Finding Yourself in the Psalms
A Special Grace
From 1977 to 1986 Natan Sharansky was imprisoned in the Gulag of the Soviet Union. Born to a Jewish family in what is now the Ukraine, Sharansky was convicted of spying and sentenced to thirteen years of hard labor. His wife Avital relentlessly campaigned for his release. Finally, in an elaborate international deal that included his exchange for Soviet spies captured by the west, he was granted freedom to immigrate to Israel. But when guards came to remove him from his cell, Sharansky refused to leave until they allowed him to take with him the book of Psalms that had been his companion. His act seems beyond belief. Why would a person threaten to remain in a Gulag prison for a book of psalms?