I doubt whether there was anyone on Seder night who said Next Year in Jerusalem with more conviction than Jonathan Pollard, who is still imprisoned in the United States.
True, he is no longer behind bars. However, he understands that a Jew is not considered free as long as he does not live in his own country, as the Passover Haggada teaches us: "This year we are here; next year in the land of Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free people."
Our sages have instructed that before weekday Grace After Meals, we should read Psalm 137 in order to remember that our eternal place is in the Land of Israel and not in a foreign land: "How shall we sing the Song of G-d on gentile land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue fuse unto my palate if I fail to mention you, if I fail to raise Jerusalem to the greatest of my joys" (137:4-6).
We raise Jerusalem on a regular basis to our loftiest joy; Loftier than New York, loftier than Florida, loftier than the "good life" in foreign countries. This is exactly what Jonathan Pollard did when he risked his personal freedom in order to help the State of Israel. He knew that if caught in the course of his espionage, he would be sentenced to many years behind bars. Nevertheless, he did not put his personal life as his loftiest joy; He remembered that the Jew's greatest joy is in the Peace of Jerusalem.
While the echoes of the Feast of Freedom still fill us, the least we can do is remember Jonathan, just as we remember Jerusalem. Each of us can write a short letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and remind him that Jonathan wants to get home. We can send e-mails to US President Trump and ask him to send Jonathan home.
Such messages to Ivanka and her husband can also speed the day of Jonathan's release. You can also tweet her on Twitter or send her a message via Facebook. I am sure that she and her husband will put aside all fear of signalling dual-loyalty in order to help the hero who risked so much that other Jews may live in security and freedom.
Even though Jonathan is no longer behind bars, he knows that he is still in prison and wants to live as a free man. He sees the invisible bars of his American prison. He knows that George Washington is not the father of his nation; He knows that the city of Washington D.C. is not the capital of his people; He knows that the Stars and Stripes is not his national flag, and he knows that the "Star Spangled Banner" is not his national anthem. His flag is the Star of David, and his national anthem is Hatikvah. Today Jonathan Pollard is under house arrest in New York. With G-d's help, we can help liberate him completely.
Zvi Fishman is an Israeli writer and author. Married with seven children, he lives in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem.
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