A Chanukah Miracle in the Making - An Open Letter to Noar L'man Pollard
Special to IMRA - December 17, 2003
by Jonathan Pollard - FCI Butner, NC. USA
If anyone had told me years ago that I would go into prison and emerge one
day, after many years, with thousands of children who bear my name, I would
have thought them mad!
But indeed that is the miracle which has taken place! Noar L'man Pollard,
the thousands of youngsters who belong to the Pollard Youth Movement in
Israel are all my children! Each and every one of you is precious to me, and
I could not be prouder or happier that you carry my name. You are a credit
to our People and bring honor to G-d and Torah. And each one of you is as
dear to Esther and me as if you were blood of our blood and flesh of our
flesh - because in fact you are!
Beloved Youth, you are G-d's secret weapon. You are the seeds of redemption
which He planted at the start of my incarceration so many years ago. You are
the hope for Israel and you are the future of the Jewish People.
In our darkest moments, when Esther and I become discouraged, worn out,
disappointed, and so exhausted that we feel we just can't go on, we remind
each other of our beautiful children who are fighting for us in Zion, and we
are immediately comforted and cheered.
Today, in Israel, our People live under the weight of enormous illusions.
Illusions about who our friends are; and illusions about who our enemies
are. We have a Government in our homeland that rushes about in a mad frenzy
to free murderers and terrorists, and that declares its determination to
uproot Jews and give away the Jewish homeland to our sworn enemies. This
Government, a continuation of all its G-dless predecessors for the last 50
years, keeps inventing logical-sounding lies to convince us why committing
national suicide is good for us as a People!
And the Jewish People in the Land of Zion, what are they to believe when
they are told incessantly that we are a "beggar people" utterly dependent on
the American Overlord for our survival financially and militarily? That in
order to survive we must make "painful concessions"? That we must free
those who wantonly murder our wives and children and slaughter our sons in
blatant terrorist warfare? That we must hand over our homes and our land -
our very lifeblood - to the enemy, for this is the only way to appease our
There are times in the life of our Nation, such as the era of the Purim
story, where all of the Jewish Nation unites, repents as one, prays together
with pure undivided attention, and cries out to Heaven as one. Heaven
responds to our unity and we are saved and redeemed as a Nation, through
miraculous divine intervention.
There are other times in the life of our Nation, such as the era of
Chanukah, when dark forces from within and without divide our People. These
destructive influences labor assiduously under numerous guises, such as
liberalism, humanism, Hellenism, Americanism and Oslo-ism, to cut us off
from G-d and Torah, from our Jewish roots, from our traditions and from our
Land. But most of all, to cut us off from each other.
At such times, try as we might, we are simply incapable of uniting as one
People; incapable of harnessing the miraculous redemptive power of Jewish
unity, and we appear doomed to destruction because we are simply too
fragmented to save ourselves.
When the best that we can do as a People is to produce a small core of
heroic Jews, united and willing to act on behalf of the Nation, Heaven
lowers the bar for us, and accepts our repentance through this united core.
Their unity stands in our merit and their actions are credited to all.
Heaven responds in the merit of the few, and the many are saved -
miraculously redeemed and restored - in spite of all odds. So it was at the
time of the original Chanukah story, and so it will be again in our day.
Just as in the time of Chanukah and the Maccabees, we are today so
assimilated, so browbeaten, so tired and worn out by oppression from within,
that protesting the lies and the betrayal by our leaders is simply more than
we seem able to bear. As a People we desperately want to believe our elected
leaders. We want to believe that they know best. We want to believe that if
we bare our throats to the enemy, they will not slit them but will, instead,
declare a lasting peace with us for generations to come. But we know, deep
in our hearts, that peace with those sworn to our destruction will never
come about through weakness and capitulation.
So why do we keep caving in? Why don't we fight? Why do we not stand united
as a People and cry out to HaShem for help, and tell our leaders: Enough!
You MAY NOT free murderers and terrorists. You MAY NOT uproot Jewish homes
and families from Jewish Land! You MAY NOT give weapons, training and funds
to our sworn enemies! You MAY NOT betray our national heritage by handing
over our homeland to the enemy. And you MAY NOT make a false G-d out of
America! Not for us! Not for one minute more will we tolerate any of this!
The problem lies in the bottom line: Either the People of Israel puts its
faith in G-d, or puts its faith in America. Sadly, for now it is America
that has the Jewish People's vote of confidence, not G-d, and we seem to be
barreling forward to our own destruction.
For 18 years the Pollard case has been the miner's canary for the Jewish
People. When G-d entrusted me to the American Justice System, it was their
choice how to live up to this trust.
For 18 years the Americans have used me as a weapon to punish and humiliate
Israel and the American Jewish community. For nearly 2 decades the Americans
have chosen to lie about me,
to keep me buried alive in prison, to afflict me, to falsely accuse me of
things I did not do, to cheat on their promises, and to undermine truth and
justice at every turn. This lack of faithfulness by the US is not just about
my freedom. This is about Israel. About Israel's right to survive. About
Israel's right to be treated with the same dignity and respect as any other
America's treatment of me has always been a test for Israel and the Jewish
People to stand up for truth and justice. Israel has failed the test over
and over and over again for 18 years because its leaders fear the Americans
more than they fear G-d.
Equally damning has been Israel's complicity in my mistreatment and in the
prolongation of my incarceration. For 18 years Israeli leaders have
cooperated with my American tormentors and jailers with the same zeal and
enthusiasm that they now bring to freeing murderers and terrorists, to
dividing our holy capital of Jerusalem, to uprooting Jewish homes and
settlements and to handing over our national homeland to our sworn enemies.
Only a blind man would fail to see that my abandonment is in microcosm the
abandonment of the Jewish People at large by Hellenized, power-hungry,
craven and cowardly leaders.
But just as in the time of Chanukah when a small but mighty band of everyday
heroes arose, today another heroic band of brave Jews has arisen to go
forward to do battle on behalf of the Jewish People. That group of everyday
heroes calls itself Noar L'man Pollard (the Pollard Youth Movement.)
As the ranks of Noar L'Man Pollard continue to swell, the Voice of Judea
Magazine has coined a popular expression: "It is uncertain if today's youth
can save Pollard, but it is certain that Pollard has saved the youth of
When I first heard this expression, it troubled me greatly, for it sounded
as if I aspired to some kind of leadership role, and it seemed to ascribe to
me an image that makes me very uncomfortable - one that I have never sought
nor desired. But then recently, one of our best young activists, Adi
Ginzburg, explained this popular saying to Esther and me in a way that not
only made sense, but also made us rejoice. Here is what this very special
"Thanks to the efforts of people like Eli Josef, Asher Mivtzari and others
in the Pollard movement, today's youth - most of us were not even born when
Jonathan was arrested - are becoming aware of Jonathan's actions on behalf
of Am Yisrael and of the years of punishment and affliction he has endured
for his efforts on our behalf.
"The Pollard story is a shock to us. It forces us to think. It forces us to
examine our own values and morals and makes us dig deep to find answers to
the most existential questions: Who are we? What are we? What do we stand
for? What is the meaning of Nationhood? Where do I stand vis`a vis my
People? and so on.
"The more we young people confront the Pollard case, the more we are forced
to ask questions that bring us face to face with the most basic Jewish
values. The more we stand up for Pollard, the more we understand the
interconnectedness of the Jewish People and our responsibility to each
other, to our Land and to our G-d, as a nation. And that is how,
inadvertently, Jonathan is slowly, slowly bringing youth to awareness of our
great tradition and of our national heritage. That is how he is teaching us
to value our homeland and our solidarity with it and with each other."
What a breath of fresh air Adi's words were to us! And how true! My case is
a vessel through which G-d is calling his Holy People back to Him and back
in line with Torah-true values and Torah-true lives. Standing up for truth
and justice for me, is part and parcel of the same struggle that we face
today in standing up for national and territorial integrity and in standing
up for our right to national security without an enemy population lodged in
our very midst. Forcing Jewish leaders to take responsibility, to stop
cowering before the goyim, and to do what is good and true in G-d's eyes,
applies not only to the individual and the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim, but to
the redemption of the whole House of Israel in the Land of Israel!
Beloved Youth, we see in you G-d's promise that there is a future not only
for us, but more importantly for Am Yisrael. May G-d bless you and take you
from strength to strength. May He fulfill in you the blessings of Chanukah
"... deliver the Mighty into the hands of the Weak, and the Many into the
hands of the Few, and the Impure into the hands of the Pure, and the Wicked
ones into the hands of the Righteous, and the Evil ones into the hands of
the Torah-true, and in so doing to establish for Himself a Great Name
throughout His world, and for Am Yisrael redemption and relief!"
May Esther and I soon be home to light the Chanukah candles with you, this
year in Jerusalem, and to celebrate the miracles that HaShem does for us
today, as He did for our forefathers in days of old.
My Cherished and Beloved Children, may you be worthy of G-d's miracles and
may you be the vessel through which redemption comes to me and to the Land
and People of Israel, speedily in the wink of an eye! Amain! Ken yihi