Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Letter to President Clinton

Ovadia Yosef
Rishon LeZion
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 Ecclesiastes:

"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 shall 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.