Day 3 of the Omer
Shavua tov, Moadim l'simchah
On this the 24th anniversary of my aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, I'd like to express my utmost gratitude to HaKadosh Baruch Hu for making it possible. And I'd like to use this opportunity to ask everyone reading here to join me in a prayer for a self-sacrificing Jew, who despite dreaming of making aliyah his entire life, is still prevented from doing so. I hope, thereby, that the door to aliyah for all who will come will once again be opened to Klal Yisrael.
Tell me, is the novelty of being home from work beginning to wear off, your patience with the constraints beginning to wear thin, and the restrictions of movement starting to chafe? There is a holy, righteous Jew who sacrificed his entire life - his family, his marriage, his career, his health and his freedom for Klal Yisrael's benefit, and he is all but forgotten. That Jew is Yehonatan (Jonathan) Pollard, the man Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, ztz"l said is "the Yosef HaTzadik of our generation."
...In the ensuing years, as the relationship between the Rav and Jonathan grew deeper and more complex, the Rav would visit Jonathan every time he came to America. Unlike other Israeli officials who would always try to arrange a visit with Jonathan at the last second as an afterthought, visiting Jonathan was always the Rav’s first priority. The Rav did not relish leaving Eretz Yisrael and was always reluctant to be away from Yerushalyim. But for Jonathan, he was willing. He told us that he gladly accepted invitations to appear at various functions and events in the US only so that he could visit Jonathan! I had the great privilege of attending most of these visits.He was thrown into a 'pit' and abandoned nearly 35 years ago and up to this very day, he remains virtually imprisoned as a result of living conditions imposed upon him which are very much like the ones all the Jews of the world are being forced to accustom themselves to today.
Over time, the Rav shared with us and with a few others who were very close to him that Jonathan’s release is the key to the redemption of all of Am Yisrael.
He taught us how Jonathan’s release is also the key to the release of all of Israel’s captives and MIAs. Once Jonathan is out, all the captives are all out! Once they are all out, we are all in Geula!
Perhaps most significant of all, the Rav always referred to Jonathan as the “Yosef HaTzadik shel doreinu” (The Yosef Hatzadik of our generation.) [Source]
It should have been so obvious to all of us immediately. Yehonatan and his ill and long-suffering second wife Esther, may HKB"H give her an immediate and full recovery, have been dealing with these parole conditions for four and a half years while for us it's only been a month, but it seems like so much longer!
Despite having served 26 years longer than the average sentence for the crime of which he was accused, the US government chose to continue to torture Yehonatan beyond his prison sentence with a set of parole conditions which amounts to a virtual house arrest.
Much of this should sound familiar: inability to go to work, no freedom of travel, lockdown, curfew, no praying with a minyan at synagogue, no traveling to relatives for chagim,....
Yes, the list of our sins which has recently been compiled by various speakers to explain our mass social affliction is long and shameful, but the one that should be at the top of the list, and sadly does not seem to appear at all, is the sin of turning a blind eye to our brother's suffering. We have not redeemed this prisoner and so we also remain unredeemed.
Some reports say that the US has been hit hardest among the nations of the world and that New York City has been hardest hit within the US. This is precisely where the Pollards live and therefore, the community most responsible for their welfare. But, all of us, no matter where we are in this world, are equally responsible to plead his case to anyone who will listen and especially to those with the power to rectify this tragic wrong. We must give them no rest and never let up until justice prevails, and then we also will go free. May we not hesitate to act and may HKB"H help and bring it about with no further delays. Amen!