Thursday, February 11, 2016

Leaving Mother Russia

Today was the 30-year
anniversary of Natan Sharansky’s walk to Freedom from the Soviet Union.
He spent 9 years in the
Gulag as a prisoner for the “treason” of wanting to emigrate to Israel.

When he was finally released across the “Bridge of Spies” in East Germany, those
waiting for him at the West Berlin checkpoint saw him walking a zig zag back
and forth.  They feared that he was
either drugged or unhinged.

When Sharansky got to the other side, he explained that he had been told by his
minders to “walk straight across the bridge.”
He final act of defiance
was to Not obey his oppressors.

“We are leaving Mother Russia,

We have waited far too long.

We are leaving Mother Russia,

When they come for us we’ll be gone.”

“…My friends we know what
silence brings,

Another Hitler waiting in the wings,

So stand up now and shout it to the sky,

They may bring us to our knees but we’ll never die!”
Safam “Leaving
Mother Russia”

We live in a world where
anyone under 30 years old, not only may not know who Natan Sharansky is, but
who do not know what the Soviet Union; Communism; and the Cold War were…
We are living in a world
where those under 30 have no clue as to what happens when you surrender your
life to The Government in order to have the “freedom” Not to struggle…

OR, conversely, what happens when you surrender your life to someone larger
than life; a polar opposite demagogue who says: “I like making deals,
preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”
“If you ask me exactly
what the deals . . . all add up to in the end, I’m not sure I have a very good
answer. Except that I’ve had a very good time making them.”

Natan Sharansky suffered for well over 9 years
in an empire that imprisoned people’s minds and souls because he refused to be
a slave to the bribery of comfort, where someone or something else would take
care of him.

He suffered because what he wanted above all was his Freedom to be a Man in a
system that killed Men; to be a Jew in a world that despises Jews; and to be
Free to think and choose in a world that has largely given up thought and

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