J4JP Background: This is the J4JP translation of a personal letter that Brigadier General Rabbi Israel Weiss, Chief Rabbi of the IDF wrote to Esther Pollard. Rabbi Weiss had spent some time with Esther prior to their meeting with Jonathan at the prison. While Rabbi Weiss and his party were waiting for an escort to take them to the prison visit room, he wrote his letter to Esther. He presented it to her at the end of the meeting, after first reading the letter aloud to Jonathan. Following the meeting, Rabbi Weiss wrote a personal letter to Jonathan which was hand-delivered to him a few days later. Jonathan's letter and all the Hebrew originals are on the J4JP web site.
[Translated from Hebrew]
Mar-Cheshvan 4, 5765. (October 19, 2004)
To Dear Esther Pollard,
A woman of valor who can find? Jonathan found. Israel found. The world found.
There are, it seems, no words exalted enough, that have within them the power or the ability to describe the anguish of your own personal experience of "and they went down to Egypt" and "they afflicted us" and " they oppressed us with hard labor" - which you have lived day in day out, hour after hour, sixty seconds in every minute, for nearly twenty years.
The battle for truth that you are waging before the entire world - to bring the truth to light - arouses both wonder and amazement. You are like Queen Esther, able to convince with your charm and your strength of conviction, all who are willing to listen to you and to hear, after twenty years.
Esther, you are like a bird who keeps flying higher and higher and does not dare to stop flapping her wings for even a second, lest she drop from the sky, plunge to the earth, and die. Your work is like that of Beit Hillel, which keeps "adding and increasing"; not like others, perish the thought, whose work "diminishes and decreases".
You are working in such a way, I believe, that in the end you will win. Indeed you will truly triumph. Or in the words of the Rambam, (at the end of Hilchot Tshuva), "Practise truth because it is truth and as a result good will occur".
The true test of a person resides in his ability to work all day, every day, day in day out, for years and years, like a flame whose wick burns at full strength endlessly and at all times. That, Esther, is the way you carry out your work.
I am certain, that a day is coming and it is not far off, that the prisoner, our dear Jonathan, will emerge from prison. I am certain, even if I do not always understand, that G-d runs the world from the standpoint of, "whatever comes from G-d always turns out for the good."
I am certain, that you will merit - you and Jonathan - and very soon indeed, to sit under your own grape vine and fig tree, in your own home, your real home, your shared home. I am certain, that we will also soon merit, all of us together, joyful times. Esther, do your utmost, even in your most difficult moments, in order to keep seeing the light, the faith and the joy ahead.
With encouragement, support, appreciation, and with the hope that it will be soon,
Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces