Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in the United States after being convicted of spying for Israel, was forced to remain in jail during his father's funeral and is now observing the seven days of mourning in his cell.
Pollard is also unable to say the Kaddish prayer in memory of his father Morris, who died over the weekend, as it requires a quorum of Jewish men.
In light of the special situation, Israel's Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has taken it upon himself to say Kaddish instead of Pollard during the seven days of mourning.
"When I visited Pollard in prison, he asked me to say Kaddish on the anniversary of his mother's death, as he has no quorum," the rabbi said. "Unfortunately, the situation hasn’t changed, and so I have taken upon myself to do this minor thing, for our brother Jonathan and for his father's soul."
Since his father's death, many diplomatic efforts have been made to allow Pollard to attend the funeral, but to no avail. Prime Minister's Benjamin Netanyahu's appeal failed to change the American decision either.
Morris Pollard was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Indiana on Monday.
Recently, Rabbi Metzger slammed US President Barack Obama for refusing to pardon Pollard. During the "High Shabbat" sermon (the Shabbat before Passover) at Jerusalem's Yeshurun Synagogue, Metzger said Obama could prove his commitment to Israel by releasing Pollard.
"Before forcing political moves on us, Obama must prove the mutual commitment and friendship he has declared," the rabbi stated.
Several months earlier, Metzger met in his office with Pollard's wife, Esther, as part of her efforts to get key Israeli figures to support the struggle for her husband's release.
The rabbi called on the public to "flood the White House with letters", demanding that the American administration release Pollard immediately. He told Pollard's wife that he was working on a letter to President Obama, urging him to pardon her husband.
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