Jonathan Pollard Honored at Annual Chidon HaTanach HaArtzi L'Upanot
Justice4JPNews - May 9, 2005
The Annual Chidon HaTanach HaArtzi L'Upanot (National Girl's Academies Bible Quiz Championship) took place in Kyriat Arba today, and its theme "Eht Achi Anochi Mivakesh" ("I am seeking the welfare of my brother") was in honor of Jonathan Pollard. Girls' Ulpanot from all over the country attended as some 20 finalists competed for the top 3 slots in Bible expertise.
HaRav Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Kyriat Arba, opened the event with blessings for the overflowing auditorium and words of wisdom and encouragement that made the event all the more meaningful.
Mrs Esther Pollard was the guest of honor. There were special tributes to Jonathan throughout the day, including special prayers led by HaRav Tzion Tzadok, the organizer of the event; and Noam Arnon, Hebrew Spokesperson for Hebron. A video honoring Pollard was presented at mid session. The Kyriat Arba girls' choir provided intermittent entertainment.
The impressive Bible quiz was moderated by Dr. Avshalom Kor, Israel's foremost language expert and best known radio voice. HaRav Asher Mivtzari, former spokesperson for Kfar Darom (in Gaza) and an executive member of the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home, read the questions that were posed in honor of Jonathan Pollard. The questions dealt with issues and events in the Bible having to do with arevut hadadeet (mutual responsibilty for one and other).
The contest was judged by HaRav Tzion Tzadok and HaRav Nachum Neria, assisted by previous contest winners. Neria's father, HaRav Moshe Tzvi Neria z"l, was the originator of the yearly Bible contest and it is held in his memory. His widow, Rachel Neria, addressed the gathering with words of praise and blessing for all. The finalists dazzled the audience with their responses to intricate and unusual questions on a wide range of topics, spanning the entire Tanach (Bible and Prophets).
Prior to the contest, 700 girls who participated gathered in nearby Hebron for a special prayer session for Jonathan Pollard at Ma'arat HaMachpela (The Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.) Esther Pollard greeted them and addressed the overflow crowd of women and girls. Pollard spoke about the power of group prayer, according to the Holy Zohar. She explained the formula the Zohar uses which shows that 2 praying together have the power of 21 people praying; and 5 praying together is as if 54,321 people are praying; while a minyan of 10 people praying in a group have the prayer power of 10,987, 654,321 people praying! Pollard pointed out to the girls that the assembled crowd had a potential prayer power of mega billions, and that if they could harness this collective prayer power to the merit of the Patriarchs and Matriachs buried at the Machpela, amazing miracles may occur!
The girls and their teachers, inspired by her words, threw themselves heart and soul into a group rendition of Nishmat Kol Chai and the Special Prayer for Jonathan by HaRav Mordecai Eliyahu, shlita. The prayers were led by Bella Amiram, of Jerusalem, who accompanied Esther. The girls' voices stormed the Heavens, and when the prayers were completed Esther wished everyone a hearty 'Yashar koach!" She concluded: "In the merit of righteous women, Am Yisrael was redeemed from Mitzrayim, and now G-d willing in the merit of righteous women, and their prayers, combined with the merit of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, may G-d grant that Jonathan Pollard will be speedily redeemed, and we may all meet here again, very soon, to celebrate and give thanks right here in Mara'at HaMachpela! Amain!" Her words were warmly received by all.