YNet News (Excerpt ) / Elisha Ben Kimon
Israel’s 68th Independence Day ended on Thursday night in Jerusalem with the annual awarding of the Israel Prize to 11 pioneers in their fields.
Present at the ceremony were President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Supreme Court President Justice Miriam Naor, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein.
Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog and Rabbi Eli Sadan received the lifetime achievement prize
When Almog received his prize, the audience rose to its feet to applaud the founder of a rehabilitation village for mentally disabled children, named after his disabled son, Eran, who died in 2007.
“Eran, our son, did not know what independence was,” said Almog in his speech as the representative of the prize recipients. “Eran never spoke, never called my wife ‘Mom’ or me ‘Dad.’ Regardless, he was the greatest teacher in my life.” He continued, saying “in Eran’s name and the name of his friends who didn’t know what independence is, I ask that this ceremony be the beginning of a journey for tikkun olam (repairing the world), making Israeli society a more patient, more inclusive society. A small step towards a model society.”