“A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing.” (Archilochus)
Yesterday one of our great hedgehogs was killed. Ari Fuld (HYD), knew but one thing, but one important thing. As everyone who spoke at his funeral said—he was, in one word, one thing: a warrior. And so, even as he was struck with a blow which should have laid him down straight away, he did nothing but that one thing: he fought like a warrior. That is the hedgehog way.
So many of us take pride in our sophisticated fox-like skills. We so gingerly examine multiple issues, looking each over from one angle, then another—weighing options, considering opinions. We believe in polysemic multidimensionality. Yet, we might pause and ask, does this, in a given moment–when all can be won or lost–help or hinder?
We heard at Ari’s funeral how his comrades-in-arms wanted to be alongside him when things got real. For they knew, between the fox and the hedgehog, who they would rather have at their side when it mattered.
Ari knew one thing. He was a warrior fighting at the nexus of the Jewish people and their homeland. Fighting to keep them safely together again in the face of our too long separation, in the face of too many who would tear us once more asunder. That was his fight. That was his one thing. The one important thing that he knew; knew so well that even as the blood ran out of his terribly wounded body, he could keep fighting. And put down his assailant.
It mattered not whether he fought in the bitter world of social media or the deadly fields of southern Lebanon. Ari knew one thing. This is our land, we are its people.
What now for the foxes? The path forward is always treacherous. And the cunning fox, who can slip this way and that–under bramble, over briar—still has a role to play. But lest he, in all his twists and turns, his possibilities and perhaps-es, among the many things he knows, forget—the ground soaked with Ari’s blood will call out as of old: This is our land, we are its people.