Torah Scroll, and More, for Pollard
Hillel Fendel - IsraelNationalNews - September 26, 2008
to see photos of this event.
J4JP Prefacing Note:
A deeply moving Hachnasat Sefer Torah ceremony took place in Efrat last night as a Sefer Torah in Honor of Jonathan Pollard was donated to the Zayit Raanan Beit Knesset. The Sefer Torah in honor of Jonathan Pollard was sponsored by Mr. Tzvi Send.
During the year that it took for the Sefer Torah to be written, Send invited the public to contribute to the mitzvah of Pidyan Shvuyim by buying letters in the Sefer Torah (www.Jews4Pollard.com) as a means of creating public awareness and sharing the mitzvah.
On behalf of Jonathan and Esther Pollard, J4JP thanks and blesses Mr. Send for his principled action and his generosity of spirit. May the Send Family be abundantly blessed for their contribution to the Mitzvah of Pidyan Shvuyim, for their generous donation of the Sefer Torah to Zayit Raanan Congregation and for their efforts to awaken the public by sharing the mitzvah. The Pollards also express their deepest thanks and appreciation to the people of Efrat, to the Zayit Raanan Beit Knesset and to the Mayor of Efrat, Eliyahu Mizrachi, and all the participants who came from all over the country to share in the joy and celebration of the Hachnasat Torah! Yashar Koach to all!
Photos and a video of the spectacular event will be posted to the J4JP website: jonathanpollard.org and to www.freepollard.net the Hebrew website -- so stay tuned!
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(IsraelNN.com) A Torah scroll, a hiking path in the Holy Land, and a dramatic poem commemorate Jonathan Pollard's nearly
The Zayit Raanan Congregation of Efrat will hold a joyous ceremony on Thursday evening [Sept. 25], with live Hassidic music and dancing, marking the introduction of a new Torah scroll in the synagogue. The Torah will be dedicated in honor of Jonathan Pollard, who has been in U.S. prison for nearly 23 years.
Pollard was convicted of one charge of passing classified U.S. Navy information to an ally - Israel. The information related to Syrian and Iraqi poison gas production and nuclear capabilities being developed for use against Israel. [He has expressed remorse for not finding legal means to act upon his concerns for Israel.]
The Efrat program is to begin with the writing of the Torah Scroll's final letters and the afternoon Mincha prayer service, followed by the joyous escorting of the Torah to the synagogue. Dignitaries will speak and a festive meal will be served. Another Torah scroll, one that survived the Holocaust in Europe and has been with the David and Tanya Cohen family, will also be given to the synagogue at the same occasion.
Joining Mrs. Esther Pollard in attendance will be Rabbis Shlomo Riskin, Yaakov Yosef, Yaakov Meidan, Yosef Tzvi Rimon, and Yuval Cherlow, as well as Efrat Mayor Eli Mizrachi, Gush Etzion Regional Council head Sha'ul Goldstein, and others.
Hiking Trail in Binyamin
Some 15 miles to the north, in the Binyamin Regional Council just north of Jerusalem, the youth of the town of Kochav Yaakov have recently completed clearing a new hiking trail in a wadi near the town in honor of Jonathan Pollard.
The project was initiated and executed by the town's youth "as a means of letting [Esther and Jonathan Pollard] know how much they are appreciated by us and how he serves as an example of doing what is right regardless of the personal costs entailed."
The summer project involved weeks of clearing debris, intensively exploring the area, and finally marking the trail. The youth have submitted a request to the Israeli Parks and Nature Authority to have it officially recognized as a national trail within a National Park, and to have the wadi renamed "Wadi Yonatan." The request has received the backing of the town council, the East Binyamin Regional Council and the preliminary reviewers at the Parks Authority.
Jonathan and Esther Pollard responded with a personal letter to the youth of Kochav Yaakov, thanking them for "sharing this inspiring news with us" and expressing the hope that they would both be able to come soon and "take part in the inauguration of Wadi Yonatan with all of you!"
Photos of the new trail can be seen
Pollard in Prose: Refuses to Speak Against Israel
A poem by Achiya Yisraeli commemorating Pollard's continued incarceration will be published in Friday's edition of Makor Rishon. The English translation, as prepared by the Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization, appears below:
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
We want to do Tshuva [repentance], we say.
Ha'shivainu, 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?
For information on Jonathan Pollard and his case, visit jonathanpollard.org.