Ha Rav Ovadia Yossef's Letter to Pollard

(Translated from the original Hebrew)

Ovadia Yossef
Rishon Lezion And President of the Council of Torah Sages Jerusalem

25 Adar 5758
Thursday 26, March 1998

To my honored and dear Prisoner of Zion, for whom our greatest hope is that he shall, in the coming year, with the help of G-d, come home to live with us in Jerusalem Rebuilt.

Mr. Jonathan Pollard
Federal Prison
North Carolina

My Dear Jonathan!

Peace and great blessings upon you from Jerusalem!

Our sages teach us that "Even when a sharp sword is at a man's throat he must not despair of mercy, that after every dark hour the sun shall yet shine".

You have been waiting for so many years for your freedom; and we too have waited with the profound hope to see you reunited with the entire House of Israel, as a free man,

The Spring Season brings with it glad tidings of redemption. Even the trees that were dry now blossom forth. Symbolically this is to teach us that at every time and in every season, "Salavation comes from the Almighty in the wink of an eye." "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

I too send you tidings of peace in this letter of support and encouragement, in the great expectation of seeing you merit glorious and speedy redemption.

I am sending you my blessings by through the hand of my dear and honored friend, a great Minister in Israel, who is my faithful envoy, Rabbi Eliyahu Yishai, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in the Government of Israel.

In another 2 weeks all of the House of Israel will celebrate Passover, the holiday of freedom, during which it is said, "Now we are in bondage, next year we shall be free men."

We intend to pray for you so that you may also merit along with the rest of the nation of Israel, to leave the House of Bondage in Egypt and to personally experience the 4 expressions of redemption (in the Hagadah): " I drew (you) out"; "I saved (you)"; "I redeemed (you)" and "I removed (you)".

I shall close with my heartfelt blessing that you shall soon merit to say, "Next year in Jerusalem Rebuilt; in Nissan they were redeemed, and in Nissan they are due to be redeemed again."

With close friendship and praise,
And the blessing of freeing prisoners,

Ha Rav Ovadia Yossef
Rishon LeZion
And President of the Council of Torah Sages