Pope Bows to Pay Respect to Israeli President’s Chareidi Bureau Chief, Mrs. Ravitz


popePope Francis has become something of a media darling since entering the Vatican in 2013, and now the pontiff has drawn the attention of the frum Jewish community, after bowing to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s bureau chief.

Various media released an image of the papal bow on Sunday, from Rivlin’s trip to Rome last week. According to the reports, when it came time for Rivlin’s trusted assistant, Rivkah Ravitz, to meet the Pope, she declined the traditional handshake, explaining that for religious reasons, she would not be able to reciprocate.

Nor, she said, could she bow to the pontiff, because he was adorned with a cross.

Pope Francis immediately recognized the situation and, diffusing all awkwardness with deft extemporization, covered his cross and bowed to Ravitz instead.

Ravitz is Rivlin’s longtime assistant, having served as his executive assistant while he was a Knesset lawmaker, and then as his bureau chief when he was Knesset speaker. She became the first chareidi bureau chief at the President’s Residence, when Rivlin assumed the office last year.

{The Algemeiner/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. What a Kiddush Hashem. There’s so much to learn here — pride in ourselves, pride as frum Jewish women, the intelligent balance between respect for others and respect for oneself, and so much more. Thank you, Mrs. Ravitz, for such an important lesson.

  2. Local Chicago joke:
    When the Pope adopted the name Francis, everyone assumed that it was after St. Francis. Not necessarily; he may have named himself after HaRav Moshe Francis SHLIT”A, Rosh HaKollel of the Chicago Community Kollel (a.k.a. the Lakewood Kollel of Chicago).