Pollard Handcuff Rally, Classes and IDF Rabbi's Letter
Arutz7 News - November 12, 2004
Supporters of Jonathan Pollard will hold a protest rally demanding his release on Sunday, November 21. Handcuffed to each other to symbolize Pollard's 19-year incarceration, participants will walk from the U.S. Consulate near Jerusalem's Independence Park to the Prime Minister's Residence. Their demand: concrete action on Pollard's behalf.
A larger rally will be held afterwards opposite the Prime Ministers Residence. The event will be held to mark the beginning of Pollard's 20th year in U.S. federal prison for passing classified information to Israel.
Also in honor of the sad anniversary, a group of leading Israelis rabbis is calling upon all teachers and rabbis to deliver, in the coming days, "lectures and special classes on the subjects of pidyon shvuyim [redemption of captives] and Jewish responsibility for one and other, and to dedicate them in the merit of Jonathan Pollard (Yehonatan ben Malka) and his speedy redemption." The rabbis further call upon all pulpit rabbis on the Sabbath preceding the Nov. 21 anniversary - the week of Torah portion "Vayetze" - to devote their sermons to these subjects.
Just a few weeks ago, IDF Chief Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Yisrael Weiss visited Pollard in prison, in a meeting later described in glowing terms by observers and participants. As if to cement the impressions left, Rabbi Weiss sent a personal letter to Pollard, in which he wrote the following:
"Jonathan, even though you are held in a horrible prison, your heart is in the East - in the land of Israel; and what is even more important, your soul, Jonathan, resides in the soul of every single Jew.
"I thought that when we met, I would behold a broken vessel... but in reality, you revealed yourself to me as a true hero, a great personality, a giant in thought, pure in speech, a knowledgeable person - and in every respect, solid, focused, well-balanced, clear thinking, and razor-sharp. I experienced true intellectual delight during the hours we shared together in prison, Jonathan.
"Green foliage that uplifts the heart masks its destiny as soon-to-be fallen leaves. Similarly the visitors' room and entry hall of the prison make a good first impression, but are misleading, if not to say downright deceiving. The superficial outer appearance cannot conceal but for a moment, the horrors of the last 20 years, and all of the long months of those years, which can only be described as undeserved (to say the least).
"In the inhumane reality (for example) where you and Esther, who have been married for so many years, hold hands in front of me, with great love but also with unconcealed tears because of your inability to realize your love, or to bring children into the world and to fulfill the very first mitzvah of the Torah, and why oh why? Because you are being punished for generations to come? Because the fathers ate unripe fruit, should the teeth of the sons be blunted? [based on Ezekiel 18,2 - ed.]
"Before I met you, Jonathan, I asked myself more than once, what is the effect of being confined in a tiny and narrow room - a man's outstretched arms easily reach from wall to wall - on a normal man? What have years of such confinement carved, etched and engraved upon his flesh? Years, I thought, not one or two, but 20 years! I then thought that 20 years should be multiplied by 365 days in each year, and then triple and quadruple the hours, minutes and seconds and so on. All of these calculations led me to believe that when we met I would behold a broken man, a shadow of a man, a broken vessel. This is how I imagined you would be, Jonathan. [Instead] I saw a man whose words and heart were in harmony; a man who 'does not bow before man.' You are a man of truth; a man who has fought without fear; who has fought as a proud and faithful Jew.
"This is not a feeling, nor is it a sentiment. It is the reality. You are with us, within us, part of our soul, within our very limbs, and now even more so than ever.
"We are connected, we are hurting, we are joined, we feel, we pray, we wish, we hope, and we are certain that the day will come - and not far off is the day - that you, Jonathan, and Esther your wonderful wife by your side, will arrive together at the gates of redemption, at the gates of
Eretz Yisrael, and very soon!"
Rabbi Weiss also sent a letter of support and encouragement to Pollard's wife Esther, writing,
"The battle for truth you are waging before the entire world - to bring the truth to light - arouses both wonder and amazement. 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... Esther, do your utmost, even in your most difficult moments, in order to keep seeing the light, the faith and the joy ahead!"