A 'Magnificent' 'Deeply Personal Letter' to Jonathan Pollard
Justice4JPnews - April 29, 2009
Jonathan Pollard described the letter below to his wife, Esther, as "magnificent" and "deeply personal." Pollard said he was "humbled by its sentiments" and "strengthened" by its message. It is reprinted below with the permission of the author who has requested that his identity not be revealed.
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April 6, 2009
POB Box 1000 / Clemson
Butner North Carolina
January 20th of this year* will be marked on the calendar of so many thousands of justice-loving Americans and Jews everywhere as a day of mourning. As the hours of the day wore on and no sign of a response to our desperate pleas for mercy surfaced, hope turned into despair. We sobbed in pain, but mostly in impotence. And yet, I admit, we did not do enough. Just as the dwellers of Jerusalem of old betrayed her, so too all those of us who consider ourselves just and compassionate betrayed you. We simply did not care enough. We thought it below our dignity to grovel, to plead. We calculated that too strong of a plea may upset the cozy relationship of our people with the political body of this great nation. We sinned because we cowardly engaged in political calculations, when, instead, we should have demanded justice, regardless.
You have become a symbol of courage. You have rejected cynical political overtures because you had the good of our People in mind, even as they could have bought your release. You have not only become a champion for those who love the Land but you have, in fact, become their Savior. You have been kind and you have spoken kindly of our People, despite unspeakable cruelty meted out to you for doing so.
On the verse (Judges 6:14): "The Lord turned to him [Gideon] and said 'Go in this strength of yours and deliver Israel from the Midianites. I herewith make you my messenger'", Rashi, in the name of the Midrash Tanhuma, comments "The words 'in this strength' mean on the strength of the merit of having spoken in defense of [i.e. having advocated for] my children." The Midrash Tanhuma explains in greater length that at the time of Gideon, the Israelites came under the cruel domination of the Midianites. G-d sought someone who could intercede for the Israelites but could not find such a person because the generation lacked piety and good works. No sooner did Gideon begin to advocate for them, however, G-d revealed himself to him and said 'Go in this strength of yours and deliver Israel from the Midianites", in this strength should be understood to mean on the strength of the merit of interceding for My children.
The Zohar carries this thought even further: "G-d sees with great favor those who speak well of His people. How do we know this? From the story of Gideon. Gideon was neither an upright man, nor the son of an upright man and yet, because he spoke well of Israel, G-d said to him, 'Go in this strength of yours and deliver Israel from the Midianites" To what strength, asks the Zohar, does the verse refer? To the good you have spoken about My Children."
May your continued advocacy of our interests save us from those who wish to see the destruction of our nation and may you see and participate very promptly in the full redemption promised to the children of Israel.
Your broken-hearted friend.
*J4JP NOTE: January 20, 2009 was President George Bush's last day in office - the last possible day to grant Jonathan Pollard's petition for clemency. Bush did not reject the petition, but neither did he grant it. He left it on in-coming President Obama's desk, where it may continue to be used by the State Department against Israel and the Jews.