By Adina Hershberg, AISH—
I never cried so much on Yom Kippur as I did this year. So many of the prayers reminded me of Ari. “Who by sword and who by beast.” “Our Father, our King, act for the sake of those who were slaughtered for Your Oneness.” “Our Father, our King, avenge before our eyes the revenge of the blood of Your servants.” I thought of his widow Miriam and the rest of the family whose lives will never be the same.
I met Miriam when she was about 13. We lived in the same apartment building in Har Nof, Jerusalem. She and her sister Shoshana were babysitters for our older children. I met Ari at their engagement party. Who could have imagined that their married life would be brutally cut before they reached their silver wedding anniversary?
In time, both Ari and Miriam, as well as my family and I moved to Gush Etzion. They settled in the beautiful city of Efrat, while we settled in nearby rustic Rosh Tzurim.
This past Shabbat, the day before a ruthless and despicable Arab teen terrorist stabbed Ari to death, I mentioned Ari’s name at the Shabbat table. Our guests were a former lone soldier, who had lived in Rosh Tzurim during his service, and his family. “Ari Fuld is one of my heroes,” I said, and then proceeded to mention some of my experiences with Ari.
After the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from Gush Katif in southern Israel, rockets continued to fall upon southern communities. Ari organized trips to Sderot in order to help the businesses by having residents of Gush Etzion purchase items from the various businesses. I joined one of the Friday morning trips and was told to meet at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion. To my dismay, only three people showed up: Ari, myself and one other man.
We traveled down to Sderot in Ari’s car. Once there, we spoke to some of the residents and made various purchases. Ari even stopped at a wedding hall with take-out food. Since engaged Israeli couples were not running to get married in Sderot due to the precarious security situation, the owners of the wedding hall were endeavoring to make a living with selling take-out food. One of the things that I purchased was Moroccan olives, a spicy dish containing tomato sauce. All of our food purchases joined the rest of our purchases in the back of the car.