A Man Like Ari

Now that Yom Kippur is over, it has been written and sealed, who will live and who will die, we all have been sobered by the senseless brutal murder of one of our own, Ari Fuld z”l.

While fasting and praying on Yom Kippur his presence was felt in an almost tangible way. The towns and cities in Binyomin, Judea and Samaria, lost an advocate and a protector. The human beings lost a friend, a teacher, a husband and father. Israel lost a true hero, one who was untouched by politics; a voice of truth unbiased by desire for personal power or graft. The pain is real. We needed him and now there is a void.

Empty spaces tend to fill up rapidly and I wonder who or what will fill his?

I saw that Abbas was loudly proclaiming that he “does not condone violence, as it does not contribute to the peace process,” as he stuffed shekels into the pockets of the family of the murderer.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and the US Ambassador gave eulogies, and thousands attended his funeral and sat shiva with his family.

Meanwhile leftists proclaim the victimization of the murderer,and vilify Ari and all the Jews living in the part of Israel called “The West Bank” by those who mistakenly believe it is illegal for Jews to live there, by the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, called Judea and Samaria. It’s all propaganda, and without Ari’s clear, forceful, coherent voice clarifying the truth to blatant liars, we wonder who will have the courage, the vocalization, and the fortitude to stand up for us?

Ari was on the minds of the Jews in Judea and Samaria as we prayed in shul on Yom Kippur. He was on the minds of hundreds of his students, on the minds of the thousands of IDF men and women with whom he served and whom he impacted in such a practical and spiritual manner. He is on the minds of his broken hearted family who cannot comprehend a life without his strong presence.

I was thinking, what gives meaning to life? What does one have to do to make an impact like that, to have people say of you in life and after you’re gone: “ That person made a difference in the world. He changed it, made it a better place.”

I think when your life and your inner beliefs line up completely and you voice a truth that is beyond yourself, when you live that voice in every action, you cannot help but impact the world.

I feel small, compared to him. I too want to make a difference. I want to know, what do I stand for that I can physically affect to make change in this world?

There are those, like Abbas, whose words and deeds are incompatible, who try and try to impact the world for self serving reasons, to build palaces on the backs of their peoples poverty. He, his fabricated ideology, his manipulations of his vulnerable people, his hatred, and his memory will be gone someday.

There are those like our leaders who promote Israel but fall short of measures that could be taken in its defense for reasons of politics and self preservation. They will pass from this world and their actions will be judged by the consequences our people lived abiding under them.

Ari was a man who put his life, his beliefs and his body on the line every day for his simple belief in Israel as the ancestral and current homeland of the Jewish people. He made a difference. He challenged in life, and will continue to challenge us in death, to “put our money where our mouth is,” to use an American homily. He defined Israel advocacy by a new, higher standard of truth and action.

He will be remembered as a Hero of Israel.

About the Author
Mother of 4, grandmother of 10, retired Registered Nurse, using my phone to photograph and observe Israel as a new Oleh. A lifetime of reading biographies of the founding fathers, history of Israel, history in general, to making aliyah as a middle aged wanderer, my hobbies of people watching, exploring, photography, reading and writing are put to good use when it comes to blogging. Originally from Seattle, I grew up in the Rocky mountains, from Wyoming to Alberta, Canada. Cowgirls fit into Israel well. From a very assimilated family, I became Baal Tshuva in 1999, and have lived amonst the Charedim ever since, although I consider myself just plain Orthodox. With a big sun hat, because I am allergic to the sun, I wander around with my phone as my camera and try to advocate for the complexity that is Israel, to my very large group on non Jewish internet friends and assimilated Jewish friends from around the world.
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