Ari Fuld (Photo Credit: Ari Fuld from his Facebook page)
Today the People of Israel — let alone our town of Efrat — lost someone very special. Ari Fuld: “a hero;” “larger than life;” and “a champion for Israel” was murdered by an Arab terrorist outside the Rami Levi Supermarket in Gush Etzion.
Our Defense Minister Liberman promised an “iron fist,” but no government iron fist can beat back the tide of the NGOs funded by the European Union pushing for a boycott of Israel, as well as the end of the Jewish renaissance.
No, that iron fist will have to come from those who are simply like Ari — making a tireless case for the State of Israel, its beauty and its people. Yet, in the end words fail us — they can never capture what really was, and what were our hopes for the future.
Yet, perhaps we can take solace in our children — who may someday grow up to be like Ari. My wife, Rachel, asked me to write down what she felt and what she experienced today at school when the bad news fell like a heavy tree upon us all:
“It was the time for me that I had to return to my class of seventh graders. I had to tell the kids what happened outside Rami Levi that morning. I felt like I was choking — that I could not speak the words I needed to speak. When I told them what happened, they each had their own reaction: some lowering their heads, while others grasping their ears and rocking back and forth — all in anguish.
“I found myself in a class where most of the kids were crying. The tears dripped onto their clothes, while others flowed onto their table. Some tried to hide the tears, but they could not hide their anguish.
“The only empty chair was the chair of Natan — a child whose smile (in better or even difficult times) fills the room. The chair was not wet, and the chair didn’t rock, but the chair looked lonely and anguished.
“I looked at their eyes — blue eyes tearing, brown eyes tearing, black eyes tearing, all shining — but failing to reflect the sun streaming into the room. Soon, I found myself looking at them through a veil of my own tears — tears of mine own anguish.
“We read Tehillim (Psalms) together. In Tehillim, we asked: ‘How long will the wicked exult?’ I had no answer. I looked at their tears and yet had no answers. But, then I began to think that if only we could collect all the tears and send them up to heaven, then perhaps, some day, ‘...those who tearfully sow will reap in songs of joy.’”
Editor’s note: A few memorial funds — at this link and at this link — have been established to help the widow and orphans of Ari Fuld, HY”D. Viewing Ari Fuld’s videos, here and here, can give an idea of the passionate strength of a special man — may the family find comfort among the mourners of Zion.