NEW YORK (Oct. 13)
The leaders of the fervently Orthodox yeshiva world have joined the campaign to free Jonathan Pollard.
The addition of 21 of the most respected roshei yeshiva, or yeshiva deans, to those working for Pollard’s release caps what has become an unusually broad religious coalition.
The leadership of the rabbinical organizations and seminary of the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and centrist Orthodox movements are already on record as calling for a commutation of the life sentence that the former Navy intelligence analyst received in 1987 for passing secrets to Israel.
In an advertisement appearing in this week’s issue of Yated Ne’eman, an English-language Orthodox weekly, the yeshiva leaders, who are viewed by their followers as the gedolei hador, or the generation’s spiritual leaders, said: “It is a mitzvah incumbent upon each and every Jew to make efforts to free (Pollard) from his imprisonment, by sending letters to the government and to anyone who can intercede on his behalf.”
The ad continues: “In the merit of this great mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim (freeing prisoners), may all who participate be blessed with every benefit by the One who frees the imprisoned.”