Esther Pollard granted her permission to the Beams to print the following letter - untouched and unedited - that she sent last week to Jonathan on the occasion of his birthday. We beg Hashem for Jonathan's speedy and miraculous release from imprisonment. Here goes:
Jerusalem, August 1, 2010 B”H
My Beloved Jonathan,
I don’t really know how to write this letter. I want so badly to help you. I need to make you understand things that I barely understand.
What I do know is that we have spent a very, very long time trying to attack a problem logically, when that problem is totally resistant to logic.
You have every right to be angry. You have every right to be depressed. You have every right to hate. And I certainly do not have any right to tell you otherwise or to try to mitigate your anger or your hate. Maybe they are necessary. Maybe they are a part of the divine plan.
I am angry too, though I try not to dwell on my anger. I am frustrated and tired and worn out, and like you, have not been feeling well for so long that I really do not remember when I last felt well. Everything is a question of degree.
If I get this letter done tonight, it looks like it will arrive for your secular birthday, if you are not yet home by then. So as my gift to you, why don’t I just try to speak what is in my heart, without varnish or sugar coating.
If I did not believe in G-d; if I did not believe that we are souls having a human experience (as opposed to our being humans having a spiritual experience); if I did not believe in gilgul ha’nishamot (the reincarnation of souls); if I did not believe in Jewish History or the Jewish Prophesies; if I did not believe in the ultimate redemption of the Jewish People and the coming of Moshiach; if I did not believe in any of these, then I also would not believe in the concept of soul mates. Without belief in the concept of soul mates, and the clear understanding that I was born to be your helpmate, your ezer knegdo, your opposite half in this lifetime, then it could be said that it was my choice to marry you and my choice to take on a lifetime of travail and suffering instead of choosing an easier path by choosing another mate.
Often I think about how my life looks through the eyes of someone who does not believe in G-d, in Jewish destiny, or in soul mates. I know people like that. Ones I have spoken with, tell me that they think I am pretty foolish to have made such poor choices and to have ended up in this not-married, not-single state of perpetual longing and endless suffering, coupled with endless hard work rolling the boulder uphill only to have it roll down again, and then to start all over again. I have been told, by well-meaning meddlers, on numerous occasions, that I have or had so many talents and merits, why did I have to get involved with someone in prison? Better yet, with someone with a life sentence?
People who have no concept of eternity or of G-d’s absolute rule of the world, cannot fathom that I did not have a choice. That the only reason I was born into this life was to accompany you on your tragic/majestic journey from darkness (lots and lots of darkness) to light (o when o when will it appear! --- But appear it must!)
People who have no concept of eternal life have no way to grasp that you volunteered for this mission long ago in the world of souls, and I volunteered to go with you. The sorrow, the frustration, the suffering, the anguish, the depression, the despair and the anger are actually fleeting in terms of eternity. But in terms of a human lifetime they have been overwhelming, relentless and unending. No one in their right human mind would knowingly volunteer to take on any lifetime that is this difficult. But as souls, we did. That is, you did. And I could not let you go it alone, so I did as well. But only to follow you.
As you so aptly put it, not so long ago, we are both partly in prison and we are both partly free. That is how bound up in each other we are.
Having said that, there are some differences in our perspective. Apparently those differences are what allow each of us to survive our respective Gehinoms.
I don’t understand, and never did understand your ability and your will to keep fighting and fighting and fighting. I am not built that way. I give up. I don’t give up in despair or in defeat. I just pull back and hand it back to G-d. That makes you angry. You don’t like when I say that. Ok, so for the last 10 years that I have been feeling that way, you and others kept pulling me back into the fight, into yet another initiative and another initiative and another attempt to move things forward and another interview and another TV show and another essay and another Bagatz and another lawsuit and another petition and another this, that and the other.
Doing all these useless things has brought collateral results, but no progress on the main issue at hand. Each initiative has built us into better, stronger, more sensitive, believing Jews, with a much closer connection to the Almighty. Each initiative has created more public awareness. Each initiative has brought more people to pray, to participate, to engage and to earn their share in eternity by attaching to this mitzvah. Each initiative has had its effect in Heaven and someday, after 120 years, we will, B”H understand how all these things contributed in a major way to bringing the final redemption to the Jewish People and to the Land.
For now, we do not have that glimpse beyond the veil. For the moment, all we have is the sure knowledge that we are not in control. That this case is a cosmic quagmire that is impervious to human efforts. It is so resistant to all of the human remedies that have been attempted over the last 2 ½ decades that that in itself is miraculous—by that I mean, clearly supernatural.
Any purely objective, non-cosmic look at the situation is mind-boggling. How is it that we have gone through endless campaigns, letters, petitions, lawsuits, demos, lobbying, etc etc for 25 years, and in those 25 years we have not moved forward one single centimeter? (Or one inch, if you prefer.) On the contrary, we have watched those who sought your demise from the outset, become more entrenched in their murderous positions. We have watched those who were indifferent, become more indifferent. We have watched those who were wantonly irresponsible and cruel, redouble their brazen irresponsibility and their calculated cruelty. In summary, even you, my love, must admit that what we have seen over the last 25 years is truly Biblical in proportion, and NOT natural!!
And that is the fact that even you, even in the Hellish pit of Snakes and Scorpions where you make your bed, even you must admit, this case is not following the natural course of events. It is a lightening rod for those whose raison d’être is the uprooting of the rule of Heaven. This case is the sine qua non of those who arrogate to rule in place of G-d. Or more aptly put, this case is the exclusive property (on both sides of the pond) of those who are convinced that they rule the world.
"So what?" you ask.
So, we have to draw appropriate conclusions.