Initiative of the Chief Rabbi: Pollard Prayer Added To Siddur

Menachem Rahat - Maariv - September 29, 2004

Starting this week in all synagogues, a prayer for Jonathan Pollard will be included: "[May the Holy One Blessed-Be-He] speedily release him in complete freedom and grant him the merit to go up to Zion joyfully."

Following the failure of many lobbying groups to free Jonathan Pollard from American prison, the initiative now comes to the synagogues. The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger, has composed a prayer blessing Jonathan Pollard and praying for his release. The prayer is called "Teffilah L'man Yehonatan Pollard" (Prayer for Jonathan Pollard) and is written in the style of a "Mishberach prayer" intended for people in dire straits.

Among other things in the prayer, it states "May He who blessed our forefathers Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaacov, Moshe and Aharon, David and Shlomo, Bless YEHONATAN BEN MALKA POLLARD who did so much on behalf of the Nation which dwells in Zion.

The prayer continues in the style of a Mishberach prayer declaring, " May the Holy One Blessed-Be-He protect him and save him from all anguish and distress and from all affliction and illness; and speedily release him in complete freedom and grant him the merit to go up to Zion joyfully... May he merit long life and may his years be blessed with abundant strength and peace...and in this merit may the Holy One Blessed-Be-He bestow mercy upon him, strengthen him, and end his distress.

Many synagogues - including all of those belonging to the (orthodox) Young Israel Synagogues, affiliated with the national religious movement - have announced that they will adopt the prayer written by the Chief Rabbi for Pollard who is jailed in America for espionage on behalf of Israel. The synagogues say they will recite the prayer every Shabbat, after the Torah reading, along with the Prayer for the State of Israel and the Prayer for the Success of Israel's Soldiers and Security.

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The full text of the Prayer (Hebrew Text PDF file) may be viewed on the Justice for Jonathan Pollard web site. The English translation is available as well.
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