Rosh HaShana: 8,355 days - and where is Jonathan?

Achiya Yisraeli - Makor Rishon - September 26, 2008

Translated to English by J4JP - May be reprinted

All mankind passes before Him like a flock of sheep.
All are scrutinized and a full account taken.
One, then another, then Jonathan's turn.
Arise Jonathan! Respond! What are you doing in prison?
How do you account for this living-death sentence, more than 20 years?
Jonathan rises. He rises and he remembers.
He remembers how he discovered his brothers in mortal danger.
How the "great ally" hid the truth and covered up so they would not know.
How he transferred those same documents
Whose return would, in the end, place him behind bars.
He remembers seeking asylum at the Embassy and
How he was expelled from there into the arms of the authorities.
He remembers how his handlers had praised his service to the State,
"You are our brother! Thanks to you the security of our nation is assured!"
How, to this day, he and his wife Esther receive no support, no help.
He remembers murderers of women and children freed as "gestures."
How, as if he is worse than the assassin of a Prime Minister,
He is not permitted to father children.
He remembers how, even now, as the term of a President ends and a period of clemency begins,
His brothers do nothing to ensure that his name will be on the list.
He remembers endless years of affliction, humiliation, and degradation.
He remembers and within his heart an agonized voice screams:
"Go ahead, Jonathan! Speak! Tell the whole story!"
It is excruciating to remain silent.
But, to accuse Am Yisrael of deserting him?
He yearns to pour his heart out on Rosh Hashanah to the Master of the World.
But Jonathan does not open his mouth.
He returns to his seated position, without ever speaking a word.
He sits in silence and waits
And we?
We want to do Tshuva, we say. Ha'shivanu, v'nashuva!
Help us to return and we will return! We cry out to Hashem,
While allowing our brother Jonathan's cries for help to go unanswered.
When will we return him home to us?
How shall we answer the One Who Remembers all that is forgotten,
How our brother cried for help until his strength ran out,
How he remained wounded and bleeding in the field,
Abandoned to the sound of his own sighs?

See Also:

  • Hebrew Text: 8,355 days - and where is our brother Jonathan? -


  • Makor Rishon Ad: 8,355 days - and where is our brother Jonathan? JPEG PDF