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Jonathan and Esther Pollard, Heroes of Israel, in Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim

 

This week, we were blessed in Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim, in the heart of the Old City of Yerushalayim, to have a visit from Jonathan and Esther Pollard, heroes of Israel.
Rav Aviner had written tens of articles over the years to help the plight of Jonathan, wrote him letters and sent him Divrei Torah every week and visited him in prison.

 

Here is Rav Aviner's Dvar Torah:
 
And here is Jonathan's Dvar Torah:

Rav Aviner concluded by saying that he was asked:
Q: Should one recite Shehechiyanu when meeting Jonathan his release as one does when not seeing his friend for 30 days?
A: Yes. 
Q: But Shehechiyanu is only recited when one is joyous to meet his friend, and not when one has never met the person?  And is someone who visited Pollard in prison, as Ha-Rav did, in the category of a "friend"?!
A: This is a unique case.  Pollard is all of our friend since he saved our entire Nation from the non-conventional weapons of the enemy.  When the Netziv met the Aderet for the first time, he recited Shehechiyanu.
Q: This was special since the Aderet was a Torah giant!  And there are other such examples of reciting the blessing for famous Rabbis.  It therefore seems that this is a special halachah for Torah giants!
A: One who saves his friend, and all the more so one who saves the entire community, has an aspect that is comparable to a Torah scholar.  See Pele Yoetz Erech "Hatzalah", who explains the saying of our Rabbis: "Even those of Israel who are empty are as full of Mitzvot as a pomegranate [is full of seeds]."  How so?  It is those who save lives.  And the Pele Yoetz emphasizes: One who saves lives is greater even than a Torah scholar.      
And Rav Aviner recited Shechechiyanu with Hashem's Name and Kingship for Pollard for everyone in the Yeshiva!
 

 

Blessed is Hashem who Redeems the Captives!