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Though it is true that many dedicated souls did contribute, it was Avital who led the battle, and the victory in many ways was her triumph.
Once in a Toronto airport, I overheard a young woman carrying her infant daughter telling Avital that she had named the girl after her in admiration of her struggle, her courage and all that she had come to mean to the larger world. Avital thanked the woman and humbly walked away.
I have no doubt that in the world today there are many young women named Avital in homage to this remarkable woman. Natan’s freedom is not only a celebration of his great courage, it is also a celebration of Avital’s formidable moral and spiritual strength.
Rabbi Avi Weiss, a weekly Torah columnist for The Jewish Press, is senior rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and founder and president of the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. His book “Spiritual Activism: A Jewish Guide to Leadership and Repairing the World” (Jewish Lights) includes material on the struggle to free Sharansky.
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If the eyes are the window to the soul, then children’s eyes are the window to the Almighty Himself.
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Is there no one who remembers this recent history?
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February 11 marked 25 years since Natan Sharansky crossed the Glienicke Bridge from East to West Germany and became a free man. Countless stories have been told about Sharansky’s defiance of the Soviets and his courageous actions during his more than nine years of imprisonment.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
As our plane lands in Caracas I think about why we’ve come. Our objective is to express solidarity; to learn facts on the ground; and to speak with community leaders, rabbis, and clergy of other faiths with the goal of helping to map out future policy.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/avital-sharansky-led-the-battle-to-free-her-husband/2011/02/16/
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