A message from Jonathan Pollard
Rabbi Pessah Lerner brings bring greetings from the U.S. prisoner
September 9, 2011 - The Jerusalem Post - Greer Fay Cashma
Rabbi Pessah Lerner, executive vice president of the New York based National Council of Young Israel, is a frequent visitor to this country, and his current visit is two-fold.
Primarily he came to attend the dedication on Thursday of the 200th Torah Scroll presented by the NCYI and the International Young Israel Movement's Israel Region to an Israeli army base.
His second reason was to bring greetings from Jonathan Pollard, who has been incarcerated for more than a quarter of a century for passing classified information to Israel.
Lerner frequently visits Pollard and also makes arrangements for visits by Israelis who, while in the US, want to meet Pollard and offer him some encouragement.
Speaking at the Sirkin Army base at the dedication ceremony of a Torah Scroll in memory of Ruby Davidman - who for nearly four decades was engaged in providing for the spiritual and physical welfare of the defenders of the nation's security - Lerner said that when he had been to see Pollard two weeks ago, he had told him the purpose of his current visit to Israel.
In return, Pollard asked him to thank the IDF for what it is doing to safeguard the population.
Lerner said that he would visit Pollard again before Rosh Hashana and would tell him that he had delivered his message.
Young Israel has been distributing Torah scrolls to army bases for the past 12 years. Lerner has been busy in the US assiduously collecting scrolls that are no longer used because the synagogues for which they were originally acquired no longer exist, or because faded or blemished letters have disqualified the scrolls from use in synagogue services.
Young Israel has the scrolls repaired and distributed in Israel to permanent army bases, as well as to mobile units.
The scroll distributed on Thursday had very special meaning, not only because it was dedicated on the first anniversary of Davidman's demise at a base on which his grandson Amit is serving, but also - as was emphasized by the military's chief rabbi, because it had been rescued from the Holocaust in Romania, and was now being used by IDF soldiers.