Text: All Chief Rabbis' Unprecedented Appeal for Pollard

Justice4JP Release - April 20, 2005


14 Shvat, 5765
January 24, 2005*

Mr. George W. Bush
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500 USA

Dear Mr. President,

Please allow us to congratulate you on your brilliant victory in the election race, and to send you our heartfelt good wishes for a successful and fruitful second term as president of the United States. May you find grace and good understanding in the sight of G-d and man. We pray to the G-d of heaven and earth who rules all living things that He may guide you on a straight and good path to benefit all of humankind. Amen.

Mr. President, we would like to take this opportunity to appeal to you on behalf of Jonathan Pollard, whose case is currently a humanitarian matter of the first order, notwithstanding the fact that at first it was related to primarily as a matter of state security.

As you know, Jonathan Pollard has been serving a very long sentence under very difficult conditions for the crimes of which he was convicted 20 years ago. There can be no doubt that this is an especially severe punishment. However, it may be assumed that had Jonathan Pollard not become a symbol intended to serve as a deterrent, he would already be free.

However, Jonathan is not a symbol; he is and always has been a human being created in G-d' image, and is worthy of being treated with compassion and mercy, even if he has sinned and been convicted. This is especially true in view of the fact that he has already been punished severely for his actions, and has paid his debt to society, and all the more so at this time, when a spirit of conciliation blows over the land.

Honored president: You are a man who knows the Bible well, who certainly knows that the first commandment G-d gave the people he created was to have a family and bring children into the world. This commandment is of the greatest importance and occupies a central position in all the monotheistic religions. In addition to being a religious imperative of the first order, the establishment of a family is a universal human value that has taken its place in the legal systems of the enlightened nations as a basic and elementary right. The yearning to bring children into the world and to see the continuity of the chain of generations is a feeling shared by all humans.

Jonathan hat been deprived of this elementary right, and this situation causes him great pain. In addition to losing the best years of his life, his young and courageous wife is suffering a terrible tragedy of her own, which is placing her life in danger. She still hopes to have a normal family and bring children into the world like everyone else.

May your compassion and mercy prevail over your anger, and may you be attentive to this plea with grace and compassion - and pardon Jonathan.

A noble act such as this would come like cool water for the Jewish soul, exhausted from persecutions and the renewed anti-Semitism rearing its head once again in different places throughout the world.

May G-d bless you with a good life and peace forever and ever.

Respectfully yours,

Shlomo Amar
Rishon Letzion Chief Rabbi of Israel
President of the Rabbinical Court of Israel

Yona Metzger
Chief Rabbi of Israel
President of the Chief Rabbinical Council

We share the sentiments expressed in this letter:

Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef
Former Chief Rabbi of Israel and Rishon Letzion

Rabbi Avraham Shapira
Former Chief Rabbi of Israel

Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu
Former Chief Rabbi of Israel and Rishon Letzion

Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron
Former Chief Rabbi of Israel and Rishon Letzion

Rabbi Israel Meir Lau
Former Chief Rabbi of Israel

*This letter was publicly released April 11, 2005.

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