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Natan Sharansky: Surviving Isolation


Natan Sharansky, a former deputy prime minister, and cabinet minister served as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel from 2009 to 2018. He is a recipient of the USA Congressional Gold Medal (1986) and the USA Presidential Medal of Freedom (2006) - the highest civilian awards in the United States, as well as the 2018 Israel Prize for his lifetime achievements. Sharansky has this to say about getting through Coronavirus isolation: "My name is Natan Sharansky. I was born in the Soviet Union and at the age of 29, I was arrested for my Zionist activity. I spent 9 years in prison, half of it in solitary confinement and 405 days in a punishment cell. So, I have some experience of spending time in solitary confinement and I want to give you 5 tips to get through the quarantine. Tip 1: In prison, I always had to remind myself I am part of a huge, global battle. You also should remind yourself that we are at war with a very dangerous, though invisible, enemy. And whether we will succeed in the battle depends also on your behavior.

Tip 2: In prison, I didn't know when I will be released or if I will be released at all. Don't build your future plans based on the hope that in the next few days, or the next few weeks, it all will be finished. It does not depend on you. So try to build plans which fully depend on you. Tip 3: Never give up your sense of humor. I remember how in prison I enjoyed telling anti-Soviet jokes to my prison guards. Tip 4: Don't give up on your hobbies. I knew how to play chess without the board and in the punishment cell, I could play thousands of games in my head. You can enjoy singing, playing music, drawing, or whatever you like to do. Tip 5: Feel your connection. Remember that you are not alone. Jews, for thousands of years, were scattered all over the world. But we always had this feeling that we are part of a great people, with our mutual past, with our mutual future, and with our mutual mission. Think about it. Feel your connection. Together we will succeed". (VFI News) 

"For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock." Ps. 27:5