In my generation, the hero, the legend of our childhood was Natan Sharansky.
Back then, before he got out of a Russian prison, he was known as Anatoly Sharansky. I attended Jerusalem’s Noam elementary school, in which davening for and living and breathing Sharansky was such an intense part of it all. Avital — Sharansky’s devoted wife of one day before he was arrested — paid my school visits from time to time. Noam was affiliated with Mercaz Harav and it was through this yeshiva, I believe, that Avital embraced observant Judaism. Daily, we added a chapter of psalms to our regular morning prayers, in hopes for Sharansky’s release.