Movie star Michael Douglas and onetime refusenik Natan Sharansky will discuss "Judaism, Israel and current-day anti-Semitism" at Brown University on Thursday.
The event is the kickoff of a three-university "Jewish Journeys" tour that will also take them to Stanford on Feb. 2 and the University of California Santa Barbara the next day. The 7:30 p.m. event at Brown's Salomon Center for Teaching is free, but registration is required.The topic of anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel on campuses is a focus of the tour:
Sharansky spend almost a decade in Soviet prison because of his activities on behalf of Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel. Sharansky was subjected to torture and other indignities, but never lost his spirit.Sharansky notoriously refused to obey even the most mundane orders from his captors. Sharansky understood that to compromise even a little would lead to compromising a lot. Throughout his ordeal, Sharansky kept his spirits alive by reading a small book of psalms. As Sharansky was being led to the airplane that would take him from the Soviet Union to East Germany for the exchange, the Soviets confiscated his book of psalms.It would have been easy for Sharansky simply to keep walking towards the plane and freedom. But Sharansky understood that the Soviets confiscated his book of psalms not because they wanted the book, but because they wanted to show that even in this last moment, they were in control.
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