An enormous void was felt this week, brought about through pure evil, with the cowardly terrorist murder of Ari Fuld HY”D, my dear friend and colleague.
Words always fail in such times, but I will do what I can to describe Ari for those not privileged to have known this larger-than-life walking study in contrasts: devoted to Israel, but also a lover of humanity and people of all backgrounds whom he met; deeply compassionate and kind, and yet fierce in his defense of the Jewish nation; a teller of unvarnished basic truths as he saw them, while at the same time thoughtful and analytical; a master of the perfect turn of phrase, and activist doer personified.
Ari had an abiding respect for ZOA, particularly, what he recently characterized for his Facebook followers as the “last one standing.” He strongly identified with the ZOA message and method, as was evident in his presentation to ZOA’s campus leaders just a couple of months ago in Israel. It would only be fitting to honor Ari’s memory and legacy by continuing to make the case for Israel’s basic truths, assertively and unabashedly, as Ari did every chance he got over his far too short adult life.
While I was visiting a number of threatened communities in Judea together with the Knesset’s Land of Israel Caucus leadership, there was Ari, with his trademark smartphone, providing his usual on-the-ground images and simultaneous English translation for his social media followers.
Toward the beginning of Ari’s video (below), he once again stated his admiration for ZOA. He also asked me what could be done in answer to the destruction of places such as Netiv Ha’avot due to reluctant government policy. My answer, like yours, was “build, not destroy” to send the right message to our friends and foes. Here is the link, and a screenshot from our brief video conversation.