Pollard Honored at Bar Ilan University
Award Bestowed upon Pollard: Yakir HaTorah V'Haaretz
J4JPnews - February 2, 2007
Jonathan Pollard was honored last night at the annual convention of rabbis at Bar Ilan University under the auspices of Machon HaTorah V'Haaretz.
Machon HaTorah V'Haaretz deals with the mitzvahs (Torah laws and commandments) dependant upon and related to The Land. This year's convention dealt with the topic of Shmittah (the Sabbatical Year). A new Shmittah year begins in September 2007.
At a ceremony presided over by His Honor, Ha Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Jonathan Pollard received the award "Yakir HaTorah V'Haaretz" (Beloved of The Torah and The Land) "for his devotion to the Nation which dwells in Zion, and for...saving us from our enemies."
Jonathan Pollard's wife, Esther was invited to be present at this closing session of the rabbinic conference in order to receive the award for her husband. She was accompanied by Eleonora Shiffrin, Russian Language spokesperson for the Pollard case.
The award was presented by HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita.
As the Rav rose to present the award, the audience rose with him. HaRav Eliyahu spoke of Jonathan Pollard in glowing and loving terms. He admonished the crowd concerning the debt of gratitude owed to Jonathan Pollard and spoke with displeasure of the failure of Israel to remember that it has a captive in America. He pointed out that Jonathan is a shevui of the highest order, and great hero and deserves our thanks and support and utmost efforts to secure his immediate release. He told anecdotes about his visits to the prisoner of Zion in America, and praised Jonathan's courage and amazing intellect.
HaRav Eliyahu also lavished praise on Jonathan's wife, Esther Pollard, saying that her husband is a "gibor" and she is a "giborah." Esther's endless efforts and untiring advocacy for her husband are heroic and deserving of praise, said the Rav, and thanks to her, Jonathan's name remains strong in public consciousness.
The Rav then presented a large beautifully framed, lovingly inscribed certificate of honor to Mrs. Pollard for her husband. She graciously received it, as the Rav made a heartfelt blessing and appeal to Heaven for Jonathan's immediate release. The audience responded with a resounding, "Amain!" followed again by endless rounds of enthusiastic applause.
HaRav Asher Mivtzari of Machon HaTorah V' Haaretz read the certificate aloud for the audience. It reads in part, We are honored to present to Prisoner of Zion, hero of our people, Jonathan Pollard, the honor of "Yakir HaTorah V'Haaretz" (Beloved of The Torah and The Land), for his self-sacrifice to save the Land of Israel. We do so amidst prayer and urgent outcry to the public at large, to demand his immediate release... (See of the award.)
After the ceremony, HaRav Eliyahu addressed the rabbis and answered questions on the mitzvah of Shemittah. Upon the conclusion of his session, as his entourage exited the auditorium, the Rav sought out Mrs. Pollard to give her warm personal greeting for her husband and to bless them both. Wave after wave of conference participants also approached Mrs. Pollard to offer their support and blessing for Jonathan's safe, speedy return home.
The rabbis repeatedly indicated to the Israeli agent's wife that this award was the very least that they felt they could do for her husband. Many expressed the sentiment that it was particularly fitting that the title of "Yakir HaTorah V'Haaretz" (Beloved of The Torah and The Land) was bestowed upon Jonathan Pollard at a convention honoring The Torah and The Land.
See Also: Text of Award Bestowed upon Pollard: Yakir HaTorah V'Haaretz - [Beloved of The Torah and The Land]