24 August 2014

"It's Almost Rosh Ha-Shanah..."


29 Menachem Av 5774
Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul

Guest post by Daniel Pinner:

Perhaps the greatest mitzvah you will do this year...

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we are preparing to celebrate the new year with our friends, our families, and our loved ones.

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we are thinking about teshuvah, repentance, for the sins we have committed and the mitzvot we have neglected in the past.

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we are already busy cooking, cleaning, preparing our houses for the holiday season, for our guests.

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we are looking forward to praying in our Synagogue, hearing the familiar prayers with their much-loved melodies, the stirring Shofar blast with its divine message of repentance, forgiveness, and God’s majesty and sovereignty.

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we can already almost taste the apple and honey, the honey cake, the best quality Kiddush wine, and all the delicious food that accompanies this festival-laden month.

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we are already beginning to think about erecting our Sukkot, we are already beginning to bring out the decorations

It is almost Rosh Ha-Shanah – and we can be sure that Jonathan Pollard will not be allowed to celebrate Rosh Ha-Shanah in his prison cell in the USA; he will be denied his friends, his wife, his family, all those whom he loves and who love him; he will be unable to hear the Shofar blast, he will not be permitted to participate in any services. Jonathan Pollard has no Sukkah to look forward to, no decorations to prepare, no festival food to eat.

You can do something to help!

Please send a Shanah Tovah card to Jonathan Pollard. His address is:

Jonathan Pollard #09185-016
c/o FCI Butner
P.O. Box 1000
Butner, NC
U.S.A 27509-1000

It may not be much, but it is something that everyone – including you! – can do. I speak from personal experience when I say that receiving letters is a tremendous morale boost for a prisoner. Indeed, Jonathan himself describes the letters he receives as his “oxygen”. I have no idea if prisons and guards in the USA are anything like in Israel, but if they are, then when the prison system – from the individual guards all the way up to the top commanders – see that a prisoner receives mail, then they know that people on the outside care about him, and are more reluctant to abuse him.

Jonathan Pollard has given well over a quarter of a century of his life due to the venality of certain American and Israeli top politicians. If you live in Israel then you may owe your very life to Jonathan – because it was he who gave Israel crucial information about Iraqi Scud missiles and other Iraqi military capability back in the mid-1980’s.

You can give a few minutes and a few shekels (or dollars, or pounds, or euros) of your own life to send Jonathan Pollard a Rosh Ha-Shanah card. Even if it arrives after Rosh Ha-Shanah, nevertheless send it!

Let us make this effort together. Let us ensure that our brother Jonathan Pollard is flooded with Rosh Ha-Shanah cards this year; send one, send a few, get as many friends and family members to send, send these cards from all over the world – the more people in the more countries, the better.

Let Jonathan Pollard know that even in his prison cell, he is not alone!
Let Jonathan Pollard know that we have not forgotten or abandoned him!

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