Op-Ed: What You CAN do to Help Jonathan Pollard
Barry KupferThe writer is active in the efforts to free Jonathan Pollard.
Alan Dershowitz, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and many other former senior State Department, Defense Department, CIA and Attorney General officials have all come out publicly in support of Jonathan Pollard’s release. “It’s the right thing to do”, “sentence…utterly disproportionate to the crime”, “gross miscarriage of justice” – these are some of the quotes indicating that there is every reason for Pollard to be released.
So why have all the past administrations refused to release him? That is the question that many keep asking. And the lack of an answer to this question is as hard to understand as it ever was. Could there be any reasonable reason for Jonathan’s continued imprisonment in light of all the calls for his release by former government officials who know every secret detail of his case? After 26 years of difficult incarceration, how can we sit idly by while his health continues to deteriorate and he spent this past Pesach in a hospital?
What should we do? Many organizations call for contacting our government officials to keep Pollard’s plight on their radar. There is a big election coming up and both parties will take note of issues of interest to the electorate. I personally would like to see one Jewish classroom a day, all across the US, have all the students write letters to the President and to Jonathan. If over time, government officials saw thousands of letters, they would notice. The teacher could use it as a lesson in chesed, hashkafah and/or social studies. It seems like a win-win. Some individual schools have had some letter campaigns.
But I haven’t convinced anyone to take this concept forward nationally so I am throwing the idea into the public sphere and hope that some classrooms implement it.
However, we do know that Hashem runs the world and the ultimate reason why Jonathan Pollard is still in jail is because God wants him there.
Okay, that is self evident and maybe not very helpful. We should actively work to get him released through the system. We must do our “hishtadlus”. But Hashem controls the world. We must not forget that Hashem listens to our prayers and perhaps He will allow our efforts to succeed. Maybe God is presenting this opportunity to Klal Yisroel to unite and to work for his release. Achdus in Klal Yisroel has long been cited as a way to gain God’s favor.
So let’s not forget the spiritual side – let’s do acts of chesed, give tzedakah and say Tehillim to merit Jonathan Pollard’s release.
The Worldwide Jonathan Pollard Tehillim Chaburah on www.CholimList.org was created to help organize the recitation of all Sefer Tehillim every day until the day that Jonathan Pollard is released, IY’H soon. There are currently Chaburah members from across the world and across the US reciting most of Sefer Tehillim every day. The Worldwide Jonathan Pollard Tehillim Chaburah can be found on www.CholimList.org, a website that organizes cholim lists and tracks cholim status.
Last year, a similar article was written about the Worldwide Gilad Shalit Tehillim Chaburah. I also created a flier to be posted in shuls and organizations to publicize it on which I quoted a partial pasuk from Tehillim. The section of Tehillim for the day of the month of Gilad’s release included that pasuk fragment. I like to think that this was an indication from Hashem that everyone’s Tehillim helped in the cause. I have since chosen to highlight Jonathan Pollard’s plight on the web site.
Please consider joining the Worldwide Jonathan Pollard Tehillim Chaburah. User feedback has been very important so if you can think of a way to improve it or additional features that would be useful or just have a question, be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact link on the site.
But the important thing is that Jonathan Pollard be released soon and that all cholim have a refuah shleimah - bimheira b’yameinu.