The Shmooze

Woman's Odd Theory for Why Israel Blaze Happened

By Nathan Jeffay

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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


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