The Shmooze

Woman's Odd Theory for Why Israel Blaze Happened

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

It’s been a week since the devastating fire in Northern Israel began, and already we have self-appointed experts telling us the “message” of the blaze. The latest theory is that it’s meant to focus people on… the campaign to free Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard started serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison in 1987 for passing military secrets to Israel while working as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy.

His wife, Esther Pollard, speaking at the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem, suggested that the fact that the fatalities occurred near a prison is a sign to make people think of the “prisoner that the Government of Israel has left to rot in an American prison for 26 years” — i.e. her husband.

Claiming that people “need to do some soul-searching to try to find out what the message is,” she launched in to a rather esoteric string of associations. The late Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu declared that Pollard is the biblical Joseph of contemporary times (his logic being that Joseph was imprisoned by Pharaoh; Pollard by the U.S.). The Torah portion last Sabbath was Miketz which tells a large part of Joseph’s story. “Could that be why the fire occurred during Parshat Miketz?,” asked Esther Pollard rhetorically.

Furthermore, Eliyahu “taught us that Jonathan is the microcosm and Israel is the macrocosm. Whatever goes on with one will always be mirrored in the other.” This statement led to a final conclusion suggesting that there is some supernatural link between physical pains suffered by Pollard resulting from his medical conditions and the blaze:

“In Hebrew, the way that the most excruciating pain is described is as kevay tofet. Kevay literally means ‘pains’ and tofet means ‘hell-fire’ or ‘inferno.’

“If we think about kevay tofet, it’s easy to make the connection between Jonathan and the Land, easy to see the reflection. That is, Jonathan has been experiencing hell-fire pains or kevay tofet.

“And what has been happening to the Land?

“The Land has been scorched by tofet, by an inferno, by hell-fire itself.”

Read the full speech here


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Fire, Gush Katif Museum, Israel, Mordechai Eliyahu, Pollard, Sephardic Chief Rabbi

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.