Esther Pollard's Remarks at the New Jewish Congress
Justice4JPnews - November 27, 2007
The New Jewish Congress met in Jerusalem today [27/11/07] at the Renaissance Hotel for a day of study sessions, speeches and planning, by all those who are devoted to preserving an undivided Jerusalem and fighting for Jewish Sovereignty over the Land of Israel.
Esther Pollard attended the morning session of the Congress where Nissan GanOr (Head of the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home) spoke eloquently about the case and its direct relevance to the struggle for Jewish Sovereignty over the Land of Israel. She returned for the evening awards session, under the impression that she would be receiving
an award for her husband Jonathan. Much to her surprise, Esther was presented with a special certificate of appreciation in her name, honoring her for her courage, devotion and endless efforts on behalf of her husband, "Israeli hero, Jonathan Pollard."
The following is an English language rendition of Esther Pollard's remarks (which were made in Hebrew) at the New Jewish Congress:
Good evening to all. Let me first begin with a small correction to the kind introduction just made. To my great sorrow, it is now the 23rd year that Jonathan is sitting in prison, not the 22nd.
I did not know that I would be speaking tonight until I attended the opening session of the New Jewish Congress this morning and saw the announcement with my name on the speaker's list. After the morning session I spoke with Jonathan and told him about the Congress and he asked me to share with you his personal message, as follows:
"Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel is acquired only through the blessing of Heaven as bestowed by the Almighty G-d of Israel, the Sovereign Master of the Universe. Anyone who thinks that Jewish Sovereignty can be acquired without the blessing of Heaven is simply mistaken. It is incumbent upon us as a Nation to ensure that we are worthy of this great gift."
To expand upon my husband's words, let me first point out that
one does not have to be a genius, or a great sage to look at the situation in the Land today and to see that we, the Jewish Nation living in Zion, are being tested.
We are being tested to see if we are deserving of sovereignty and so far we are failing. How can we know that we are not passing the test?
The G-d of Heaven and Earth sent us a test: the case of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli agent who sacrificed himself for the Land and People of Israel. The abandonment of Jonathan Pollard was the original test for the people of Israel to see if we have learned anything from the sale of Yosef HaTzadik. The Borei HaOlam (Creator of the World) wants to see if we are still willing to sell a brother. To betray a brother. To abandon a brother. Or if we have finally learned the lessons of the sale of Yosef Hatzadik, the lessons of "arevut hadaddeet", mutual responsibility.
When the Nation allowed the Government of Israel to abandon Jonathan for years and years, G-d, simply turned up the volume and sent us another test, and then another test and yet another test. Each time the test gets bigger and bigger. It started with the abandonment of Jonathan Pollard, and spread to the abandonment of our MIAs and captives, the abandonment of Ron Arad and Zacharia Baumel; and the abandonment of Mudhat Yousef at Kever Yosef. Lately it spread to the abandonment of the kidnapped soldiers, Regev, Goldwasser and Shalit. It spread to the abandonment of populations such as Hebron and Kiryat Arba; it spread to the abandonment of territories, such as Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. It spread to the abandonment of citizens, women and children in places like Sderot; and to all of the people of northern Israel during the second Lebanon War. It spread to the abandonment of the soldiers who fought that war. Now at the Annapolis Convention this same policy of abandonment threatens to uproot even more Jews from their homes, to amputate more land from the body of Eretz Yisrael, and threatens the very existence of Jerusalem.
How is it that we do not see that this is the same test, over and over and over again, just bigger and bigger all the time? As if we are simply not listening, not paying attention, so G-d makes the message louder and louder and louder.
And still we are not paying attention.
If we are to win the battle for Jerusalem; if we are to win the battle for Jewish Sovereignty over all of Eretz Yisrael, we have to solve the problem of abandonment at its root, where it began. We have to stop the illusion that the abandonment of Jonathan Pollard is an issue that stands on its own and is not connected to anything else. The fact is, the abandonment of Jonathan Pollard is connected to every single abandonment that we have suffered and continued to suffer since then.
It is up to us to wake up, and realize that the key to solving all of the abandonment occurring in Israel today is to start with the original abandonment and solve it first. To throw all of our efforts, energy, resources and prayers into freeing Jonathan Pollard and bringing him home after 22 years in prison. If we will put our hearts and souls into the mission of redeeming Jonathan, HaShem will be with us and we will succeed. Once we succeed, the blessing of Heaven will be upon us as a Nation and we will have Heaven's support and direction to show us the way to miraculously solve all of the problems of abandonment and all of their manifestations in the Land.
This is G-d's world. He is the sovereign. Not us. He decides who will succeed and who will not. He decides who will rule in the land, and who will not. He is testing us to ensure that we will be deserving of this great gift. But we cannot hope to achieve mastery of the test, if we are not willing to pass the very first stage of the test: the mitzvah of Pidyan Shvuyim (the redemption of a captive). The mitzvah of Pidyan Shvuyim is a test of our commitment to Judaism, to G-d and to our Land. It is the litmus test of our commitment to each other, "arevut hadaddeet".
As long as the mitzvah of Pidyan Shvuyim is relegated to the bottom of the list of our National priorities; as long as Jonathan Pollard is left to languish in an American prison, the dream of Jewish Sovereignty in the land will remain as it is today, just a dream. An unattainable dream.
Or, as Jonathan put it in his personal message to the Congress tonight: the only way that the dream of Jewish Sovereignty over the Land of Israel can be achieved is for the Lord and Master of the World to bless us and bestow this great gift upon us. To realize the dream, we have to deserve it. Our words, actions and deeds, our devotion to the Land and to each other is the way we accrue the merit needed. There is no other way.
May HaShem bless the New Jewish Congress with wisdom and understanding. Wisdom to see what needs to be done; and understanding of how to achieve the goal. Hatzlacha Rabba! Much success!
See Also: Hebrew Document: New Jewish Congress Award Honoring Esther Pollard