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Tens of Thousands of Children Pray for Jonathan Pollard

Israeli children across Israel pray for Jonathan Pollard's release, in event coordinated through religious elementary schools.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 1/1/2014, 8:32 PM

Tens of thousands of Israeli children participated in a mass prayer effort for Jonathan Pollard's release Wednesday, in a program held across Israel.

Special lessons were held discussing the issue and its importance before the prayer sessions. 

Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, held the main prayer session at the Noam Public-Religious school in Tzfat. The students reportedly were very eager to participate in efforts to secure Pollard's release, and learned much from Rabbi Eliyahu's speech about his visit to Pollard in the United States.

Rabbi Eliyahu demonstrated the seriousness of the situation by explaining that while the event had a refreshments table with fruit and drinks, Pollard had not been able to enjoy a normal meal for almost 29 years.  He promised the children that he would bring Pollard the children's blessings for a speedy release during his next visit. 

Rabbi Doron Zephania, who organized the prayer sessions held for children in Jerusalem, said that the students' excitement was palpable. 

Pollard has recently been subject of a high-profile campaign for his release, after being held in the US for more than 28 years on spying allegations. He was arrested by FBI agents in 1985 and held ever since. 

Calls for his release escalated since it was revealed last month that the US and UK have been spying on top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Pollard was arrested on charges far less serious, critics noted, and slammed the Obama administration for "hypocrisy." 

The calls for Pollard's release escalated so much so that over 106 MKs attended a special Knesset session last Wednesday to protest US President Barack Obama's refusal to release the prisoner, and signed a petition urging the President to reconsider. 



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