And Jonathan remains in the pit...

[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Toldot 5771 – translated by R. Blumberg]

Jonathan cries in the pit, tearlessly, silently and without words. He is not crying over himself but over Joseph who was thrown into the pit, and over all sorts of Josephs thrown into all sorts of pits. He is the present Joseph, crying for the unrectified sin of the original Joseph’s being sold.
Jonathan Pollard ruminates in the pit. He has been there for twenty-five years. He has a lot of time to think, and he already knows all his thoughts by heart. He knows that he never betrayed the United States. Quite the contrary, he served it faithfully for many years. And anyway, he did a lot of good for the United States by passing on to Israel information which the United States was obligated to pass on to Israel according to their memorandum. If not for Jonathan, what a terrible calamity might have occurred! What shame and calumny for America! The fact is that he was never accused of being a traitor. So why is he being so badly mistreated? Why is such a terrible injustice being perpetrated against him? Why?
Jonathan is suffering in the pit for his brothers who threw him into it. He remembers that they said to him, “You are our brother. Don’t worry! If you get into trouble, come to the Israeli Embassy, you and your wife, and we will transfer you to Israel.” “Yet when I came there,” he recalls vividly, “they threw me outside, straight into the arms of the police.”
Jonathan trembles in the pit. He still recalls how they took off all his clothes and threw him into a psychiatric prison, totally naked in a cold and empty cell with just a single metal cot. To paraphrase Genesis 34:23, “the pit was empty but it contained water.” Occasionally he would be chained to a shower of freezing cold water until he lost all his senses. Even now he is in a terrible pit, a pit of life imprisonment. Prisoners come and go, but Jonathan sits in his pit forever... no leaves, no children, no kosher food. His only ray of light is his good wife who visits him regularly, with enormous devotion.
Jonathan asks himself questions in the pit: My brothers, why have you betrayed me? It is through me that you knew that Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Iran were preparing atomic, chemical, and biological weapons against Israel’s citizens, as well as terror attacks. I toiled so hard for you, my brothers! I literally sacrificed myself and endangered myself for you, and I don’t even have a bit of freedom. Have you forgotten me? You talk, you make declarations, you have photo-ops, and I am still in the pit. Sometimes you make promises. But you are lying. You don’t really worry about me. Even with me in the pit, you continue to take advantage of me for all sorts of purposes. I’m hurting in the pit, and it hurts me all the more that you are betraying me.
Jonathan suffers insult in the pit: Why do they write about me that I was working for profit? I didn’t get a red cent! I am an idealist. Why do they write about me that I am insane? Is this a way of getting rid of me? Why was the suggestion made of exchanging me for 750 terrorists with blood on their hands? Is that what I am worth in your eyes? Do I have blood on my hands? Me?
Jonathan suffers disappointment in the pit: In 1985 he was arrested. He was officially recognized as a citizen of Israel, and only in 1995 was he recognized as an official agent of Israel -- as if this were some sort of gesture. Yet it was no gesture! All of his missions were signed by the head of Israeli Intelligence. Why doesn’t the State of Israel turn over mountains and hills to free him? Why has it missed so many opportunities? Could there be a greater injustice?
Jonathan remembers in the pit. His brothers forgot him, but he did not forget them. He breathes Israel, lives Israel, worries about Israel. He is a very bright man, a man of rare genius. He thinks about the future of the State of Israel all the time, and about how to solve its problems, the problems of electricity, economics and security. From his scant resources, he contributes to charitable organizations in Israel, prays for those wounded in terrorist attacks and sends his wife to comfort the mourners of terror victims.
My brothers! I do not forget you. Please do not forget me…
For twenty-five years Jonathan has been in the pit. He touches the cold walls, touches the darkness, touches his aching head and his diseased sinuses. He thinks: When will I get out of here? He no longer believes in salvation coming from the Chief Butler or the Chief Baker, this minister from America or that one from Israel -- but only in the Master of the Universe. Jonathan sits in the pit and he weeps, he weeps tears of blood.
Yet he is not alone in the pit. G-d is with him. G-d is his Rock and Fortress, shining His countenance upon him and satisfying his needs. Even in the pit, Jonathan remains a tzaddik [saint] like Joseph the tzaddik. They are trying to corrupt his soul. They show him obscene photographs, yet he always remains a tzaddik. G-d is always with him in the pit.
Jonathan is a national hero and a saint. He has one prayer: Master of the Universe! I have but one small request. Get me out of here and bring me to the Western Wall so that I can kiss it.
“As for our brethren, the whole house of Israel, suffering distress and captivity, on sea or on land, may G-d have mercy on them and grant them relief, bringing them from darkness to light, from servitude to liberty, speedily and very soon” (morning prayers). May He who brought Joseph out of the pit bring Jonathan out as well, and may there soon be fulfilled through the saintly, heroic Jonathan, the words, “Hashem, You have brought up my soul from
She’ol. You have kept me alive, that I should not go down in the pit” (Tehilim 30:4).