IDF Chief Rabbi to Soldiers: Pray for the Release of Pollard

Hanan Greenberg - Yediot Achronot/YNET - April 9, 2005

[Translated to English by J4JP]

The Military Chief Rabbi, Brigadier General Rabbi Yisrael Weiss recently met with Jonathan Pollard who is imprisoned in the US, and decided that it is the duty of IDF soldiers to pray for his release. "Master of all the Worlds have mercy upon your son, Jonathan," wrote the Chief Rabbi in the prayer which was distributed to all the units. His spokespersons say that this was done with the approval of the IDF Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense.

Is the IDF enlisting on behalf of Jonathan Pollard? The army's chief rabbi, Brigadier General Rabbi Yisrael Weiss has written a special prayer for the IDF soldiers to say for Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel in the US. "Master of all the Worlds, Lord of Lords Whose ears are receptive to a prisoner's cry As a father is merciful to his children, so too have mercy upon Your son, Jonathan," writes the Chief Rabbi in a prayer that was distributed to all units at the end of last week.

Officials close to the Chief Rabbi of the IDF told YNET: "About 6 months ago Rabbi Weiss received a request to visit with Pollard; and about 3 months ago, when Rabbi Weiss was in the United States, he met with Pollard and his wife Esther at the prison. The meeting lasted some 3 hours, during the course of which Pollard asked the Rabbi to write a prayer for the soldiers of the IDF to pray for his speedy release from prison."

The rabbi responded to his request and the prayer has been distributed to all the various units. The atmosphere of the visit was pleasant, and it was meant to strengthen his spirit. The officials added: "This was all done with the approval of the Chief of staff, and the knowledge of the Minister of Defense."

The Prayer: "Your salvation is close at hand"

This is the prayer that the Chief Rabbi wrote:

Master of all the Worlds, Lord of Lords Whose ears are receptive to a prisoner's cry, hear my prayer, listen to my supplications (Psalm 143:1) that Your eyes be open unto the supplication of Your servant. (Kings 1:8:53)
As a father is merciful to his children, so too have mercy upon Your son, Jonathan.

Remember Your mercies HaShem and Your kindnesses (Psalm 25:6) Please let Your mercy not desist from him; take him out from a place where they sit in darkness and the shadow of death, shackled in affliction and iron. (Psalm 107:10)

Let his cry and his plea come before You to transform a valley of gloom into a doorway of hope ( Hosea 2:15)
because You are the Lord, G-d of his hope, and Your hope shall not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)

Please HaShem, be a harbinger of good tidings, make news of redemption be heard, (Isaiah 52:7) for Your salvation is close at hand and Your hope to be revealed so all the nations will know Your salvation.

Master of the World, a new light upon Jonathan will shine in Zion, and may we all, speedily, be worthy of the light. Amain and Amain!

The Chief Rabbi calls Esther Pollard, Esther HaMalka ("Queen Esther")

Adi Ginzburg an activist from The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home related: "The Pollards initiated the prison meeting with The Chief Rabbi of the IDF, and after the meeting the Rabbi sent an emotionally charged letter to Pollard and to his wife. In it he wrote that Pollard had revealed himself to be '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, and a proud and faithful Jew.' He also praised Esther Pollard and called her 'Esther HaMalka.'"

Ginzburg added: While it is unfortunate that it comes so late, it is still an important official recognition by the IDF of Pollard's service to the Ministry of Defense. He should be treated like any soldier left in the field. This gesture of support is important to us particularly at this juncture time, in which the prime minister is traveling to the U.S. without the MKs petition for Pollard's release; at least someone remembers Jonathan.

"It is clear to us that the moment that the Prime Minister wants to deal with the issue, there will be results. He is aware that he abandoned Pollard in the past, and he has even spoken about it. We all know that when something is really important to the Prime Minister, he knows how to get things done, as he has shown us with Tannenbaum, and with the disengagement plan.

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