On the eve of US President George W. Bush's visit to Israel, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the so-called president of the Sanhedrin, has prepared a small greeting card for the leader in which he requests that president declare the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews, free convicted US spy Jonathan Pollard and encourage US Jews to move to Israel.
The letter is to be passed onto the American president by a "very senior person" that is set to meet with him during the visit.
Steinsaltz wrote the message in Hebrew and it was translated into English by Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, an organization dedicated to rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem.
The letter opens with praise for Bush as the "president of the West" and is followed by a list of demands including to declare "in front of the world that the Land of Israel was given to the Jewish people by the Creator."
The American president is requested to seize the opportunity of his visit to Israel to make a proclamation similar to proclamations, Steinsaltz claims, made by Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE as well as Englishman Lord James Balfour in 1917: to recognize the right of the Jewish people over the Land of Israel.
Rabbi Steinsaltz at work (Photo: Chaim Richman)
Steinsaltz also asks that the American president work to settle Jews in "every corner of the Land of Israel" and push America Jews to make aliyah.
"I will urge the Jews in my country and hold the corners of their garments to bring them to the Land of Israel and settle them there and to erect the Temple of God in Jerusalem and to push foreigners away from it."
According to the signatories, it is the job of foreign nations to strengthen the Jewish people for the benefit of mankind and world peace.
They also wrote that foreign nations are forbidden from relying on decisions made by the Israeli government because they stem from a lack of faith in God and the Torah.
"No Israeli government and no Jewish representatives can change even the calligraphical ornament of the letter Yud in God's covenant or in the holy Torah," they wrote.
In a final request, Steinsaltz calls on President Bush to release former US Naval Intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard who is currently serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
The Sanhderin president closed his letter by telling President Bush that "it is in your hands to be remembered as having an eternal life or to be etched in (history) as an eternal disgrace."
The letter was signed by rabbis associated with the recent attempt to revive the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish court of law, as well as people members of the Temple Institute who wrote: "Loyal representatives of the Jewish people, in the name of God, ruler of the universe."