and that if we succeed in concluding the free trade agreement soon, our economic cooperation will expand and be reflected in greater investment, trade and more.”

Rivlin met with Moon at the Blue House, the official residence of the president of South Korea in Seoul. At the end of the meeting, memorandums of understanding between the two countries in the field of energy and education were signed in the presence of the two leaders.

According to an official statement from Israel’s Government Press Office, “The presidents spoke about the growing ties between the two countries and where the cooperation can be expanded. The South Korean president opened his remarks with condolences to President Rivlin on the death of Nechama, his wife. Later, President Rivlin invited the South Korean president and his wife to come to Israel on an official visit in the near future.”

The statement continued, “President Rivlin noted the many similarities between Korea and Israel. Both have a long history, both gained independence in the same year and both turned every challenge into opportunity. The president also expressed his wish for even greater cooperation between the two countries, with the assistance of the special delegations accompanying this important visit of senior members from the world of economics, business, innovation, academia and science.”

At the meeting, Rivlin commented, “We have turned every challenge into an opportunity, and that is the real secret to our growth as a nation. We have built an army that will protect us, and a strong, growing economy. We have developed flourishing agriculture and brought water to the desert, and you have developed industry that the world looks up to.”

During a lunch following the meeting, Rivlin presented his South Korean counterpart with the Bava Kamma tractate of the Talmud, a work that students in South Korea have recently taken an interest in.

“Both the Jewish and Korean civilizations are based on education and the study of ancient sources of knowledge, including the Talmud which it is my pleasure to give to you, while always seeking to acquire new knowledge and ideas,” said Rivlin.

The Israeli president also shared his plans to transform the monasteries in the Jordan Valley into a pilgrimage area, a project that may spark interest among the large Christian community in South Korea.

The two leaders also touched on the similar security challenges their nations face.

Moon recognized the State of Israel as an inspiration, remarking, “Your education system and the famous Israeli chutzpah are a model for us.”