It seems like I have been davening for the release of Jonathan Pollard my entire life.

I have memories already from lower school of hearing his name in the news.  Throughout high school
Jonathan Pollard was a big issue.  I remember numerous assemblies that focused on the issue of his release.  
Whenever the school hosted speakers that had anything to do with Jewish communal leadership, or any politicians – which was quite often – when the speaker finished and asked if there were any questions, without fail, the first question from the crowd of students was always, “What are you doing to help Jonathan Pollard?”
I wrote letters, signed petitions, said Tehilim, and included him in mishabeirachs on Shabbat.  
In Omaha there was a man named Shelly Coren who was known as the Tzaddik of Omaha.  He was a righteous man who lived to help others.  He was an advocate for everything Torah, Israel, and the Jewish people.  
Shelly had written a play based on the case of Jonathan Pollard for the purposes of drawing attention to the issue.  Almost ten years ago we performed that play to a packed house at Beth Israel Synagogue in Omaha.  After the play Shelly handed out letters that we signed and sent to our representatives asking to advocate for Pollard’s release.  
Shelly died less than a year later.  I can only imagine how happy he would have been if he had lived to see this day.
Over the years there were those who said that the Jewish community should not advocate for his release.  They say he was a spy and he got what he deserved.  
I never bought into that.  We see so many examples of Israel being held to a different standard than other nations.  I strongly believe this was just another example.  If Pollard had committed a similar crime for another nation I believe he would have been released long ago.  Advocating for Jonathan Pollard was another way to advocate that Israel should be given the same legitimacy as every other country.
Pollard did not want to harm America.  He acted because he thought the Jewish state, an American ally, needed his help. 
He was certainly not released at the time or under the circumstances that we would have hoped.  It would have been a more satisfying victory had an American president pardoned him years ago, or perhaps the Israeli government could have been more persistent in demanding his release.  
Under the current circumstances it seems both anticlimactic and bitter sweet.  He lost thirty years of his life, he now has a terrible health condition, and he is not permitted to finally live his dream and move to Israel.  
Also, it was somewhat of a loss for the Jewish community.  Did our advocacy make a difference? Had we done absolutely nothing he may have been let out today just the same.  There are those who have been saying for years that our advocacy was detrimental.  According to these critics, making it a “Jewish” issue or an “Israel” issue made the political opponents dig their heels deeper and fight harder to keep him in prison.  I am not sure I agree with that, but we will never know for sure.
All that said, Hodu Lashem ki tov!  Thank you Hashem.  This should be a happy day. He is free from prison, and reunited with his wife.  Hopefully soon he will be able to go to Israel and the ordeal will be completely behind him.  
For those of us who advocated and prayed for Joanthan Pollard over the years, we should celebrate his release, pray that his health improves, and that he can be happy and do great things with the next thirty years of his life.   Hashem should bless him.