Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Letter to President Clinton
President of the Council of Torah Sages
1 Sivan 5758
May 26, 1998
The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500
Dear Mr. President
"Peace be within thy rampart, prosperity within thy palace."
"Thou art peace and thy house is peace and all that is thine
will be peace now and forever more."
That which is widely know needs no specific proof and the lengthy
imprisonment of our dear one, a member of our people, Jonathan Pollard
is known to all-
"For my bretheren and companions' sakes
I would fain speak peace concerning thee."
My friend and loyal representative, Rabbi Eliyahu Yishai, Minister of
Labor and Social Affairs traveled at my request to inquire into the
welfare of our brother, Jonathan, and brought back to me an account of
his deteriorated physical state and oppression due to the lengthy
incarceration. King Solomon, the wisest of all men said in the Book of
"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under
Heaven...a time to keep silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time
to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
The Government of Israel has come to the decision that it is no longer a
time to keep silent, but it is now time to speak out and request you to
release Jonathan Pollard, particularly at a time when the whole world is
aware of your undaunting efforts to bring good tidings of Peace to the
world, and to bring the good tidings of freedom for one and all.
Our sages dwelt extensively on the importance of Peace. They said
"Peace is great, for all blessings are included therein," as it says in
the Book of Psalms:
"The Lord will give strength unto His People
the Lord will bless His People with Peace"
Moreover, our sages said: "Great is Peace because the name of the Lord
is Peace", as it is written: "And he called him the Lord of Peace. And
when the Messiah will come he will commence the Messianic Age only with
Peace, as is written in the Book of Isiah (52,7)
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger
of good tidings that announceth Peace."
Now that the buds of peace have blossomed in our country, and we all
pray and hope that the "time to hate" is a thing of the past, and that
"a time to love" has arrived, I entreat you together with the whole of
the Jewish people to exercise mercy and release Jonathan Pollard from
his imprisonment, so that he and his loved ones may have their peace of
mind restored to them.
"Let the groaning of the prisoner come before thee. According to
the greatness of thy power set for those who are appointed to death."
And may the verse in the Torah in the Book of Leviticus referring to the
Jubilee Year be fulfilled:
"In the Jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession and ye
return every man unto his family."
I am certain that such an act of kindness would represent a step further
in your great mission on earth to bring good tidings of Peace among the
nations and a concern for the freedom of the individual and the
community as a whole.
"Whoever has mercy on his fellow man, Heaven will have mercy on him."
Please allow me to extend to you my prayers and blessings that the Lord
will grant you, your family and your descendants Peace now and forever
more. May all that you do be successful, and may you be granted a long
life of good health security and warm blessings.
With deep respect and appreciation,
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.