Thousands mourn terrorism victim Ari Fuld

September 17, 2018 by Ilanit Chernick - TPS
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The funeral began with soft singing. The swelling crowd stood for over an hour lamenting his death through words of Jewish prayer and song. There was not a dry eye in sight.

Photo by Ilanit Chernick/TPS on 17 September, 2018

Despite the late hour, thousands of people from all backgrounds made their way to the Kfar Etzion cemetery, just south of Jerusalem, to mourn the life Ari Fuld. A well-known Israel activist, a husband, a father of four, a friend and to many – a hero.

As the singing continued, many spoke quietly amongst themselves of how Fuld had impacted their lives at different stages.

On Sunday morning, Fuld was stabbed to death in a terrorist attack outside a supermarket at the Gush Etzion Junction. Before succumbing to his wounds, Fuld managed to chase down the terrorist and shoot him.

Speaking at the funeral his wife Miriam spoke of her husband’s achievements in every aspect of life, adding that she was not sure how to go on without him.

“My dearest Ari, this is my last chance to say all the things that need to be said, so you better be listening,” she said. “You were a good man. I am not sure how to go on without you. We were born less than 24 hours apart and it seems that we lived our lives side by side.

“No one knew it would be cut so short this morning, on your way to do the shopping, that I asked you to do.”

She lamented that Fuld was “always running toward danger instead of away from it.”

“You never backed down from a fight, because you knew you were in the right. You fought for what you believe in. You left behind a legacy for the entire world to savor.

“We always watched the news together and wondered how families and wives could be so strong. But that is what we do. We get knocked down and we get right back up, because life is a package deal and we can’t pick and chose. We must accept the good and the bad.

“Now it is my turn to be strong and continue onwards,” she said promising to take care of the family, as soft sobs were heard from her family standing next to her.

“Thank you for 24-crazy years together. I love you, I love you. I always will,” she said.

Both Ari’s father and brothers lamented that he was a larger than life hero – also calling him a “superhero.”

“If there is one word to describe my brother, it was a hero,” said his brother Moshe as his voice cracked. “Who else could manage, after sustaining a fatal injury, to draw his pistol, jump a fence and shoot his attacker to make sure that his attacker would not hurt anyone else – only my brother, only my brother.”

“He was a scholar like no other. His head was always in the Gemara [commentary on the Talmud]. He went through those pages, like normal folk read a novel. He had a thirst for that next page, and he could not put it down for anything.

“And yet his head wasn’t in the clouds – he was the most grounded person I know,” his brother added.

His father Yonah said that “Ari was a true hero. Not only in his death, but all of his life.”

“He was a giant of strength, of passion, of love for his family,” he said, adding that a parent should not be burying their child, and that the situation was upside-down.

Tears continued to fall as more family members eulogized Fuld, and as his two young sons said the kaddish prayer, quiet wailing took hold of the crowd.

People held onto each other as Fuld’s body was laid to rest, a silent promise rippled through the crowd: His larger-than-life legacy will never be forgotten.

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