Esther Pollard's Speech at Hachasat Sefer Torah Ceremony
J4JPnews - September 28, 2008
J4JP Prefacing Note:
Esther Pollard prefaced her speech by describing Jonathan's early morning phone call, very excited, asking about the Hachnasat Sefer Torah festivities. When informed that it was too early, that the event had not taken place yet, Jonathan ended the phone call quickly so as to save his limited minutes to call back at night. He called back at 7:00 PM, as the procession with the Sefer Torah was making its way through the streets of Efrat, accompanied by singing and dancing, on its way to its new home at Zayit Ranan Beit Knesset. Jonathan was very moved to know that he was, in this way, even if just by telephone, part of the procession! Esther told the crowd that it is impossible to describe the utter joy that Jonathan expressed when she told him that (in a manner in complete accord with Halacha) she had been given the extraordinary honor of completing 2 letters in his Sefer Torah! The letters were the yod and the nun (first and last letters of the name Yehonatan) of the 3rd to last word in the Sefer Torah -
L'einei Kol Yisrael - in the "eyes" of all Israel. Very fitting! Esther then returned to her prepared remarks. Her speech was followed by a, deeply moving, powerful joint prayer by all participants. Esther spoke in Hebrew. The translation to English follows below.
B"H 25 Ellul 5768, September 25, 2008
8,350 days of captivity in America for Jonathan Pollard
On behalf of Jonathan and myself, I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this festive Hachnasat Sefer Torah Ceremony in honor of Jonathan for his speedy release. It is deeply touching to see such a wonderful crowd of people who came from all over the country to participate in this wonderful event - an event which has been organized with such generosity and fullness of heart!
There is no need to say a great deal after all that has been said before me, so I will not prolong my words. There is only one more thing that Jonathan and I would request, something that is very important to us, which we would deeply appreciate.
As you are aware, as we have been taught, the power of group prayer is enormous. According to HaRav HaGaon, Ha'Mekubal, Ha Rav Mutsofi, who cites the Holy Zohar, there is a simple method by which one can understand the value of each additional person who joins his fellows in prayer. For example, 1 person who prays alone has the prayer power of 1; whereas when 2 pray together, they have the prayer power of 21. When three pray together, they have the prayer power of 321, and 4 have the prayer power of 4,321 and so on. According to this system, a minyan (of ten people) praying together has a prayer power that is equal to more than 10 billion!
Tonight, we have here with us, more than one minyan. Let us please join together in prayer, to say the prayers from this special prayer card (which contains Nishmat Kol Chai and a special prayer for Jonathan) which will be distributed to you in a moment - and just imagine the prayer power we will have!
May G-d grant that in the merit of our joint prayer, from the depths of our hearts, and with focus and devotion, for Jonathan, for all the MIAs and captives, for Am Yisrael, and for the author of this prayer card, His Honor HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita, that we merit to see miracles and wonders! And may the verse be speedily fulfilled for us:
And those Redeemed by HaShem will return and they will come to Tzion rejoicing, with endless joy upon their heads; elation and rejoicing will be theirs and sighing and tragedy banished.
And let us say Amain!