Esther Pollard dies after being rushed to hospital

Her husband, Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, eulogizes: ‘In God’s good time, we will be together again. Until then, I will love you forever”

 Jonathan Pollard attends the funeral of his wife Esther in Jerusalem. Esther died of COVID complications at the age of 68, January 31, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Jonathan Pollard attends the funeral of his wife Esther in Jerusalem. Esther died of COVID complications at the age of 68, January 31, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Esther Pollard, the wife of Jonathan Pollard, died on Monday after being rushed on Saturday to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital’s COVID-19 intensive care unit suffering from septic shock (sepsis). Thousands attended her funeral at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in Jerusalem after the Committee for Jonathan Pollard called upon the masses to come and celebrate her memory and embrace Jonathan.

Esther, who had been fighting breast cancer for years, returned a positive COVID test in the hospital after negative home tests had indicated that she had recovered from a bad case of the virus. She passed away at age 68 with her husband, Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, by her side. He confirmed that his wife died from septic shock, a life-threatening condition in which blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level as a result of a serious infection.
“She was an amazing fighter,” Jonathan Pollard told The Jerusalem Post shortly after she died.
Speaking to his wife at her funeral, Jonathan said, “Esther, this is not how I expected to come home to the land. But as much as you loved the land, the land will now love you and embrace you, and you will truly become part of the land you loved so much.”
He thanked her for teaching him to love the Land of Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish law and Torah. He said that when she was subjected to deceitful attacks, she taught him that neither she nor the Jewish people needed to respond to lies. He said he never met anyone as brave or courageous.
JONATHAN POLLARD and his wife, Esther, exit Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, in 2017. (credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)JONATHAN POLLARD and his wife, Esther, exit Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, in 2017. (credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
Jonathan said at the funeral that doctors gave him the choice of letting her pass away naturally or struggling for her life. “I looked at the doctor and said this woman fought for me for 30 years, I’m not giving up on her,” he said. “I am going to give her the opportunity to do what she does best, which is to fight. This is the loyalty a husband owes a wife, and she sure demonstrated her loyalty to her husband over so many years.”
Before she died, Jonathan told her that when she gets to the gates of heaven, she should embrace his parents and hers and wait for him there. “I told her in God’s good time, we will be together again,” he said in tears. “Until then, I will love you forever.”
Born in Toronto as Elaine Zeitz, she devoted her life to bringing about the freedom of her husband. She met Jonathan Pollard on a trip to Israel when they were teenagers. When she heard he was arrested, she started writing him letters, which he credited with keeping him going during his worst years in prison. They were married in 1993, but never permitted more than visits in the prison until his release in 2015. Since then, Jonathan had been taking care of Esther, helping her fight her cancer.
Jonathan and Esther Pollard moved to Israel a year ago after his parole restrictions, which prevented him from leaving New York, were removed. The former US Navy intelligence analyst was sentenced to life imprisonment and served a 30-year term for passing classified information to Israel.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he was sad to hear about the passing of Esther, whom he called a “dedicated and loving wife to Jonathan.” Bennett said that together, the Pollards became a symbol of strength, determination and faith.”
 Jonathan Pollard attends the funeral of his wife Esther in Jerusalem. Esther died of COVID complications at the age of 68, January 31, 2022.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Jonathan Pollard attends the funeral of his wife Esther in Jerusalem. Esther died of COVID complications at the age of 68, January 31, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who had countless highly charged meetings with Esther over the years, said he and his wife, Sara, were grieving her loss.
“Esther displayed unending determination over many long years to bring about Jonathan’s release,” Netanyahu said. “I promised her in our meetings that I would bring Jonathan home. Even when her health was suffering, she continued her relentless fight for her husband, did not concede and did not stop dreaming.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “She constantly displayed her devotion in fighting for her husband’s release and her love of the State of Israel.”
MK Orit Struck (Religious Zionist Party) said Esther was “larger than life” and added, “Her love and determination penetrated the prison walls and returned her husband to life.”
Rabbi Pesach Lerner, who served as the rabbi of the Pollards and accompanied them for 30 years, said Jonathan found a special woman, a woman of valor, who dedicated her life to him.
“The heart of us all is broken at the bitter news,” the rabbi said. “I can say with certainty that Jonathan is alive today only thanks to the love and support Esther has given him. Jonathan is free today thanks to the relentless efforts that Esther has devoted to him. This is a real soldier’s wife.”