Chief Rabbi:Kaddish for Pollard

The soul of Professor Morris Pollard, Jonathan's father, will be supported by the prayers of Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger.

Chana Ya'ar , | updated: 9:29 AM

Rabbi Metzger / Jonathan Pollard
Rabbi Metzger / Jonathan Pollard
Israel news photo: Flash 90 / File

The soul of Professor Morris Pollard, the father of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, will be supported by the personal prayers of Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi.

The younger Pollard has no minyan in prison, the mandatory quorum of 10 men for the proper recital the kaddish– the obligatory Jewish ritual prayer said during the mourning period for the dead.

Pollard's father, age 95, died over the weekend. The White House turned a deaf ear to requests by numerous individuals and official bodies, including the Israeli government, to allow Jonathan a few hours' leave for a final visit with his dying father. Likewise, the Obama administration rejected requests after the elder Pollard's death to allow Jonathan to attend his father's funeral Monday so he could fulfill his obligation under Jewish law to recite the kaddish at his father's grave.

Pollard, jailed for more than 25 years, is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison after being convicted on a sole charge of passing information on terrorist activity to Israel, an American ally – a crime that usually carries a 2 to 4-year prison term. Repeated applications for parole and clemency have been denied.

During a visit from the chief rabbi, Pollard had once asked Metzger to recite kaddish for his mother on the anniversary of her death since he has been unable to properly fulfill the obligation.

“I therefore have resolved to do this small deed for our brother Jonathan and for the soul of his father,” the chief rabbi explained.