(March 25, 2020 / JNS) Human-rights activist, world-famous refusenik and former chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky shared some pointers to help people get through coronavirus-related quarantine in a video released on Monday.
“I have some experience of spending time in solitary confinement,” Sharansky said in the clip, “and I want to give you five tips.”
The author of Fear No Evil was born in 1948 in the Soviet Union; at the age of 29, he was arrested for engaging in Zionist activity, he said.
He was imprisoned for nine years in Soviet labor camps, half of which he said was in solitary confinement, and spent 405 days in a punishment cell. He was released in 1986 after heavy international pressure, including U.S. diplomatic efforts and humanitarian efforts led by his wife Avital Sharansky.
Sharansky, who held several positions in the Israeli government and is now chairman of the Institute of the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, explained his first tip by saying, “In prison, I had to always 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 battle depends also on your behavior.”
His second piece of advice was not to make plans for the future “based on the hope” that everything will be back to normal in the few days or weeks. He added, “It does not depend on you. So, try to build plans that fully depend on you. … Read the book that you wanted to read or … learn the language that you always wanted to speak. And then it depends all on you: whether you succeed in your plans or not.”
Sharansky’s third tip was to hold on to your sense of humor. He said, “in prison I loved telling jokes to my anti-Soviet guards, and thank God, [now] there are so many jokes on the Internet.”
Tip No. 4: “Don’t give up on your hobbies.”
His final tip was to “feel your connection.”
“Remember that you are not alone. We Jews, for thousands of years, all over the world, were scattered, but we always had this feeling that we are a part of a big people, great people with our mutual past, our mutual future and our mutual mission.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.